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Justin Bieber addresses "MLK interlude" controversy

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Justin Bieber has taken heat for including audio clips from Martin Luther King Jr. speeches on his latest album Justice, but he insists it was never his intent to compare himself to the late civil rights leader.

The album’s opening track, “2 Much,” opens with a clip of King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which he states that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

There’s also been criticism of Justin’s decision to place the “MLK Interlude”– an excerpt from King’s 1967 “But If Not” sermon — ahead of “Die for You,” a love song to his wife Hailey Bieber.

But Billboard reports that in an interview on Clubhouse’s “Bieber Nation,” Justin said he included the sermon to “amplify” the King’s “incredibly, touching speech.” In no way, he said, was he trying to compare MLKJ’s willingness to die for justice to his own willingness to die for his wife. 

“I want to keep growing and learning about all social injustices and what it looks like for me to be better,”he said, according to Billboard.

He added, “I just have so much more learning to do. I have this man who was ready to die and what he believed to be true. If I’m not willing to face some sort of ridicule or judgment of people wondering [about] my motives…for me, it was a no-brainer.”

Justin’s bodyguard Lauren Walters added that, as a Black man, he found it “very admirable” that Justin chose to bring awareness to “something that’s been going on in America for decades, centuries.”

“For you to be the #1 pop star in the world to talk about these issues, it’s important,” he said.

King’s daughter has also thanked Justin for his support in donating some of the album’s proceeds to charities including The King Center.

By George Costantino
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