Pop star Justin Bieber was raised by a single mom in the small town of Stratford. Bieber, whose debut album My World hit stores in November 2009, is a true overnight success, having gone from an unknown, untrained singer whose mother posted YouTube clips of her boy performing, to a budding superstar with a big-time record deal, all in just two years.
Bieber always had an interest in music. His mother gave him a drum kit for his second birthday and, as he tells it, he was "basically banging on everything I could get my hands on."
But it was an obscure talent contest in his hometown, in which the 12-year-old Bieber finished second that put him on the road to superstardom. As a way to share his singing with family, Justin and his mom began posting clips of Bieber performing covers of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Ne-Yo on YouTube.
Within months, Justin was an Internet sensation, with a large following of fans, and an eager manager arranging for the teenager to fly to Atlanta to consider a record deal. There, Bieber had a chance meeting with Usher, who eventually signed the young singer to a contract.