Pop star Justin Bieber shocked fans on Monday when his team announced that he will cancel the remainder of his Purpose World Tour dates, with the vague explanation given that the singer’s decision was made “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
But in the wake of the announcement, some are theorizing that Bieber might be stepping off the performance stage to focus more intently on his Christian faith — or to possibly launch his own church. That latter possibility was floated on Tuesday by Australia’s “Today Extra.”
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) July 25, 2017
“I am led to believe that the real reason he’s come off the road is because he wants to reconnect with his faith, and maybe even planning to start his own church,” reporter Richard Wilkins said on the show. “Whether he’s looking at teaming up with [Hillsong] … or starting his own church, we’re not quite sure … That’s the word from an inside source.”
Sources affiliated with Hillsong Church — a house of worship that Bieber has affiliations with — also reportedly told TMZ that the cancelation was rooted in the fact that Bieber had “rededicated his life to Christ.”
Of course, there’s no official information that provides any definitive teeth to these claims.
Bieber’s official statement was vague, though Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, did leave a few hints as to why the singer made his decision, taking to Instagram to thank fans and crew, alike, for a good tour run and to apologize for the disappointment some are feeling.
Interestingly, Braun did mention Bieber’s “soul” in his statement.
An incredible run. Congrats to @justinbieber on an incredible tour and thank you to the entire cast and crew for your unending support. Chris and Nick thank you. AEG thank you. Caa thank you. UMG thank you. @sb_projects Team thank you. To the promoters who believed around the world thank you. To the fans from all over the world who took part over the last 16 months over 6 continents thank you. To Justin who gave it his all night after night thank you. And to those that won't be able to see it… on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry. That was never our intent. But a man's soul and well being I truly care about came first and We must all respect and honor that. Justin will be back and I know he looks forward to performing for you and with you all again. One chapter ends and another begins. Thank you again. Now please stop commenting on all my other photos that have nothing to do with this 🙂 just kidding….but I'm not 😂. Jokes aside your support for Justin is inspiring. Cheers.
“To those that won’t be able to see it… on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry,” Braun wrote of the tour. “That was never our intent. But a man’s soul and well being I truly care about came first and we must all respect and honor that.”
Bieber’s faith journey has been on prominent display in recent months, with the star making frequent proclamations of faith to his millions of young fans. The statement on the cancellation, however, offered little insight into what is really happening behind the scenes.
“Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them,” a statement read on both Bieber’s Facebook page and website. “He thanks his fans for the incredible experience of the Purpose World Tour over last 18 months.”
The text, which declined to go into specifics, went on to express Bieber’s gratitude to the cast and crew who participated in 150 shows over the tour’s six-continent run.
“After careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates,” the statement continued. “Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.”
With no details as to the reason, it is unclear what caused Bieber to make such a stark decision to cancel his 14 remaining shows — one that is rattling his most devoted fans, particularly those who were planning to show up and see him in concert.
Bieber’s Facebook page is filled with angry and frustrated comments from disappointed fans, with some demanding to know the reason why he cancelled and others expressing their anger over the abrupt announcement.
But fellow singer John Mayer came to Bieber’s defense on Monday, pushing back against critics who are slamming the performer for cancelling the remaining dates.
In the end, Mayer said Bieber might have his health to consider — something that is vitally important.
When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going. 1/2
— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) July 24, 2017
We've lost so many great artists lately. I give Justin 👍🏼👍🏼 for realizing it was time to call it. You should too. 2/2
— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) July 24, 2017
“When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going,” Mayer tweeted. “We’ve lost so many great artists lately. I give Justin [two thumbs up] for realizing it was time to call it. You should too.”
While a deeper focus on faith — or even a potential church plant — could be the reason, People reported that Bieber insiders told the outlet the singer is okay, but is exhausted after months of touring; he has reportedly been going to church and spending time with friends.
TMZ caught up with the singer on Monday in Santa Monica, California, just hours after the cancellation announcement was made.
Bieber, who appeared calm and content, apologized to anyone feeling betrayed by his decision, but declined to go into specific detail, adding a final parting word to viewers to have a “blessed day.”
Faithwire has chronicled Bieber’s fascinating faith journey, one that appears to be growing by the day.