Justin Bieber follows a similar path as Esmée Denters, but with exponentially more success.
A paragon of the power of YouTube to catapult regular people into mega-fame, Justin Bieber emerged from Canadian obscurity to international dominance in a matter of two years.
In early 2007, Justin’s mother began to post videos of her son’s performances onto YouTube. Eventually, the videos caught the attention of many viewers, who were intrigued by the fact that a young white boy was singing R&B hits, and with such acuity.
By 2008, an executive named Scooter Braun had viewed Justin’s singing videos and invited the young talent out to Atlanta to meet with him and multi-platinum recording artist Usher. By the end of the year, Bieber had inked a deal with the two and was well on his way to completing recording of his first EP, My World.
Before the debut of any of his songs, a buzz was created online in late 2008 to hype Justin’s impending explosion onto the scene. In 2009, Justin made a splash on pop radio with “One Time,” and the rest is history from there.
Justin’s rise to fame, when you look at it, was an odd and winding trip. Typically, young stars (like Usher himself or Justin Timberlake) are groomed from the get-go by big-time coaches to be stars. While Bieber received the same treatment, he was not scouted in a traditional sense by a talent scout visiting schools or hunting for the next big thing through auditions. Justin himself wasn’t even an active member in his hunt for fame. Unlike Esmée, he never particularly posted any videos of himself.
What results is what we may, for the purpose of this argument, call the Zeddie Little Effect. Someone who does not go about actively seeking popularity ends up garnering attention and goes along with it once he finds out he’s a part of something big. Of course, with millions and millions of dollars at stake, wouldn’t you?