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.
Catch Bieber’s full performance during Spotify’s Stream On event, as well as the entire livestream presentation, below.