Justin Bieber got fans revved up earlier this week when he posted some pictures from the studio suggesting that he might be prepping a return to music after more than a year away due to health issues. Well, stage two of a potential return took place on Thursday night (Feb. 1) in Toronto, when Bieber performed a surprise short set of classics and recent hits at Drake’s 2,500-capacity downtown club History.
The “Drew House x Toronto Maple Leafs” show found Bieber, 29, rocking one of his royal blue and gold NHL Drew House all-star jerseys as he took a seat on a stool for a mellow run through such early favorites as 2010’s “Eenie Meenie,” as well as a jazzy, lounge version of his breakthrough 2010 hit “Baby,” the remix of SZA’s “Snooze,” “Ghost,” “Peaches” and “Hold On,” according to footage of the show posted by fans. In another video, Bieber appeared to call out to the audience for his pal The Kid LAROI to join him on stage, but the “Stay” singer did not materialize. Bieber then flashed a peace sign and said “love you guys so much” before leaving the stage.
Bieber is one of the honorary celeb co-captains of this weekend’s 2024 NHL all-star game, along with Will Arnett, Michael Bublé and Tate McRae.
Bieber got Beliebers beliebin’ again this week when he posted a series of pictures of what appeared to either rehearsals or a recording session in which the singer was seen singing in a studio. At press time a spokesperson for Bieber had not returned Billboard‘s requests for additional information on the recording studio pics or the Toronto gig.
The pictures got fans thinking that JB might be working on his first album of new material since 2021’s Justice. After launching a world tour in support of that LP and his its predecessor, 2020’s Changes album in Feb. 2022, Bieber revealed in June 2022 that he’d been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which had resulted in “full paralysis” on one side of his face, leading to the postponement of some dates.
He was back on stage after a break, then forced to come off the road again after a Sept. 6, 2022 gig at the Rock in Rio festival due to what he deemed ongoing health issues. At the time, Bieber said that he needed to “make my health the priority now,” announcing that he would take a break from touring for an indeterminate amount of time to rest and recuperate. A week later, Bieber postponed the next month of dates, then shortly after he cancelled all the remaining shows originally scheduled through March 25, 2023.
Since then the singer has kept a relatively low profile, with the Toronto show representing his first public gig in more than a year.
Check out footage of Bieber’s surprise show compiled by fan site Justins Tour Updates below.
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