News From the Future: Justin Bieber's Star Falls in 2011

Filed under: Celeb News & Interviews

justin bieber

Credit: Vanity Fair

Remember Justin Bieber? He was something of a teen idol back in 2011.

Sure, you remember. The bald guy. He played the dad on that sitcom a few years ago, the one with Justin Timberlake as the cantankerous grandfather.

Bieber was riding high back in the days of Facebook and Blu-ray, but you can almost pinpoint the moment when his star started to fade. It was about the time Styleite.com reported his face could no longer sell magazines.

Although Bieber was still performing to sell-out crowds when he appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in February 2011, according to the website, it was the magazine's worst-selling issue in 12 years.

For those of you who don't watch the History Channel, a "magazine" contained bound sheets of paper (called "pages") with ink impressions on them that formed words and pictures. Mostly pictures.

No, not a book. Books are those things in the background in ads for personal injury lawyers. They went out of fashion about the same time as Bieber and literacy.

Back in the day, Vanity Fair sold about 342,000 copies per month. The editor put Bieber on the cover, and sales went down to 246,000 copies. Granted, the people who read Vanity Fair were not exactly Bieber's target demographic. They were an urbane and erudite group who preferred covers featuring naked portraits of Demi Moore (before President Miley Cyrus nominated her to the Supreme Court).

But Bieber's declining popularity also could be seen on the cover of Teen Vogue. When his face was on the cover in October 2011, Styleite reports sales of the magazine went down 12 percent. There was a similar problem when he appeared on the cover of People magazine in April. Sales were down 23 percent.

This caught the journalism world by surprise. "Who knew 12-year-olds didn't buy magazines?" Styleite quotes a Vanity Fair editor.

Ironically, three years later, no one was buying magazines. Or books. Or newspapers. That editor was last seen holding a cardboard sign reading, "Will correct your grammar and punctuation for food."

At least Bieber has his signature line of orthopedic shoes to fall back on.

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