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January 30, 2014

RONN MOTT: Justin Bieber

If I could write a note to Justin Bieber, I would remind him that fame is fleeting and teenage fame goes away quicker than any other kind.

As a record spinner, I go back quite a few years to teenage heartthrobs (from Eddie Fisher … yes, before Liz and the other Hollywood starlets, he was a teenage heartthrob).  Then came Elvis. He took his teenage heartthrob home with him, and then came the Beatles and the Cassidy boys, and on and on. Some of those teenage heartthrobs became decent human beings and some faded away and haven’t been thought about or seen since. Paul Anka was a millionaire at age 16 because of a song he wrote, “Diana,” and went on to write and record many other hits.

Having your riches depend upon young, teenage fans is a tenuous situation. You see, they grow up, their tastes in music change, and if you’re depending on them you are soon to be left in the lurch.

So, all of the stupid things you can possibly do, such as racing a Lamborghini down the streets of Miami, are soon to be things in your past. It doesn’t matter how young and stupid you are, racing a $100,000, rented Lamborghini is really dumb. Now, if you’re trying to gain a reputation like a gangster-rapper, you won’t succeed there either. You’re a puny white kid from Toronto, Canada, and much closer to being a mama’s boy than you are a “gangsta.”

It seems to me you cannot win. It is obvious, except for a 12-year-old, screaming girl, that your days as a famous person are soon to be numbered. And racing down the streets of Miami in a $100,000 car is just speeding up (no pun intended) your scramble to keep yourself famous.

My days of tracking teenage stars are probably numbered. But I’m sure I’ll live long enough to ask that most important question: “Whatever happened to Justin Bieber?”

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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