x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Memoirs of a teenage pop star

At the tender age of 16, Justin Bieber is set to publish his autobiography.

Justin Bieber's music video <i>Baby</i> is the most-watched on YouTube, with 270 million views.
Justin Bieber's music video Baby is the most-watched on YouTube, with 270 million views.

So, the teenage pop sensation Justin Bieber is all set to publish his memoirs. At the tender age of 16, Bieber has written an autobiography charting his swift rise from YouTube stardom to the top of the pop world. Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story will also feature exclusive, behind-the-scenes pictures guaranteed to get tweens everywhere saving up their pocket money for a copy. On sale from October, the memoirs will reportedly be dedicated to the star's fans.

Bieber said: "My fans have played such a large part in all of this and they help me live my dreams every day. I'm excited to share just a little bit more of my world with them through this book". Meanwhile, HarperCollins, the publishing house responsible for the memoirs, called Bieber "a force in the music industry". To the bewilderment of some, they aren't far wrong. Bieber's video for Baby is the most-watched music video in YouTube history, with more than 270 million views. That's an awful lot of screaming girls.

Of course, Bieber is not the first teenage star to write his memoirs. Miley Cyrus, the teenage-singing daughter of the one-hit wonder Billy Ray Cyrus, shot to fame as Disney's Hannah Montana. After launching a pop career, she co-wrote Miles to Go which was published in 2009. Miley was all of 16 at the time. In 2000, when Bieber was just six, Britney Spears published her autobiography Heart to Heart to celebrate her 21st birthday. Co-written with her mother, Lynne Spears, this part memoir, part self-help book reflected on her rise to stardom and the challenges facing mothers and daughters. A tell-all book detailing her head-shaving exploits since that innocent age might make for more of a page-turner, but who are we to dictate the literary forays of the stars?

Unlike Spears, whose future held volumes of tabloid-friendly material, plenty of flash-in-the-pan reality TV starlets have tried to write their way to an extra 15 minutes of fame. Gareth Gates, a runner-up in the British Pop Idol, managed to churn out an autobiography at 18. And of course, who can forget - or remember - the ventriloquist who won season two of America's Got Talent? After decades as an unknown county fair performer, Terry Fator shot to fame and recorded the tale of his struggle in Who's the Dummy Now?

Still, Bieber's life hasn't exactly been full of the sorts of trials we are accustomed to reading about in confessional memoirs. A self-taught musician from Stratford, Ontario, Bieber was raised by his mother in middle-class suburbia, before being plucked out of oblivion by a savvy manager who spotted him on YouTube. In short, his clean-cut image couldn't get any squeakier. It remains to be seen how many pages Bieber's 16 years will take to chronicle. Miley Cyrus's memoirs weighed in at 272 pages - although to be fair, if you break it down, that was only 17 pages for each year of her life. By way of comparison, the guitarist Slash took 480 pages to detail the hedonistic days of Guns n' Roses, and Ozzy Osbourne clocked up 416 pages in his autobiography, which also had its fair share of debauchery. Bieber is more likely to pet a bat than bite its head off.

Considering that his most serious addiction is to high-top trainers, it seems somewhat doubtful that First Step 2 Forever will be packed wih tales of rock 'n' roll rebellion. But surely the story behind lyrics like Eenie Meenie Minie Mo Lover requires at least 300 pages of explanation? Possibly not. Reports suggest that the book will be heavy on photos. It is also, astonishingly, to be made into a 3D movie, in which Beiber will star.

If you have already pre-ordered Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story, and are now wondering where to turn your tween attention next, fear not. Fellow squeaky clean star Taylor Swift has told Britain's OK! magazine that she is already keeping notes on "all the crazy stuff and the insane things I've gotten to do". She announced: "I will write my biography for sure." The future of pop autobiographies looks promising enough to keep 11-year-old girls screaming well into 2012.