Get ready to feel super old, weirdly nostalgic, and possibly angry at YouTube. Almost exactly nine years ago, on January 15th, 2007, Justin Bieber’s first YouTube video hit the interwebs and changed a generation of teenage girls’ lives forever. It wasn’t a slickly produced and dance-fueled music video that we’re used to seeing from the Biebs now, but the first upload that his mom graced the world with does have Justin’s trademark falsetto. He’s shrouded in darkness at a talent competition so his recognizable haircut can only be glimpsed, but otherwise everything that would transform normal people into Beliebers is clearly present.
It would be nearly two more years before Justin actually made it to the big time with the help of Usher and Scooter Braun, but fans recognize that fateful day in 2007 as the true beginning of his career. He’s had many ups and downs in his time in the spotlight as one of the biggest pop stars in the world, most recently bouncing back after a few wayward years. The reminder that Bieber came up via viral love and fan interaction online seems almost quaint at this point, seeing as the same thing seems to happen all the time with Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat omnipresent in our lives.
The idea that Usher and other artists plucked Justin out of the metaphorical ether and made him a superstar overnight isn’t exactly an accurate narrative as far as timeline, but it does seem crazy that his rise seemed like a surprise or via nontraditional methods that long ago. Now, every new artist has their online moment before they released a first album or dropped a hit single. Justin did it all before it was a trend though, which his fans are quick to remind everyone as they post tributes and memories across the internet. An army of Beliebers, born from just one little video posted nearly a decade ago.