Justin Bieber Addresses ‘Retirement’: ‘I Don’t Know If That’s A Joke’

Singer fuels retirement rumors on the 'Believe' red carpet, while manager Scooter Braun says he's just taking some time off 'for himself.'

Say it isn’t so!

Days after making headlines for claiming that he would be retiring from music after the December 23 release of Journals, Justin Bieber‘s team has maintained that the whole thing was just a joke. But when MTV News caught up with the Biebs himself at the “Believe” premiere, he wasn’t so sure.

During MTV’s Wednesday (December 18) livestream of Bieber’s “Believe” premiere red carpet, Christina Garibaldi asked the teen phenom to elaborate on the “joke.” Bieber was stone-faced in his response.

“I don’t know if that’s a joke,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Moments earlier, manager Scooter Braun had insisted that Bieber’s impending “retirement” was nothing more than a short break to make time “for himself.” Still, Braun assured viewers, Bieber would be back in the studio because “that’s where he likes to be.”

So what will the Biebs do during his business hiatus? Spend time with family, he said.

“I wanna get to know my family more,” he told MTV News, adding that he wants to use 2014 to “figure out myself as a man.” “I’ve been away so much, I’ve missed a lot of great years with my brother and sister.”

As for his unofficial family, his Beliebers, the 19-year-old is thrilled to be sharing his latest film with them and promised that “something special” would be coming in the new year. “I want to say thank you so much to each and every one of you for staying by my side,” he said, addressing his fans. “I love you with all my heart.”

Bieber was looking dapper on the purple carpet Monday night, donning a white, unbuttoned shirt under a red blazer and shades to shield his peepers from the blinding flashes. Underneath them, Bieber’s barely-there mustache also made an appearance.