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Justin Bieber - the thrash metal years

Sickly-sweet teen sensation Justin Bieber has obviously been told by his publicists to get a little more edgy. After all, you can only stay the boy next door for so long. The campaign is being fought on two fronts: firstly confessing an unlikely love for the work of Metallica, and secondly, addressing some adult issues on his next album.

The hard rock fandom first: Bieber told GQ that he loved Metallica’s early work. Showing how well he had been briefed by his advisors, Bieber namechecked songs recorded before he was born, including their 1989 single One and 1984's Fade to Black as personal favourites. "Those are my jams," Bieber, said, conjuring up disturbing images of the popster bellowing lyrics like "I have lost the will to live".

Kanye West has been roped in to add a little urban cool to Bieber’s next album Believe. Bieber has used one of the songs to address to sensitive subject of last year’s paternity suit.

"It’s a song about that whole situation with that girl who said she's having my baby - Mariah Yeater," Bieber said. "It's about everything I've gone through." Yeater eventually dropped the suit, and her ex-boyfriend owned up to being the baby’s father.

Despite Bieber’s apparent dismay at the suit, the court case may turn out to have been a career watershed for the singer. The notion that it was even possible for him to have fathered a child could have persuaded his entourage that he was ready to move away from his tweenie fanbase and grow up in public. Now for that joint album with Metallica . . .

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