You may love him, you may hate him, but no matter how you feel about him, nobody can argue that Justin Bieber has conquered the pop world. The Canadian singer has now collected five No. 1 albums, five No. 1 singles and just under 40 top 40-charting songs here in the U.S., and his control over the charts in other territories is similar. The Grammy winner can turn essentially any track into a smash, and nobody can sell a single like he can these days.
Since he first arrived in America with songs like “One Time,” “One Less Lonely Girl” and what could be called his breakout hit, “Baby” back in 2010, Justin Bieber has maintained a near-constant appearance on the charts around the world, racking up hit after hit after hit, proving himself to be an unstoppable force in music.
So, what is an ambitious pop star to do after making it to the top of the charts time and time again and selling millions of albums? Some artists set their sights on becoming business moguls, some try their talents at other fields like acting or designing. Bieber has apparently decided he wants to become the biggest and most successful name not just in pop, but every genre out there, and while it might be odd to think about him trying his hand at anything other than top 40 radio pop, he is already succeeding at his goal, and there is no reason to believe he won’t continue to win.
We can continue to call Bieber a pop star, but that phrase is becoming less and less applicable. Instead, Justin Bieber has become something of a jack-of-all-trades, and he is quickly showing the world that he can reach the summit and make history in any genre.
Bieber currently has his name attached to the No. 1 song in the world, “Despacito,” which is now one of the most successful Latin tracks of all time, and it’s nowhere done with its reign. While his Spanish has been rightly criticized, and some are concerned about rewarding the Biebs for stepping into the Latin world, his presence on the tune did help push it further into the mainstream. Now, the singer, alongside Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, has a 55-times platino-certified Latin single to his credit, and nothing can take that away. He may never venture into Latin music again, because on his first try he conquered that industry and changed history by doing so.
While a few of his pop tunes could potentially be recategorized under the R&B header, many have forgotten that the singer actually released an album full of slow jams that didn’t chart and that was poorly reviewed. In between his proper full-lengths Believe and Purpose, the star dropped Journals, which sounded more mature and which was definitely R&B in nature. The record, which was something of a side project for Bieber, featured guests like R. Kelly and showed the young artist learning how to write songs as well as sing them, for better or worse.
As is the case with R&B, many of Bieber’s biggest pop hits would have been called pure electro or dance had they been released 10 years prior. In addition to his own tracks that fit under the EDM label (such as the Believe hit “Beauty And A Beat”), the singer has charted as a guest on big productions fronted by artists like Major Lazer, DJ Snake and most recently, David Guetta. In fact, the only Grammy Bieber has ever won is in the Best Dance Recording category, so it would be fair to say that perhaps his biggest critical success has been in that field.
The Canadian heartthrob has also dabbled in hip-hop, though he’s not known as a rapper…yet. He scored a No. 1 hit in many countries just a few months back as a featured vocalist on DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One,” which debuted in the top spot here in the U.S. His part isn’t especially hip-hop-focused, but it’s difficult to categorize the song, which also features Lil Wayne, Chance The Rapper and Quavo, as anything else. He has also partnered with well-known rappers like Ludacris, Big Sean, Future and many others from time to time, blending pop and hip-hop in ways that the public have clearly enjoyed.