Over the past two years, world-dominating singer Justin Bieber, 24, and ascendant star Post Malone (née Austin Post), 22, have developed a friendship so close that they’ve started to resemble one another. This week, Post revealed that he’s planning a “nice little” bachelor party for his buddy, who recently proposed to Hailey Baldwin. “We’re gonna do some fishin’, we’re gonna do some hangin’ out,” he drawled to a gaggle of fans and gossip reporters, an unlit cigarette hanging precariously from his lip.
These are two of the most charming dirtbags in music, and at this point their bromance feels cosmically ordained. But how did it begin? Maybe they’re mutual fans. Perhaps Post sees something of a professional mentor in Bieber, who shot to fame on YouTube long before anyone had heard of a “Soundcloud rapper.” Or else it’s simply a matter of shared interests: Two dudes with big platforms, ready cash, some weird ideas about the way the world works, and a whole lot of Bud Light and free time on their hands. In any case, Post and Biebs appear to be besties, and we’ve put together a timeline to help you trace the history of their friendship, from megachurch money gossip to Coachella glory.
August 2015: Post Malone, riding high on the success of hypnotic breakout hit “White Iverson,” signs to Republic Records, part of Universal Music Group. (Justin Bieber is signed to Def Jam, also part of UMG.) Meanwhile, Bieber gears up to release the first single from his album Purpose, “What Do You Mean.”
March 2, 2016: Justin Bieber shares a photo of himself and Post Malone hanging out to his many millions of Instagram followers.
March 8, 2016: Bieber handpicks Post Malone to open on his Purpose tour, prompting articles with headlines like, “Who Is Post Malone and Why Is He Opening for Justin Bieber?” Meanwhile, “White Iverson” had already reached its chart peak at #14 back in January—coincidentally, the same week Bieber’s single “Sorry” first hit #1.
April 13, 2016: A photo surfaces showing Post Malone with his hand on Bieber’s throat, apparently after Bieber put out a cigarette on Post’s arm.
Two hours later, in a series of tweets, Post Malone says the choke wasn’t a real fight: “He’s my big brother and we like to rough house… if we was fighting someone would have done something instead of just sit around while the beibs [sic] gets chokeslammed.” Bieber then posts a photo where he’s the one choking Post.
September 8, 2016: Post Malone releases “Deja Vu,” a song produced by Frank Dukes and featuring vocals from Bieber. Post writes into Genius in praise of Bieber: “He’s super dope. He has such a driven work ethic. If he wants to get something done, he gets it done. Super talented. Super dope writer. He’s my big bro, I love him.”
June 2017: Post appears on the H3H3 Podcast, where he and Bieber speak on the phone and proceed to trade compliments for a full minute, each telling the other that he, in fact, has “the best smile in the game.”
July 24, 2017: A year and half into the Purpose tour, in which he seems increasingly disinterested, Bieber cancels the remainder of the scheduled dates. The cancelation prompts speculation about Bieber’s relationship with megachurch Hillsong Church, as TMZ suggests that “Justin Bieber Canceled His Tour Because of Christ.” Bieber denies that, then posts an apologetic Instagram statement explaining, “I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind heart and soul to be sustainable.”
November 2017: Post Malone, though still friends with Bieber, tells Rolling Stone that Hillsong is “culty” and claims Bieber has given the church “like, $10 million”:
He adds, “He’s gotten super-religious recently. Real culty.” He’s referring to Hillsong, a megachurch that Bieber belongs to. “It’s not culty!” [girlfriend] Ashlen interjects. “It’s a total cult,” Malone continues. “He’s already given them, like, $10 million. Those are the worst kinds of people. I used to be super-religious. I believed in God. But now I see through it. It’s nice to support something you believe in, I guess, but people are spending so much money, and God doesn’t care that your church has a fucking gold roof.” I ask if he’s shared these thoughts with Bieber. “We don’t talk about this stuff,” he says. (A source close to Bieber denies that he’s given $10 million.)
December 2017: Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz goes to Rolling Stone to refute Malone’s claims, saying, “Justin has not given our church $10 million, and we do not have gold ceilings. We do not even own a church building. So that gives you a little insight about how serious you can take his observations about anything to do with us.”
January 2018: Justin Bieber screenshots himself trying to Facetime Post, who apparently didn’t pick up.
April 16, 2018: Justin Bieber and Post Malone hang out in person and spend a weekend bro-ing out in Coachella, sitting at the piano together, and posting grotesque close-ups of a man who could be either Post Malone or Bieber’s childhood friend Chaz Somers. Post performs at the festival; Bieber does not perform but instead commits an act of vigilante justice, per TMZ.
May 1, 2018: Justin Bieber congratulations Post on the release of his new album Beerbongs & Bentleys.
June 1, 2018: Post performs at Governor’s Ball, where “Deja Vu” is sung but Bieber is not present, instead appearing on a backing track.
June 29, 2018: Bieber, performing live for the first time in 2018, takes the stage during a Post Malone concert at the Hollywood Bowl to sing “Deja Vu.” According to The Blast, Justin Bieber professed his mad bro-love for Malone: “I love you with all my heart… I’m rooting for him. Everyone give it up for Post Malone!”
July 20, 2018: Shortly after Bieber’s engagement to Baldwin, Post angles for a role in the wedding: “I’ll be the flower boy—is that a thing?” he tells TMZ. “Or the ring bearer.”
So what’s next for this duo? Will they release a collaboration? Will Bieber get a face tattoo? Will Post recruit Beiber to perform at his recently announced curated festival “Posty Fest”? We can’t wait to find out, and we hope they have a good time fishing.