If there’s one artist that connects fans of different musical genres together, it’s Justin Bieber. Arguably one of pop’s biggest chameleons, Justin has served up an incredible musical career that has picked up a new audience with each album. The world met him as the floppy-haired, adorable heartthrob that every teen girl couldn’t stop drooling over and we watched him transition into a genuinely talented artist that hipsters, dance lovers and R&B fans could all respect and enjoy.
Throughout his numerous phases, Justin has always proved that he knows a thing or two about pop music. His talents in not only his vocal ability but songwriting and production have only increased as he moves further up the industry food chain, and his legacy continues to shine through in other artists. It’s been a long journey, but it’s not over yet. Here are (only) 13 of Justin Bieber’s best tracks. It’s a hard job, but just thank us that you don’t have to do it.
13. One Time
When Justin Bieber stepped onto the scene in a boring grey zip hoodie and a swooshy bowl cut, pausing his video game to answer his phone call from Usher, the world had no idea about the Belieber storm that was about to hit them. But love it or hate it, this song is catchy as hell. Sure, it might be the most bubble gum thing you’ve ever heard, but the overall message is adorable and Justin is too. While his talents definitely got better throughout his career, his ability to make us swoon always stayed the same.
12. As Long As You Love Me ft. Big Sean
This tune is a ‘Bieb-step’ powerhouse with an accompanying cinematic masterpiece of a music video and a collab from Big Sean, what’s not to love? A slightly more grown-up Justin is playing the role of every teen girl’s fantasy and promising them his undying love, and he’s proving that not only can he be a teen hero, but he also can dance like one too.
11. Holy ft. Chance the Rapper
Justin entered his latest era with a whole new outlook on life. Now married to Hailey Bieber, the star has stepped into a healthier life and his love for God prevails in his music. Labelled as ‘devotional R&B’, Justin expresses gratitude for his marriage, life and religion in this catchy hit and teams up with fellow collaborator Chance the Rapper once again to bring the track into the pop stratosphere.
10. Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith
Possibly one of the most iconic collabs, a tiny eleven-year-old Jaden Smith joined the rising heartthrob to create a hit for Smith’s The Karate Kid and the result was massive. The tune is a bouncing pop dream that encourages kids to never give up and focus on their individual courage and confidence. Now how can we not celebrate that?
9. Beauty And A Beat ft. Nicki Minaj
How can anyone forget the time where Justin Bieber’s computer was allegedly stolen and the ‘thief’ was threatening to release the personal footage, only to then be informed that Justin was just pranking us all along and promoting his new song? Classic. The song really is a tune though and Justin went all out on the collaborators. EDM stars Max Martin and Zedd produced the crunchy synths we can’t get enough of and Nicki Minaj’s saucy verse definitely bumps up the track to a whole new level.
8. Hold On
The single off latest album Justice sees Justin step into a new sound completely. Finding a way to bring every musical era of his together, ‘Hold On’ is a synthy track which again introduces the world to the star’s maturity. Referencing dark times, the hit acts as a beacon of hope to overcome worthlessness and loneliness, and it’s bound to be a stadium smash when live shows start back up (we’re counting down …)
7. Where Are Ü Now ft. Diplo and Skrillex (Jack Ü)
This track was the official turning point of Justin becoming a fully-fledged adult pop star and leaving his teen heartthrob status behind. Teaming up with arguably the hottest EDM artists at that time, Justin opened himself to a whole other audience and totally won their hearts. This song was a gamechanger and it will probably be held as one of the best songs either of the trio has made for the rest of their careers.
6. I’ll Show You
This honest, introspective track is one of the best songs Justin has ever written and by far the most personal. It tells his story from diving into stardom at a young age till now. There hasn’t been a moment since his career where the world hasn’t been watching Justin Bieber but as he sings himself, we really don’t know him at all. This track is Justin admitting his weaknesses and his mistakes and he eggs us to keep watching him, because he’s finally discovered the person he wants to be, and he can’t wait to show us all.
5. All That Matters
The bluesy elements in this track hit us all hard and we haven’t really recovered. This song is a melting, sexy, sultry piece of magic that really showcases Justin’s musical talent. The lyrics, which were written about his on-and-off again love Selena Gomez, brought a poetic brush of romance to pop and R&B fans everywhere rejoiced in Justin’s harmonies. This was undoubtedly the star’s prime swoon moment.
4. Love Yourself
The complete opposite of ‘All That Matters’, and basically most of Justin’s other tracks, this was a hit for so many reasons. The bite in this song is incredible and it spreads a message that we’ve all felt ourselves at one point or another in our lives. Justin definitely wasn’t holding back when it came to this song and the result ended in him gaining fans he probably never thought he would. Ed Sheeran is credited with most of the songwriting, but we’re pretty sure there’s some honest feelings from Justin himself chucked in there. The ultimate hate song to an ex, but pulled off with so much grace and effortless finesse.
The larger-than-life hit was a huge turning point for Justin. Coming off from his R&B slow-jam album Changes, the synthesised ‘Anyone’ proved he could dip his toes into any genre
and master it. Again touching on the message of love, the track is a sweet love letter to his wife and references 80s and 90s pop beats to give it a truly cinematic feel. Hailed as a positive anthem, ‘Anyone’ symbolises a brighter year for the star filled with love, faith, possibility and hope.
While ‘Where Are Ü Now’ was a significant turning point for Justin’s career, ‘Boyfriend’ was definitely his first reinvention. Stepping out of his dreamy, boy-next-door persona with a spunky new haircut and threads, Justin came dripping in swag and oozing sexiness with this tune. He was no longer begging to be your boyfriend but showing you why you wouldn’t want to miss out. With a new wave of confidence and a fresh attitude, Justin was only sustaining his spot as a teen star and essentially, the man of your dreams.
1. Baby ft. Ludacris
A debatable pick maybe but definitely the most iconic of the list. This song really does have it all; a catchy chorus, a whipping rap verse, a cameo from Drake in the music video. Despite Justin desperately trying to shake this song off his reputation, it still stands to be one of the biggest defining moments of his career. This song is a hella great pop tune, with Justin’s innocent yet suave voice singing right to you and that damn good opening beat. It might be in there for questionable reasons, but this song is going straight to the history books.
Listen to all of Justin’s best tracks here: