n 2010, a fresh-faced kid named Justin Bieber took the world by storm with his chart-topping hits "Baby," "Never Let You Go" and "U Smile." In 2011, the heartthrob now knows as The Biebs released a massively successful biopic, Never Say Never, celebrated the vocal dropping of his balls with a much-heralded quote by his manager, Scooter Braun, and managed to weather his first paternity scandal.
But that was all child's play compared to what was waiting for the Canadian superstar in 2012.
This was the year that saw Bieber grow up, both chronologically and artistically. He celebrated the most anticipated eighteenth birthday since the Olsen twins became legal and he released his all-grown-up third album, Believe, which showcases his newfound post-pubescent voice and swagger. He also managed to become a budding music mogul, scandalize the world by giving his pet hamster to a fan, get his heart broken and single-handedly revive Hammer pants along the way.
Here are 20 of our favourite 2012 Justin Bieber moments:
Bieber Goes Hollywood
The Biebs has dipped his toe into the acting world before, famously biting it on an episode of <em>CSI</em>, but as 2012 drew to a close, the singer inked a couple of deals that will make him a much bigger name on both sides of the camera. On the silver screen, Bieber will co-star with actor and Funky Bunch leader Mark Wahlberg in <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mark-wahlberg-justin-bieber-movie-276465" target="_hplink">a basketball movie</a>. On the small one, he'll be the executive producer of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/14/justin-bieber-tv-show-abc_n_2303060.html" target="_hplink">a sitcom</a> based on his pre-fame life.
He Discovered Carly Rae Jepsen
After falling for the irresistible earworm charms of a little tune known as "Call Me Maybe" on a trip back to Canada, Bieber and manager Scooter Braun flew Carly Rae Jepsen to L.A. and promptly signed her to Braun's label, Schoolboy Records. The singer also released a video of himself lipsynching and dancing to his new favourite song along with gal pal Selena Gomez and their famous friends, which instantly went viral and helped to turn "Call Me Maybe" into one of the biggest singles of the year.
He Became Legitimately Infectious
In June of this year, researchers announced that Bieber Fever was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/06/justin-bieber-fever-infectious_n_1575716.html" target="_hplink">more infectious than measles</a>. In the book <em>Understanding the Dynamics of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases Using Mathematical Models</em>, masters student Valerie Tweedle and her professor, Robert J. Smith, took a serious look at the Bieb phenomenon and discovered that it really does behave like a contagious disease, and a dangerous one at that. "Through constant exposure, Bieber fever has incubated and spread. Millions are infected, with more at risk every day. Action is urgently needed," they wrote.
He Returned To His Roots
On the eve of the release of <em>Believe</em>, and his big appearance at the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards, Bieber went back to his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, sat on the very same Avon Theatre steps where he honed his busking skills as a tween and played "Baby." The international star's performance immediately attracted a mob of excited local Beliebers, their cell phone cameras, and their excited squeals.
He Got A Sweet Ride For His Birthday, Immediately Plated It In Chrome
When Bieber appeared on <em>Ellen</em>, the talk show host and dance fiend gave him a fancy Fisker Karma sports car for his birthday. The singer promptly took the hybrid ride, which is a <a href="http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/fisker-karma-series-18-episode-4" target="_hplink">shameless rip-off</a> of Hammerhead I Eagle Thrust by <em>Top Gear</em>'s James May, and pimped it with a chrome plating job and <a href="http://jalopnik.com/5900778/justin-biebers-chrome-fisker-isnt-just-tasteless-its-illegal" target="_hplink">illegal</a> LED lights. The vehicularly fickle teen soon tired of his new toy, though, and <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/24/sean-kingston-justin-bieber-gave-me-his-chrome-fisker-karma/" target="_hplink">gave it</a> to "Beautiful Girls" singer Sean Kingston so that he could go back to <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/11/13/justin-bieber-ferrari-pulled-over-ticketed-west-hollywood-sheriff/" target="_hplink">getting tickets</a> and evading spontaneous combustion in his Ferrari.
He Released His Third Album, Believe
On June 15, the freshly legal Bieber released his third studio album, <em>Believe</em>. Showcasing a new, more mature sound with tracks like "Boyfriend" and "As Long As You Love Me," the record received largely positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on The Billboard 200.<em> Believe </em>failed to garner any Grammy nominations, though, which<a href="http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/scooter-braun-slams-grammys-over-justin-1008040752.story" target="_hplink"> infuriated</a> manager Scooter Braun and <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2012/12/14/justin-bieber-grammy-snub-was-disappointing/" target="_hplink">bummed Bieber</a>. But semi-protege Carly Rae Jepsen insists that the singer will <a href="http://www.indianexpress.com/news/justin-bieber-will-bounce-back-from-grammys-snub-carly-rae-jepsen/1046048/" target="_hplink">bounce back</a> from the snub.
