Justin Bieber returned to The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week to announce his first-ever stadium tour. The six-date tour will kick off on August 5, 2017 in California and hit Denver, Minneapolis, East Rutherford and Foxborough before wrapping up on September 5 in Toronto. The news comes while Bieber is still in the midst of his Purpose Tour, having already played 100 dates in 2016.
Bieber’s announcement puts him in the small group of pop stars, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake, who have a big enough fan base to sell out a stadium. It’s an impressive feat and one worthy of a large scale announcement, making The Ellen DeGeneres Show an appropriate venue.
No stranger to the daytime TV set, Monday’s appearance marked Bieber’s 26th time visiting the talk show host, a relationship that began back in November 2009, with Bieber’s only prior national TV appearance taking place on Much in July 2009.
Ellen has been one of Bieber’s most visible and vocal supporters throughout his career, connecting with the singer over his love of pranks, music, and philanthropy, with both celebs heavily involved in charitable endeavors on their own and together. Their friendship has been well documented, with DeGeneres throwing Bieber a high school graduation ceremony on her show, gifting him with a car on his 18th birthday and being one of the celebs to help with his social media countdown to the release of 2015’s Purpose.
During this week’s appearance, DeGeneres took Bieber and her viewers on a trip down memory lane, documenting some of the longtime friends’ most memorable moments. While Ellen’s producers included photos from the pairs’ happier times, what was absent from the reel was a large and sometimes confusing facet of Bieber and DeGeneres relationship. Over their eight-year friendship, DeGeneres has inexplicably taken it upon herself to act as Bieber’s personal damage control spokesperson.
When Bieber was photographed naked by a paparazzi in November 2015, he discussed the incident with Ellen on her show, with both parties making light of the situation— a heavy task considering his young fan base. The interview felt like deja vu, with Bieber having appeared on Ellen’s show two months earlier to talk about posting a nude photo on his Instagram account.
When Seth Rogen posted on his Twitter account and spoke out in interviews about dislike of Bieber and annoyance at the singer’s less than role model-like behavior, DeGeneres smoothed things over, encouraging the comedian to apologize to Bieber on national TV for doing things even Bieber admitted were poor choices.
Following his year of bucket-peeing, egg-throwing, drag-racing and all around embarrassing headlines, Bieber used a surprise appearance on Ellen’s show for her birthday in January of 2015 to make his mea culpa, famously posting an even longer apology video on Facebook following the show.
Bieber isn’t the only star to benefit from the forgiving power of the Ellen effect. Kanye West has also been a frequent guest on DeGeneres’ show, with the daytime host using her widespread appeal to help repair the controversial rapper’s image after the infamous Taylor Swift stage storming. But with Bieber, DeGeneres appears to be always at the ready, armed and prepared to go to bat for the singer at a moment’s notice.
Bieber earned four well-deserved Grammy nominations this week following the release of his critically and commercially successful album Purpose, capping off a 2016 that also included heavily attended world tour and eight new Guinness World Records for feats likes most streams and most singles on the Billboard chart at once. But these professional accolades didn’t mean a scandal-free year.
Bieber again forced fans to question their loyalty to the singer by continually storming off stage during his concerts and punching a fan who got too close in November, leaving the young man bloodied. Considering the latest headlines that pop up when searching Justin Bieber’s name, it’s no surprise the singer was again back in DeGeneres’ chair. What is surprising is that he’s still welcome there.
Even with this week’s stadium tour announcement, Bieber could barely muster up a single iota of enthusiasm, instead relying on DeGeneres to once again be his cheerleader. It’s a role the talk show host has continued to fill much to Bieber’s advantage, but at some point, the allowances for a bona fide pop star with thousands of hours of hands-on media training are going to wear thin. Like Bieber’s millions of fans, it seems DeGeneres also just wants to see the singer succeed, with part of her motivation possibly coming from proving that the years she’s spent rooting for him haven’t been in vain.
Still, we want a Bieber to belieb in, not one that constantly requires damage control from Ellen DeGeneres.