Canadian teen pop star Justin Bieber announced he will "officially" retire in a tweet posted on Christmas Eve.
My beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 25, 2013
He continued, "The media talks a lot about me.They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle." Then, invoking another child prodigy known for this day, Bieber finished, "Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas IM HERE FOREVER."
The announcement follows hints earlier this month that the singer was seeking to end his time in the spotlight. In an interview with Los Angeles radio station Power 106 on December 17, Bieber told host Kurt "Big Boy" Alexander, "After the new album, I'm actually retiring, man. I'm retiring." He soon backtracked, sounding as if that decision wasn't yet final, and explained, "I want to grow as an artist, and I'm taking a step out, I want my music to mature."
It was an otherwise difficult 2013 for the 19-year-old, who was discovered on YouTube in 2008 by American manager Scooter Braun and soon grew to global fame under the tutelage of R&B star Usher Raymond. The Hall of Shame inductee found himself in several PR disasters: fender benders, neighborhood disputes, signing "Hopefully she would have been a Belieber" in the Anne Frank house guestbook, and, perhaps most damning, his public urination in a restaurant bucket.
Bieber was most recently seen at the red carpet premiere of his second feature film, Believe, which unlike 2011's fame-charting concert doc Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, reportedly focuses on repairing the singer's ailing image. Believe opens wide Christmas Day.