At face value, Justin Bieber had a spectacular night at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, taking home two trophies and performing a pair of his recent Purpose hits. But the 22-year-old has since revealed that the show made him feel “hollow” and left him skeptical of his peers in the music industry.
“I don’t know about these awards shows,” Bieber wrote in an Instagram post Monday, which, for whatever reason, was accompanied by a photo of sheep grazing in a field below an old Irish castle. “No disrespect to anybody at any of the shows or the people running it … But I don’t feel good when I’m there nor after.”
Bieber was nominated in 12 categories at the BBMAs and took home the awards for Top Male Artist and Top Social Media Artist. But neither accolade -- nor his energetic performances of “Sorry” and “Company” -- gave him the authentic experience he craved.
“I try to think of it as a celebration but can’t help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance,” he continued. “A lot of people in the audience there seem to be worried about how much camera time they will get or who they can network with. When I’m doing a regular show I feel they are there for the right reasons and to strictly have a good time! But these award shows seem so hollow.”
This is just the latest example of Bieber using Instagram to vent his various frustrations. He recently used his account to reveal why he’d no longer be posing for pictures with fans when he’s out in public, saying it made him feel like a “zoo animal.” Not long before that, he explained why he’s canceling meet-and-greets at his concerts, saying they left him feeling “mentally and emotionally exhausted to the point of depression.”
He followed up on Monday by posting a photo of himself with the text, “We all get caught up in striving for the approval of others.” Indeed, it seems he'd rather stay focused on himself and his own, fulfillment-based purpose these days.