While Spotify set the stage for how it will expand its features for artists and fans alike during its first-ever Stream On event Monday (Feb. 22), the streaming service had one surprise at the end: an exclusive performance by Justin Bieber.
Bieber, whose more than 63 million monthly Spotify listeners make him the second-most streamed artist in the world, brought the bravado that earned him that kind of career milestone onto a dynamic stage. He found something “Holy” about a candlelit underground lounge for his first song with his band, before streaks of white light and embers illuminated a “Lonely” Bieber on what looked like a road straight through the middle of the desert.
Yet the second half of his performance warped Benny Blanco’s tender piano-driven melody into an electronic groove with trap overtones and Auto-Tuned vocals. As cooling waves marked the end of his red-hot performance, the pop superstar reappeared on a platform overlooking a sea of clouds swarming mountains to conclude his set with “Anyone” before shape-shifting into a flock of birds that fly away.
“I want to thank my friends at Spotify for asking me to perform exclusively at Stream On. This event is a first, so I wanted to do something I hadn’t done before with this special version of ‘Lonely,'” Bieber said in a statement. “I’m always inspired by creativity, and Spotify Stream On shared some incredible conversations on the vision for the future.”
Performing at first-of-its-kind livestream events has been a no brainer for the 26-year-old global phenomenon. Before concluding Spotify’s Stream On presentation today, he serenaded his Beliebers with songs from his 2013 R&B-leaning album Journals on TikTok for Valentine’s Day. The “Journals Live” livestream concert drew in more than 4 million unique viewers, making it the most-watched single-artist livestream ever for TikTok. It was also the first full-length single-artist live performance on TikTok.
All three of Bieber’s top 20 Billboard Hot 100 singles that he performed during Stream On will lead into Bieber’s upcoming sixth album, which he’s been teasing since last fall.
Catch Bieber’s full performance during Spotify’s Stream On event, as well as the entire livestream presentation, below.