12:57pm PT by Lars Brandle, Billboard
Justin Bieber Announces Retirement on Twitter
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
Justin Bieber handed a bitter Christmas present to millions of Beliebers.
Just before midnight on Christmas Eve, the singer tweeted that he was "officially retiring."
However, Bieber calmed the nerves (and likely confused the minds) of his nearly 48 million followers about 40 minutes later, saying that he was "here forever."
The theme of Bieber's retirement popped up -- and was dismissed -- last week, when the singer told radio station Power 106 FM that his next album would be his last. "The new album … I’m actually retiring," he said. "I’m just gonna take some time. I think I’m probably going to quit music." Scooter Braun, his longtime manager, quickly defused the bomb, saying that Bieber was "just kidding" and was "taking a break just to make music and relax ... take some time for himself for the first time since he was 12."
Without giving a cast-iron explanation for his tweets, Bieber did cite his love-hate relationship with the media.
My beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 25, 2013
The media talks a lot about me.They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle.— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 25, 2013
And he sounded-off with a Christmas-vibed message.
Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas IM HERE FOREVER— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 25, 2013
Whether Bieber will actually hang up his mic for good, only time will tell. But the timing of his announcement will undoubtedly give the singer a bit of extra publicity, just in time for the release of his new movie, Believe, which opened worldwide on Christmas Day.