Justin Bieber sat down with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday (September 2) to discuss his recent emotional performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. The singer, who broke down in tears after performing his new single “What Do You Mean,” told the talk show host that the experience was “so overwhelming” and that he wasn’t expecting the audience “to support me in the way they did … Last time I was at an award show I was booed.”
It’s been a remarkable few weeks for the Canadian pop singer, who has returned to the music scene after a three-year absence. His song skyrocketed to the top of the charts and the accompanying music video has already been viewed more than 19 million times on YouTube since it was posted on Aug. 30.
The successful performance in front of all his peers at the VMAs also marked a turning point for the Stratford native, who is trying to move on from years of legal trouble and bad behavior. “Stepping into situations, you just can’t help but feel judged, so I was just feeling judged and just wanting to win so badly,” he told Jimmy. “I wanted to do what I love so badly that I just put everything on the line. What was just so special about the emotional moment at the end; it was just authentic, it was real.”
Speaking on his troubled few years, the 21-year-old admits, “I had a bunch of knuckleheads around me, that was pretty much it.” He adds that he was testing the waters to discover what he was okay with and what he wasn’t, and that, “I just happened to be in the spotlight, in front of cameras all the time, and they caught all those moments.”