Justin Bieber gets vulnerable in raw, stripped-back performance of Lonely on SNL

Performing for his fourth time on SNL, Bieber presented a raw, stripped-back version of his song Lonely about the isolation of his childhood fame. 

Justin Bieber gets vulnerable in raw, stripped-back performance of Lonely on SNL Photo

Performing on the long-running comedy sketch show for his fourth time opposite host Issa Rae, Bieber presented a raw, stripped-back version of his song "Lonely" about the isolation of his childhood fame. 

The pop singer, 26, skipped the traditional stage setup for his performance, choosing to start in a backstage dressing room eyeing his reflection in a mirror before wandering through the quiet, dimly lit halls of "SNL." 

Bieber released a music video for "Lonely" on Friday, starring 14-year-old "Room" actor Jacob Tremblay as a young Bieber and tackled the singers feelings about growing up in the limelight. 

"Maybe when Im older itll all calm down, but its killing me now / What if you had it all but nobody to call, maybe then youd know me / Cause Ive had everything, but no ones listening, and thats just oh so lonely," Bieber sings. "Everybody knows my past now, like my house was always made of glass / Maybe thats the price you pay for the money and fame at an early age."

Fans on social media praised Biebers stripped-back performance: "No auto tune, no backing vocalists, no overpowering instrumentals just raw emotions and vocals," @festlvebieber wrote. 

After a tumultuous few years growing up famous (he was just 13 when talent manager  Scooter Braun discovered him on YouTube) Bieber has settled down recently: Hes now married to Hailey Baldwin and been honest with the world about the struggles with mental health and drug abuse he faced as a young man. 

"I don’t normally listen (to) Justin Bieber, but tonight the song #Lonely was raw, so glad I didn’t change the channel, he really tried to get the listener to see it from his POV," added @r_kendall. 

Earlier that night, Bieber also performed his new song "Holy" alongside Chance the Rapper, who is featured on the track. The song, which Bieber sang below a neon cross, makes references to Christianity that seemingly nod to the singer and his wifes relationship and shared beliefs.

"That the way you hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me / Feels so holy, holy, holy, holy, holy / On God, runnin to the altar like a track star / Cant wait another second," Bieber sang. 

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