He Graced The Cover of Rolling Stone Again
Venerable music and culture magazine Rolling Stone decided to celebrate the fact that Bieber's adult fans could finally lust after the pop star without feeling creepy by putting the 18 year old on the cover and emblazoning the words "Hot, Ready, Legal" across his increasingly muscular chest. In the accompanying story, the singer discussed his newfound maturity and also lobbed a few golf balls at the paparazzi.
He Vomited On Stage
Bieber certainly kicked off his tour with a bang. Unfortunately, the explosive elements in this case were the <a href="http://popcrush.com/justin-bieber-throws-up-on-stage-arizona/" target="_hplink">contents of his stomach</a>. Part way through "Out Of Town Girl" on the Believe tour's opening night in Glendale, Arizona, the star turned his back to the audience, hunched over, and spewed Exorcist-levels of bile all over the place and ran off. Biebs soon returned to apologize to his fans and finish the concert, asking "Will you love me even though I'm throwing up on stage?" He later admitted that milk was a bad pre-show choice on Twitter.
He Inspired A Sex Doll
In a move that made Rolling Stone's celebration of the singer's legal status look tasteful and measured, American sex toy company Pipedream rung in Bieber's adulthood by releasing a sex doll named<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/07/justin-bieber-sex-doll-just-in-beaver_n_2087030.html" target="_hplink"> Just-in Bever</a>. Biebs was reportedly unimpressed with the "love doll" and threatened legal action. Just-in is currently "out of stock," but no one's quite sure whether that's because the doll sold out or because it was pulled to avoid a lawsuit.
He Told The Haters At the American Music Awards
Bieber performed showstopping renditions of "Beauty And A Beat" and "As Long As You Love Me" at the 2012 American Music Awards, but it was his acceptance speech that made the biggest waves of the night. After winning Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, the pop idol took some time to thank his detractors. "I want to say this is for all the haters who said that I was just here for one or two years," he declared. "I feel like I'm going to be here for a very long time." He also gave his family, his manager and his fans some love in the speech.
He Did Even More Charity Work
Bieber, named one of the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2078898/Lady-Gaga-Justin-Bieber-charitable-celebrities-2011-Celebs-Gone-Good-list.html" target="_hplink">most charitable celeb</a> of 2011, continued his tireless work for the less fortunate this year. Among other things, the star contributed his time and resources to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and visited an impressive but heartbreaking number of ill fans through the Make a Wish Foundation. He also <a href="http://www.inquisitr.com/235127/turn-to-you-justin-bieber-releases-mothers-day-song-for-charity-audio/" target="_hplink">donated the proceeds</a> of his Mother's Day single, "Turn To You," to The Bethedsda Centre, the Ontario women's shelter that helped his mom when she was pregnant with him.
He Feuded With The Paparazzi
Unfortunate run-ins with the paparazzi have clearly become a rite of passage for the modern day superstar and the Biebs suffered his fair share of growing pains this year. In May, the singer got into fisticuffs with a photographer for getting a <a href="http://idolator.com/6538761/justin-bieber-paparazzi-scuffle" target="_hplink">little too close</a> during a date with Selena Gomez. Police had to be called to the scene. In July, the star became involved in a high speed chase with photographer Paul Raef. Raef was charged under a brand new paparazzi law in California, but a judge <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/entertainment-us-justinbieber-paparazzo-idUSBRE8AE03320121115" target="_hplink">threw the case out of court</a> in November. Prosecutors are currently appealing the ruling. In November, the singer <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/127144_Justin_Bieber_Stops_Traffic_to_Confront_Paparazzi/index.html" target="_hplink">stopped traffic</a> to chew out a photographer. He's currently squirting the paparazzi with water bottles.
He Did A Duet With Drake At The SkyDome
Bieber brought fellow Canadian superstar and hometown hero Drake on stage with him when he performed at Toronto's Roger's Centre (formerly and better known as the SkyDome) earlier this month. The pair performed Bieber's "Right Here" and Drizzy's "The Motto" together. Drake also took some time to give his fellow countryman props and thank him for the opportunity to perform at the venue. "I'll tell you, there's very few people I've met in the world that are as talented and incredible as this young man right here," the hip-hop artist told an ecstatic crowd. "I want to thank you for letting me live a childhood dream, which is my first opportunity to perform at the SkyDome. So thank you, my man." The pair then hugged, and <a href="http://gifboom.com/x/0e7ca148" target="_hplink">a beloved gif was born</a>.
