Music

Justin Beiber vs. Bobby Curtola

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Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber has long been saddled with an embarrassing comparison to ivory-toothed pop star Donny Osmond, leader of the Osmond Brothers and half of the duo Donny & Marie. A better comparison is to Bobby Curtola, Canada's original teen idol. Not only is Curtola Canadian, but his meteoric rise to fame after being discovered quite by accident—as well as other similarities—closely mirrors the Bieb's experience.

 

Born
Justin Bieber
March 1, 1994 in London, ON

Early experience
Taught himself to play guitar, piano, drums and trumpet. Sang R&B covers for his mother, who would record them and put them on YouTube for family and friends to see.

Discovery
Talent manager Scooter Braun accidently clicked one of the Bieb's YouTube links and liked what he saw. He convinced Bieber's mother Pattie Mallette to fly the kid out to Atlanta to record demo tapes. He later introduced him to Usher and got Bieber signed to Island Records in 2008.

Hair
Justin Bieber popularized a mop-top style of hair amongst teenage boys and lesbians.

Noted Television Appearances
The Ellen Degeneres Show, The View, CSI

Commercial Endorsements
Proactiv Acne Solution

Noted Firsts
The first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard 100

Awards
Won the “T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist Award” at the American Music Awards in 2010

 

 

Born
Bobby Curtola
April 17, 1944 in Port Arthur, ON

Early Experience
During Curtola’s second year of high school, he started the band Bobby & the Bobcats, which quickly became the most popular band for sock hops in Port Arthur, ON.

Discovery
In 1959, Curtola was discovered singing at a high school hop by a representative of Tartan Records and signed to a recording contract which produced his first hit, “Hand In Hand With You.”

Hair
In the ‘50s and ‘60s, Bobby Curtola’s pompadour hairstyle was popular among rockers, mechanics and fans of the Fonz. It continues to be popular with psychobilly musicians.

Noted Television Appearances
The Bob Hope Show, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand

Commercial Endorsements
Coca-Cola

Noted Firsts
The first Canadian artist to have an album achieve “gold” status

Awards
Made a member of the Order of Canada in 1998
 

 

 

 

 

 

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