Beliebe it or not: Justin Bieber announces retirement.... again
The message to his almost 48 million Twitter followers was typical in its brevity.
"My beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring."
Posted at 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday, the message was certainly a strange Christmas present to fans, although not entirely unexpected: he had floated the idea of his retirement last week.
On December 19, the Canadian pop star told a Los Angeles radio station he's planning to take a break from music after his new album "Journals" was released.
"After the new album, I'm actually retiring man," he said. "I'm retiring."
In follow-up tweets today, the Baby, Baby singer told his fans that the media "make up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle."
A couple of minutes after that he tweeted again, advising his 47,932,323 followers -- his following is second only to Katy Perry's -- that he was "HERE FOREVER."
"Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas."
In that same interview, Bieber also suggested he hasn't quite made up his mind, adding: "I want to grow as an artist and I'm taking a step out, I want my music to mature."
Bieber's tweets have already gotten some in the celebrity world ruffled, with gossip blogger Perez Hilton posting a series of Tweets designed to inflame the "beliebers."
Among other provocations, Hilton advised his more than 6 million Twitter followers to retweet his message if they preferred English boy band "One Direction," but to favorite the tweet if Justin Beieber was their preferred artist.
Bieber's announcement comes days after the singer's grandmother blasted the media for spreading "so many lies" about the pop superstar, insisting they should treat the teen with a little more respect.
Bieber found himself under fire in the press throughout 2013 as he hit headlines for everything from showing up late at concerts, to urinating in restaurant mop buckets and defacing walls with graffiti.
He has also clashed with members of the paparazzi on numerous occasions during his Believe world tour, and his apparent bad behavior has caused a backlash among some reporters and bloggers.
The youngster's grandma, Diane Dale, admits the 19-year-old isn't perfect, but claims most of what is written about her grandson is made up.
Speaking to the Associated Press at the Los Angeles premiere of his new concert documentary, "Justin Bieber's Believe," on Wednesday, she said: "I think the media has been terrible on him (sic). There are so many lies going around. A little bit is true but most of it is lies. It's terrible."
Meanwhile, Bieber's mentor, R&B star Usher, insists dealing with media attacks is all part of life in the spotlight.
"I mean more money, more problems. The beautiful part about it is that those that are invested in a long-term story you understand that there are peaks and valleys in every person's life
"Unfortunately the reality is he has to live with a camera in front of him, but what he chooses to do on or off camera is analysed or scrutinized in some off way."
This story originally appeared on News.com.au.