He/We Found Out That He Might Be Related To Celine Dion
Perpetuating the stereotyped that all Canadians know each other, genealogists at Ancestry.com announced that Justin Bieber <a href="http://www.aux.tv/2012/10/justin-bieber-might-be-celine-dions-cousin/" target="_hplink">might be distantly related </a>to fellow musical Canuck export Celine Dion. According to the site, the teen heartthrob is the chest-pounding balladress's tenth cousin, three times removed. They also speculated that he might be related to Ryan Gosling and Avril Lavigne.
He Performed At The 100th Grey Cup
Enlisted to help the Canadian Football League recruit a younger audience on the hundredth birthday of its championship, Bieber took the stage as part of this year's halftime show. Biebs and the CFL fell short of being a perfect match, and his short set was peppered with the boos of indignant football fans. His appearance did attract a lot of young eyes and ears to the spectacle, though, and he now gets to say that septuagenarian folk hero Gordon Lightfoot opened for him, so it was probably worth the beating his ego took in the heat of the moment.
He Didn't Get Murdered And/Or Castrated
In November, police reportedly foiled a bizarre and elaborately detailed murder plot involving Bieber, his bodyguard and two other victims. Mark Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane allegedly schemed to murder and castrate the "Baby" singer and the others while in prison with a Belieber-gone-wrong-inmate named Dana Martin who sports a tattoo of the singer on his leg. Fortunately, Staake and Ruane were prevented from carrying out their plans, which involved strangling their victims with paisley ties, when police arrested the pair on outstanding warrants in Vermont.
He Single-Handedly Revived The Reputation of Parachute Pants
Korean viral superstar Psy was the one who had the '90s-style puffy-panted moment at the American Music Awards this year, but it was Justin Bieber who laid the groundwork for the much-maligned style's triumphant return. Between the modernized pair of red harem pants he rocked at the very same AMAs and his moments of black-haremed heartbreak in front of Selena Gomez's house, Bieber has emerged as the new face of the style. Kids these days only know these pants as Justin Bieber pants, unwittingly hammering the final nail in the coffin of the youth of the Hammer Pants generation. Vanity Fair even<a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2012/11/justin-bieber-hideous-harem-pants-american-music-awards" target="_hplink"> did a piece</a> on Biebs and his trousers.
He Performed At The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Living the dream of many a teenage boy, Justin Bieber got to perform at the Victoria's Secret fashion show and hang out and leer at Angels like Miranda Kerr and Adriana Lima both on and off stage. It was a bittersweet highlight for Bieber, though, as his backstage shenanigans with 19 year old model Barbara Palvin allegedly landed him in hot water with longtime girlfriend Selena Gomez. The pair have been on and off again ever since, and rumours surrounding Palvin just won't go away.
Love Games With Selena Gomez
Until November of this year, it seemed that nothing could tear this pair of teen idols apart. But their two-year relationship hit an extremely rock patch when Bieber got a little too close to model Barbara Palvin at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in early November. Their once pure and innocent love has been mired in scandal and social media much-raking ever since, with Gomez's friends and coworkers taking passive aggressive shots at the Biebs on Twitter and gossip rags speculating on all sorts of famous involvement in the situation. Gomez might have gone back to her ex, Nick Jonas! Taylor Swift totally told her old pal to dump that no good Biebs! The two have made a number of attempts at reconciliation, including the dinner that ended in Bieber <a href="http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/73553808.html" target="_hplink">skulking around outside of his love's house </a>with his spirits sagging lower than his infamous pants. The pair were seen kissing over the holiday, but who knows?
He Was Awarded Canada's Diamond Jubliee Medal... In Overalls
While he was back in his home and native land for the Grey Cup celebrations, Justin Bieber was surprised by Canadian Prime Minister and Emperor Palpatine impersonator Stephen Harper, who awarded him with a Diamond Jubliee Medal. Bieber dressed in Scott's Thompson's Idiot Boy costume from <em>The Kids In The Hall</em> to accept the medal, which is awarded to people who have "made a significant contribution to a particular provice, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada," but not everyone was impressed with his sartorial tribute. In the face of a <a href="http://www.gossipcop.com/justin-bieber-defends-overalls-prime-minister-white-trash-concert-hockey-arena-change-clothes/" target="_hplink">public outcry</a>, both Bieber and Harper have been forced to come to the defense of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/24/stephen-harper-justin-bieber-overalls_n_2185856.html" target="_hplink">much-maligned overalls</a>.