As evidenced by the throng of girls who follow him on Twitter, camp out to see his shows and squeal at his every appearance, Justin Bieber is most definitely a teen heartthrob. But that heartthrob status makes Bieber a little uneasy.
“I feel like I just don’t want to be another teen heartthrob, ‘cause that’s just — I just think that that just annoys me,” Bieber told NBC News special correspondent Ryan Seacrest. “To think that that’s what people will — will think of me — I just want to prove people wrong.”
Bieber’s newest album, “Believe” is a step away from his heartthrob status and in the direction of serious musical artist, he tells Seacrest.
“I think ‘Believe’ is really — my new album has really showcased what I’m capable of — especially becoming an 18-year-old and becoming an adult. And hearing older people say, ‘Wow, this new album’s great. Like I didn’t know that was Justin Bieber.’ Or, you know, ‘Wow, like I never used to listen to Justin Bieber’s music, and now I like his music.’ Or — ‘This, ‘As Long As You Love Me,’ that’s Justin Bieber singing?’
Like, I like those reactions, because I feel like they’re now — they’re — judging me based on my music and not based on, you know, my — a flick of my hair. You know?”
Bieber’s mother Pattie Mallette, who recently penned the book ”Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom,” is also part of the interview. She reveals in the book that she almost named her son Jesse. “I called him Jesse the whole pregnancy,” Mallette told Seacrest. “And then, once he was born, I was like, ‘No, he doesn’t look like a Jesse. Justin.’ (Bieber admits being named Jesse “would have been weird”).
Also revealed in the interview: Bieber was not the easiest kid to parent. “There were so many struggles that she had to go through to be able to raise me, as an 18-year-old girl. You know, so I couldn’t imagine raising a child now. So I give my mom — you know, kudos to you, Mom … because I was not easy.”
Mallette was quick to agree: “No, you were not easy … every year, he got kicked out of class … The first day of school (in first grade), kicked out of class … you were so adorable, too.”
Adorable he may be, but Bieber is still missing one thing: A Grammy award. And that’s what he’s striving for next, he told Seacrest. “That’s something that I’ve always — when I was little, like, ‘Oh, my God, like what if I won a Grammy? That would be crazy.’ So that’s one of the things that I’m still striving for.”
You can catch Seacrest’s interview with Bieber and Mallette on TODAY and “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on Thursday, Sept. 13.