Not every YouTube singer becomes a major player. And while Justin Bieber has proven beyond a doubt that he’s got the goods, there might be some blood-borne evidence that he comes from superstar stock.
According to the genealogists at Ancestry.com, Bieber’s family links date back to some of the earliest settlers in Quebec more than 400 years ago and the bloodline extends to one of Canada’s other musical treasures: Celine Dion.
The site claims that Bieber and Dion are 10th cousins three times removed, linked through a French couple born in the early 1600s. But that’s not all. He’s also reportedly 12th cousins with yet another great northern singer, Avril Lavigne and 11th cousins once removed with actor Ryan Gosling. Like Bieber, the latter was born in London, Ontario in 1980, while Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1984.
Bieber, Gosling and Lavigne share common ancestors in Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Bire, both born in France in the early 1600s. The couple married in 1637 and moved to Quebec, where they died 50 years later.
“The great thing about family history is that you never know what you’re going to find,” Ancestry.com researcher Michelle Ercanback told CBS News. “It was a very pleasant surprise.”
Ercanback said researchers started digging up the Bieber family tree about a year ago by scanning teen-idol magazines to collect biographical information about the singer. Though the ties are impressive, she said it’s not clear if they are “sufficient to point to the existence of a superstar gene.”
The site also notes that the name is of German/Jewish descent and that it is derived from the Middle High German word “biber” or “beaver,” which is thought to be a nickname for a hard worker.