Justin Bieber, who won for Top Male Artist and Top Social Media Artist at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, says he has begun questioning the nature of such events.
“I don’t know about these award shows,” the pop star wrote on Instagram Monday, alongside a photo, found on several wallpaper and tourism sites, of the Rock of Cashel castle in Ireland. “No disrespect to anybody at any of the shows or the people running it. Nothing but love for you guys and your support,” he continued. “But I don’t feel good when I’m there nor after. I try to think of it as a celebration but can’t help feeling like people are rating and grading my performance. A lot of people in the audience there to be seem worried about how much camera time they will get or who they can network with.”
The 22-year-old singer, whose past awards include a Grammy, eight American Music Awards and other honors, added that, “these award shows seem so hollow. I get the premise is to award people for their accomplishments, but is it really? Because when I look in the audience I see a bunch of fake smiles so that when the camera hits them they look happy.”
Conceding that “there are people truly proud of others” and that he was “just looking at the vast majority” of his peers, Bieber feels he is “getting awarded for the things that I’m doing and not for who I am which is understandable. I know it would probably be hard to calculate and award someone’s spirit lol.”
Before apologizing for his grammar, he concluded by saying, “I am privileged and honored to be recognized by my peers in but in these settings I can’t feel the recognition. There’s an authenticity missing that I crave! And I wonder does anybody else.”
In a follow-up, he posted a black-and-white photo of himself from behind, evidently onstage, with the words “We all get caught up in striving for the approval of others” superimposed in text above him.