Since Justin Bieber first arrived on the scene in 2009 with his first single, “One Time,” he’s gone through a lot of stages. At first, he was the adorable 15-year-old with the powerful voice that everyone loved, and as he got older, his talent kept growing. Then, there was his downfall, followed by an apology tour that included a weeklong stint on The Ellen Show. Now, he seems to be in a totally different phase of his life — one that has included canceling the remainder of his Purpose World Tour. But on Wednesday night, the singer explained his canceled tour dates in an emotional Instagram post for his fans, and this is hardly the first time Bieber’s gotten raw and real about his struggles recent years.
Since Bieber has tried to make good after his 2014 arrest (and the erratic, rebellious behavior that also occurred during that time), he’s gotten real with his fans and the world about the mistakes he’s made and the struggles he’s faced. It’s easy to see why he’d want to rebel — it can’t be easy to be thrust into the spotlight in such a huge way at such a young age. But lately, he’s often been ready to offer up an apology or an explanation, even when he shouldn’t feel obligated to.
Here are the times in recent history where Bieber has come clean about what’s going on in his life, on social media and off.
1. His Explanation For Canceling His Tour
According to Bieber’s lengthy Instagram post, he needs to take time off to ensure that his career is “sustainable,” so he can avoid burning himself out in the future. Judging by his words, it seems like this is definitely the appropriate time for Bieber to take a step back.
2. When He Threatened To Make His Instagram Private
After fans tore apart what they thought was a relationship between Bieber and Sofia Richie (it was never clear if they were just friends or something more), Bieber took to Instagram to tell them how seriously he takes their hate. In his caption, he wrote:
He eventually did delete his Instagram, but reactivated it not very long after.
3. When He Shared The Reason Behind His “Better At 70” Tattoo
It seems that Bieber has been very introspective this year, and in this post, he showed off his newest tattoo, along with the reason why he got it — as a reminder for him to be better every day, despite his past mistakes.
His caption said:
4. When He Talked About What He Learned While Growing Up
The Bert Show on YouTube
In an interview with Atlanta radio morning show The Bert Show in 2016, Bieber owned up to his mistakes, admitting that he’s had to make some serious changes in his life in order to become a better person — and to figure out who he could trust. He said:
5. When He Compared Himself To Amy Winehouse
Bieber opened up about struggling with depression, comparing himself to Amy Winehouse, in a 2015 cover story for NME. After watching Amy, he could see a lot of similarities between the way paparazzi treated Winehouse and the way they treat him, which struck a chord with him. He said:
6. When He Explained Why He Left A Concert Mid-Show
Back in October 2016, Bieber stormed off stage during a concert in Manchester, England, when fans wouldn’t stop screaming. Later, he reportedly took to Twitter to explain why he’d done that, but deleted the message not long after. According to Us Weekly, his tweet said:
After his somewhat sordid past, it’s clear that Bieber’s is trying to turn over a new leaf and remains open to sharing personal things with his fans and followers. After the break he’s taking now, there’s a chance he’ll come back rested and better than ever. He’s made it clear that’s the goal.