This year, the overarching narrative of Justin Bieber in 2013 was shaped by a slew of unfortunate life choices and nasty public backlash: cultural insensitivity; public urination; dissing former presidents; abandoning pets; tardiness; reported drugs; alleged hookers. Let's be honest, Biebs: This one wasn't your best year.
Despite the bad headlines, negativity didn't define the pop sensation's year. In fact, we have seven moments from 2013 that show Bieber is still a stand-up guy who cares a hell of a lot about his family, fans and those less fortunate.
In April, Bieber made history for the Make-A-Wish Foundation after granting his 200th wish—the first recording artist ever to hit the milestone!
Watch footage from the wish above, where he answers questions from eight-year-old Annalysha, who suffers from a life-threatening liver condition. The Biebs not only gives little Annalysha her first kiss, but also gets down on one knee to propose—with a Ring Pop. (D'awww)
"I think Annalysha chose to meet Justin Bieber because Justin Bieber makes her happy," said the girl's mother. "Through all her illness, it takes away from 'I'm sick' and now [it's], 'I'm happy, I get to meet Justin Bieber.'"
Before he hit super stardom, baby Bieber was raised by a single mother in a low-income neighborhood. His childhood experiences inspired him to sign on as brand ambassador for SpendSmart Payments Co.—the maker of a prepaid MasterCard specifically made for teens. The card doesn't let teens spend more than what is on it, has no no credit risk, comes with a smart-spending eBook and loads of helpful online resources.
"When I was a kid, we didn't have a lot of money," the pop star said in a promo for the card. "Me and my family had to watch the money that we spent. It wasn't easy, but I definitely learned some important lessons, like how to save for stuff that I really wanted and how to make a budget."
Learn from Bieber, kids: Teen debt is a real issue.
In October, Bieber visited a small Guatemalan village to help build a school and provide basic necessities for local kids as part of Pencils of Promise.
He recapped the trip in a video blog, calling it "one of the most amazing, powerful experiences of my life." JB said the people he met on his visit "helped me as much as I helped them. You can make a huge difference in this world if you just give to others. It is a feeling like no other. Go out there and help change the world."
Go Beliebers, go!
As one of the most intense tropical storms to ever make landfall, November's Typhoon Haiyan affected millions and flattened entire towns in the Philippines. Bieber acted quickly with an online charity auction that offered fans the chance to hang out with him in the studio for a $10 donation. Beliebers passed the $1,000,000 goal by an extra $164,027!
On December 10, Bieber took it a step further and visited the disaster-stricken area, distributing shirts, toys and basketballs to children. He also played a special outdoor set for everyone.
Kate O'Neill is one of the leaders of the Melbourne Bieber Team, an Australian-based group of Beliebers that raise money for Justin's favorite charities. When the singer was in town for eight Australian shows on his Believe tour in late November, O'Neill had saved up to drive and see Bieber in multiple cities. Her plans were abruptly put on hold after a serious car accident left her in a back brace.
Justin and his team caught wind of the accident via a Twitter campaign called "Justin Visit Kate" started by O'Neill's fellow Beliebers. The singer surprised O'Neill with an intimate acoustic show for her friends and family and even dedicated "One Less Lonely Girl" to her!
Watch a mini-documentary about the entire experience above.
Next to being a pop star, Bieber's most-impressive role in life is being a big brother. Just watch the Instagram video above to see how comfortable half-brother Jaxon is learning how to swim (i.e., doggy paddle) under Bieber's watch.
Just before Christmas this year, Bieber popped up at a Boys and Girls Club screening of his upcoming movie Believe to surprise the underprivileged kids, bringing each one a toy and a hug.
"I remember growing up with not a lot," Bieber said. "I grew up with no toys and I wanna make sure each and every one of you has a great Christmas." He also performing a mini concert! Merry Christmas indeed.
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