But Monday night's (March 30) Comedy Central Roast could be kind of like the launch party for Bieber 2.0 (or 3.0, depending on who's counting). Almost three years after his last hugely popular studio album, Believe, Bieber has been busy on an apology tour of sorts, and maybe that's why he's humbly agreed to get ripped a new one in tonight's comedic smack down.
It'll probably take more than a few hair jokes to get Justin back on the unstoppable pop train he rode from 2009. But his ability to laugh at himself is definitely a start. We asked a cadre of experts to weigh in on what Bieber should do after tonight's roast to keep that train on track.
Pull A Robert Downey Jr.WireImage/Barry King
"It sounds cliche, but it comes down to talent and maturity," Jim Bates of the strategic communications firm Sitrick and Company told MTV News of the "Iron Man" stars epic turnaround -- from substance abuse to box office acclaim. "[Downey] had issues when he was younger, got it together, took career risks and showed what a terrific actor he was -- and now he as well-liked as almost any actor."
Know Your Audience And Give Them What They WantWireImage/Chelsea Lauren
"[Chris] Brown had the toughest challenges of anyone including Justin," Rockstar Entertainment co-founder Marc Byers told MTV News. Byers worked with Brown in his younger years. "But he understood who he was and who his audience thought he was and said 'f--k it, I'm gonna make some hits.'"
Rebuild Your Team From The Bottom...Getty Images Entertainment/Jerod Harris
New York Attorney Stacey Richman has represented everyone from Lil Wayne to Jay Z, D'Angelo and Scout Willis, and, in her opinion, Justin needs to do a teardown.
"It's not just a new sound, manager or hairstyle," she told MTV News. "You need an entire new program going forward... a global approach that looks at where you are now as an individual, understanding yourself and the impression you want to make on the public."
The question comes down to: Who do you want to be and what is the message you're putting out?
...But Keep ScooterGC Images/Noel Vasquez
He found Bieber on YouTube and he's done a pretty good job with Ariana Grande. Just sayin'.
Be Yourself, Not The Weeknd Or D'AngeloGetty Images Entertainment/Rick Kern
While fans eagerly await new music, Bieber dropped the download-only Journals in December 2013... to mostly crickets. Critics said the collection of "Music Mondays" songs sounded too similar to other artists and probably would't have made the cut on one of his albums.
"He had a young teen fanbase and now he's basically turned his back on them because he wanted to be the cool sexy guy," Richman said.
Consider Las VegasGetty Images Entertainment/Denise Truscello/BSLV
"Britney made headlines for her personal life only for a while and people wrote her off. But it was a smart move to do a residency in Las Vegas," Bates told us. Four words: Nostalgia is a thing.
Pick A Producer, Just One
"Think Justin Timberlake and Timbaland," said Jeff Rabhan, chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts, who has worked with Kelly Clarkson, DMX and Kelly Rowland.
"Find the right partner who can write and record with you and create your sound," he added. "Don't go to every pop producer du jour. The most compelling thing about [Bieber] is seeing him play guitar at 13 and singing his heart out. Get back to your true roots and show you're a true artist."
Hit Up Someone Who's Been At It For Years For AdviceGetty Images Entertainment/Christopher Polk/VF11
Yes, the Timberlake comparisons are annoying and so played out, but Bates said seeking counsel from someone who spent 20 years on the road playing clubs, starved a bit and then broke through might offer up some good long-term perspective. "He [Justin] literally went from high school to headlining and the Grammys. Adapting to that can be really hard," he said.
Ditch The Spectacle And Make It About Just YouWireImage/Kevin Mazur
"From an image standpoint he could stand a rebrand and to get away from trying to be urban and be who he is," Rabhan suggested. "Get away from the pyrotechnic spectacle and get a killer live band, put on a killer show and show us the artistry that you have. You can dance but don't make it about 10 backup singers... make it authentic."
Make A Great Record, DuhWireImage/Prince Williams
None of this matters if the songs aren't there, all the experts agreed. "People are still interested in him," Rabhan said. "If he makes a great record, people will be there."