The flock of shrieking preteens (and a few shamefacedly excited adults) attending Justin Bieber’s January 23 Philips Arena show will undoubtedly be well versed in the moppet’s history. After all, the eighteen-year-old has already published two (!) memoirs. For the rest of us: a primer on the pop star’s past—including his tutelage under Atlanta impresario and Emory dropout Scooter Braun—courtesy of his mom Pattie Mallette, who wrote a memoir of her own, Nowhere but Up.
» Mallette had Justin when she was eighteen. As a single mom, she spent time on public assistance.
» After Braun begged her to come to Atlanta for a meeting, Mallette Googled him and found the article “Scooter Braun Is the Hustla,” which, she notes, “wasn’t the most encouraging first impression for the mother of a thirteen-year-old.”
» Braun did his own sleuthing, gleaning from Mallette’s Myspace page that she was Christian. He asked if she had a problem with him being Jewish.“Of course not. Jesus was Jewish,” she answered.
» When Mallette and Justin arrived in Atlanta, Braun picked them up at Hartsfield-Jackson in a purple Mercedes.
» The singer’s first stop in Atlanta was an NBA 2K8 video game playdate with record producer Jermaine Dupri. Braun’s advice? “Be prepared to lose.”
» Future mentor Usher originally blew off the pint-sized Biebs’s offer to sing for him, saying, “Some other time, buddy. It’s cold outside.”
This article originally appeared in our January 2013 issue.