Singing or sinking? Justin Bieber hits new low - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Singing or sinking? Justin Bieber hits new low

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - For more than a year, Justin Bieber has had more tabloid hits than Billboard hits: The singer's music career has taken a backseat to his wild boy antics, and a new arrest for a DUI charge marks a new low for the Grammy-nominated pop star.

Bieber's arrest Thursday is another sign of the crazy lifestyle that has taken over the 19-year-old's image - but a more serious one given the gravity of his alleged offenses. Authorities say Bieber failed a field sobriety test early Thursday and he is facing driving under the influence charges after driving nearly twice the speed limit on a Miami Beach street. Police said he also resisted the arrest and smelled of alcohol.

After he was charged, some key industry watchers were hesitant to talk about the Canadian-born singer's woes and what it would mean to his imploding career.

But rapper Macklemore, 30, was sympathetic. He said if he had become a mainstream musician when he was Bieber's age, people would also see his struggles.

"I think it's challenging for anybody to have your life be a spectacle and to be challenged and critiqued and judged. And it's definitely hard if you've never had any normalcy in your adult life or in your teenage life," said Macklemore, who has struggled with substance abuse. "I think that's very challenging. I think if I had blown up at 22 or 23, I think you would have seen me do some (crazy stuff) in public."

The new year kicked-off in dramatic fashion for Bieber: Detectives searched his California home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence that the singer was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbor's home. The investigation garnered more attention than his album release, which happened just days earlier.

"Journals" was released in December and has had some success: some singles have hit then Top 40 thanks to digital sales. But it's miles away from the phenomenal, chart-topping success he enjoyed when he debuted as a cherub-faced, soft-voiced teenager in 2009. Since his arrival onto the music scene, he's released multiple platinum albums - five of which have debuted at No. 1 - and has clocked hit single after hit single, from "Baby" to "Boyfriend." His full-length 2010 debut, "My World 2.0," was nominated for two Grammy Awards, including best pop vocal album and best new artist, where his loss surprised many.

Bieber hasn't had that kind of success for a while.

His second 3-D film, "Justin Bieber's Believe," flopped when it debuted in December and grossed just $3.1 million during its first three days around the Christmas holiday. In comparison, his 2011 film, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," grossed $12.4 million on its opening day and $29.5 million during its opening weekend. Bieber has also lost edge onstage during his recent tour. At a stop in New Jersey in August, he was sluggish onstage and appeared to lip sync throughout the night. He didn't dance as strongly as he has in the past, and he seemed to be uninterested at times onstage.

He's remained in the headlines though - for all the wrong reasons. Last year represented a litany of lows, from clashing with a paparazzo to fainting at a show to being photographed smoking marijuana. Some of his troubles have reached the bizarre: German authorities charged him thousands of dollars after he abandoned a pet monkey that they seized from him for failing to have proper vaccination papers; the singer had to apologize to Bill Clinton after cursing the former president and spraying his photo with cleaning fluid in a New York City restaurant kitchen.

Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, was being honored as part of Billboard's Power 100 event in Los Angeles on Thursday, but he didn't attend. Instead, he offered support to Bieber on Twitter, telling the singer he loved him.

"i will act in the manner of someone who truly cares. that is all I have to say. thanks for all those concerned," Braun tweeted. "Been a long day. Bottom line is we are defined by how we handle adversity. Be there when it counts. Love fully in good times and bad."

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Braun said his client had "got a little bit into trouble," when asked about the formerly squeaky clean singer's woes. In the same interview, Usher, Bieber's mentor, said his troubles are part of his maturation.

"The beautiful part about it is that those that are invested in a long term story you understand that there are peaks and valleys in every person's life some," the R&B star said. "Unfortunately the reality is he has to live with a camera in front of him, but what he chooses to do on or off camera is analyzed or scrutinized in some off way."

As a result of the charges, Bieber could automatically lose his license for a year and he could face a fine up to $1000 and 50 hours of community service. The ramifications for his career are less clear. There have been plenty of music stars who have been entwined in far more serious legal trouble or scandal, and have rebounded thanks to the power of a hit single and/or an image makeover.

While his fan base may be dwindling, he still has key support from those in the music industry,

"I don't know Justin and I don't know what he's involved in. All I know is if drugs are involved and I hope they are not, they're lethal," music mogul Clive Davis said in an interview Thursday after Bieber's arrest. "He's a young man with strong talent that has really found an audience, so I'm sure we wish him well."

"I guess he could just focus on his career most of all," added Jennifer Hudson, sitting next to Davis. "All we can do is wish him the best, you know. He'll find his way."



MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - When he debuted five years ago, Justin Bieber was a mop-haired heartthrob, clean cut and charming. But a series of troubling incidents have put his innocent image at risk, and none more so than his arrest on DUI charges Thursday.

Police say they arrested a bleary-eyed Bieber - smelling of alcohol - after officers saw him drag-racing before dawn on a palm-lined residential street, his yellow Lamborghini traveling at nearly twice the speed limit.

