The now 26-year-old singer skyrocketed to celebrity status at 16 years old with the release of his album, “My World 2.0” after being discovered on YouTube at age 13.
The visuals for “Lonely” feature young actor Jacob Trembley playing Bieber during his teenage years. The video depicts how isolated the pop star felt growing up in the spotlight.
“Maybe when I’m older it’ll all calm down, but it’s killing me now/ What if you had it all but nobody to call, maybe then you’d know me/ Cause I’ve had everything, but no one’s listening, that’s just (expletive) lonely,” Bieber sings. “Everybody knows my past now, like my house was always made of glass/ Maybe that’s the price you pay for the money and fame at an early age.”
Bieber reflected on how cathartic making the song and music video was for him.
“When [@itsbennyblanco] and @finneas showed me this song to be honest it was hard to listen to considering how tough it was to get through some of these chapters,” he wrote. “I went into the studio and sang through it which wasn’t easy but started to really see the importance of telling this story!”
Bieber has previously spoken out about how hard it was to balance success and a normal childhood. He said it led him down a dark path of addiction.
“I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all my relationships,” Bieber said on social media in September 2019. “I became resentful, disrespectful to women … hiding behind a shell of a person that I had become.”
Bieber has previously revealed his mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD. The Canadian-born entertainer said he was “still unfulfilled” despite all the money and awards
“Have you noticed the statistics of child stars and the outcome of their life?” he added, explaining the pressure put on a developing child and having everything handed to him.
Justin Bieber released his first album at just 16 years old.
(Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
“So by this point I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted,” Bieber said. “This is a very scary concept for anyone.”
He said he started abusing drugs to cope with the massive ups and downs from touring around the world.
“I felt like I could never turn it around,” he said. “It’s taken me years to bounce back from all these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits.”
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.