Pop star Justin Bieber shocked his fans and raised a few eyebrows this week after canceling the remainder of his Purpose World Tour concert dates, offering little explanation for the abrupt decision.
Some, though, are wondering if the cancelled tour centers on Bieber’s desire to focus on his Christian faith. In fact, reporter Richard Wilkins suggested on Australia’s “Today Extra” that the Grammy-winning artist wants to start his own church.
“I am led to believe that the real reason he’s come off the road is because he wants to reconnect with his faith, and may be even planning to start his own church,” Wilkins said Monday. “Whether he’s looking at teaming up with [Hillsong] … or starting his own church, we’re not quite sure. … That’s the word from an inside source.”
Sources at Hillsong, a network of churches Bieber is associated with, caused further speculation Tuesday by telling TMZ that the “Sorry” singer cancelled his concert schedule because he “rededicated his life to Christ.”
Others have speculated that the superstar’s decision was rooted in his “intense” relationship with Hillsong New York Pastor Carl Lentz.
“The church didn't tell Justin to cancel the tour. He made his decision based on spiritual soul-searching and his own view of the path in life he should be taking,” a source told TMZ.
For his part, though, Bieber has only said the shows were cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
“After careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates,” Bieber’s statement read. “Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.”
Insiders close to Bieber told People the 23-year-old performer is OK but “super exhausted.”
Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, went into a little more detail in an Instagram post about the cancelled tour, mentioning the pop star’s “soul” in his post.
“To those that won’t be able to see it… on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry,” Braun wrote. “That was never our intent. But a man’s soul and well being I truly care about came first and we must all respect and honor that.”
An incredible run. Congrats to @justinbieber on an incredible tour and thank you to the entire cast and crew for your unending support. Chris and Nick thank you. AEG thank you. Caa thank you. UMG thank you. @sb_projects Team thank you. To the promoters who believed around the world thank you. To the fans from all over the world who took part over the last 16 months over 6 continents thank you. To Justin who gave it his all night after night thank you. And to those that won't be able to see it... on behalf of myself, Justin, and the team, we are sorry. That was never our intent. But a man's soul and well being I truly care about came first and We must all respect and honor that. Justin will be back and I know he looks forward to performing for you and with you all again. One chapter ends and another begins. Thank you again. Now please stop commenting on all my other photos that have nothing to do with this :) just kidding....but I'm not . Jokes aside your support for Justin is inspiring. Cheers.
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There were 14 shows remaining on Bieber’s tour.
The singer said Monday in Santa Monica, California, that he is sorry if any of his fans feel betrayed by the sudden decision to scrub the remaining concerts from his schedule, but declined to further elaborate on the decision.
Bieber ended his comments by telling viewers to have a “blessed day.”