"Everybody saw me sick, and it felt like no one gave a s--t."
Justin Bieber has lived a very public life from a very young age, and like many stars who grow up in the spotlight, it's been filled with incredible highs and terrible lows. And all the way, he says it was "Lonely."
"It's lonely at the top," has long been a popular adage, and there may be some truth to it. Especially when you're not emotionally equipped to deal with all the fame, money and accolades that early success can bring.
Now, having emerged from the other side of his darkest chapters, Bieber is ready to share an unflinching look at his tween years as a global superstar and the troubled year to come with a powerful new music video for his single "Lonely."
In a bit of perfect casting, Bieber invited "Room" and "Wonder" star Jacob Tremblay to portray himself during the swoop-haired "Baby" years in the clip. To say the 14-year-old actor nails the pain and loneliness of Bieber's story is an understatement.
Tremblay is a world-class talent and was a huge get for Bieber to share this piece of his story. It also got us thinking that now might be a good time to start filming the inevitable Bieber biopic with Tremblay in the lead as the young pop star.
Seriously, he embodied the look, swagger and attitude of Bieber that beautifully in this video.
As for the lyrics, they paint a picture of Bieber's inner struggles during these years that would manifest in destructive and self-destructive behavior just a few more years down the road.
As Tremblay prepares to hit the stage from a massive (and empty) dressing room, Bieber sings with aching authenticity, "What if you had it all / But nobody to call? / Maybe then you'd know me / 'Cause I've had everything / But no one's listening / And that's just f--king lonely / I'm so lonely"
He goes on to delve a little into his darker chapters, adding, "Everybody knows my past now / Like my house was always made of glass / Maybe that's the price you pay / For the money and fame at an early age / And everybody saw me sick / And it felt like no one gave a shit / They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid."
The video is deceptive in its simplicity, heartbreaking and touching as it moves toward a surprising and powerful ending that perfectly encapsulates Bieber's message as he reflects back on his own life and colorful legacy.
Justin Bieber is scheduled to perform the song this weekend as musical guest on "Saturday Night Live."
Got a story or tip for us? Email TooFab editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.