The 19-year-old singer later admitted smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication, police say. Unlike previous episodes, this arrest has him facing potential jail time.

Bieber was charged with DUI, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest without violence. His Miami-Dade County jail mug shot showed the singer smiling in a bright red inmate jumpsuit, his hair still stylishly coiffed.

He was arrested with R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff, after police say they raced two luxury vehicles down the street at 4:09 a.m., with two other vehicles apparently being used to block off the area.

Police Chief Ray Martinez said the singer was initially not cooperative when the officer pulled him over. Martinez said the singer also had an expired Georgia driver's license.

Police said Bieber was driving the Lamborghini and Sharieff was driving a Ferrari. Both cars were towed. Police say Bieber was clocked at 55 to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone near a high school, youth center, golf course, city firehouse and small apartment buildings.

According to the arrest report, Bieber "had slow deliberate movements" and appeared to be in a stupor when the officer ordered him to exit his vehicle. Bieber was arrested after repeatedly refusing to put his hands on his vehicle so the officer could pat him down to look for weapons, the report said. It says he cursed several times at the officer and demanded to know why he was being arrested. At one point, Bieber said to an officer: "What the f--- did I do, why did you stop me?"

Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyzer, police said. Results haven't been released.

"I think this case will proceed hopefully as any other case would proceed," said Bieber's attorney, Roy Black, whose other celebrity clients have included Rush Limbaugh and William Kennedy Smith.

Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 percent or more - a level the 5-foot-9, 140-pound star could reach with one drink.

For a first DUI offense, there is no minimum jail sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.

A Miami-Dade County judge set Bieber's bond at $2,500 on Thursday afternoon. Sharieff's bond was set at $1,000 for a DUI charge.

Bieber left jail about an hour after court, popping through a window of his black SUV in a black hoodie and sunglasses to wave to crowds of reporters and young girls waiting to see him. He reportedly spent far more money at a Miami strip club Monday night, when the King of Diamonds club tweeted that Bieber ordered $75,000 in dollar bills. The club's operator later acknowledged that was an exaggeration, and that the singer only stayed about an hour.

Bieber and his large entourage were escorted to a closed-off section of the club. They enjoyed the dancers and ordered a large amount of bottled water, but no alcoholic beverages were sold to them, said Ricky "Disco Rick" Taylor in a statement.

"He had a lot of fun," Taylor said. "We hope he returns again."

The Canadian-born Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut "My World" was released. The singer from Ontario had placed second in a local singing contest two years earlier and began posting performances on YouTube, according to his official website. The videos caught the attention of a talent agent and eventually led to a recording contract.

He was positioned as clean-cut and charming - even singing for President Barack Obama and his family at Christmas - but problems began to multiply as he got older.

Bieber has been accused of wrongdoing in California but has never been arrested or charged. He is currently under investigation in a felony vandalism case after a neighbor reported the pop star threw eggs at his house and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

A neighbor had previously accused Bieber of spitting in his face, and a paparazzo called deputies after he said Bieber kicked him, but prosecutors declined to file charges in either instance. He was also accused of reckless driving in his neighborhood, but in October prosecutors refused to seek charges because it was unclear whether Bieber was driving.

His arrest in Miami is unlikely to affect the egg-throwing investigation, which included nearly a dozen detectives searching Bieber's home last week searching for video surveillance and other evidence that could be used to pursue a vandalism charge.

Bieber is also being sued by a former bodyguard who says the singer repeatedly berated him, hit him in the chest and owes him more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages. The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles next month.

Bieber's arrival in Florida earlier this week also is under investigation. Authorities in the suburban Miami city of Opa-locka are investigating whether the singer was given a police escort when he landed Monday at the Opa-locka Executive Airport.

Police escorts from the airport are not uncommon, but they must follow procedure because they involve city vehicles, Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said. Administrators had not authorized any escort for Bieber in this case.

"There's a procedure," Chiverton said. "These things must be approved, there's a process."

Despite all his legal troubles, the charges against Bieber likely won't put him at risk of being deported or denied entry into the U.S., said immigration attorney Ira Kurzban.

According to U.S. immigration law, authorities do not revoke an individual's visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime or has been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A judge has set pop singer Justin Bieber's bail at $2,500 on charges of drag racing, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.

Bieber was arrested earlier Thursday after police said he was speeding down a residential street in Miami Beach in a yellow Lamborghini. Officers say he had an expired license and was initially not cooperative when he was pulled over.

Police say Bieber admitted that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription medication.

Another R&B singer, Khalil, also was arrested on charges of drag racing and DUI. Police said Khalil was driving a Ferrari.

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Miami Beach, FL (WXOW) - Police said they have arrested Justin Bieber for drag racing on a Miami Beach street and failing a sobriety test.  Officials said R&B singer Khalil was also arrested for drag racing.

According to police, Bieber was driving a Lamborghini and Khalil was driving a Ferrari.  Officers saw the two cars racing at 4:09 a.m. Thursday.  

Police said Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyzer and processing.  He was then transported to the Miami-Dade County jail.

Bieber and Khalil are expected to appear in court Thursday.


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