Justin Bieber sat down with Zane Lowe ahead of his “Changes” tour for a wide-ranging interview, and the singer got especially emotional when discussing one person in particular: Grammy Award-winning artist Billie Eilish.
Billie and Justin met in person for the first time less than a year ago at Coachella 2019, but Billie’s longtime admiration of the “Yummy” singer was far from a secret.
“When I was, like 12, I was not a fan of him….That was, like, my first love,” Billie said on KROQ’s “Kevin and Bean Show” in November 2018. “That was the person I was in love with. In my head, he was in love with me. It was, like, a relationship with a person.” So when Billie and Justin’s meeting at Coachella was caught on video, it was no surprise that the “bad guy” singer could hardly keep herself together.
Zane asked Justin what that moment was like for him, as not long ago, Justin was the youngster skyrocketing to fame and meeting his idols.
“I wanted to protect the moment,” Justin responded. “We never know how many opportunities we’re gonna get with anybody.” In fact, this realization had come into even sharper focus for the singer more recently, as the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant rocked the world. “I’m tearing up just thinking about it, with the Kobe situation,” the 25-year-old, who wore a Lakers jersey emblazoned with Kobe’s number 8 on it, continued.
“I just wanted to be a good example,” Justin continued, before getting choked up. Zane asked the star if he felt protective over 18-year-old Billie.
“Yeah, I definitely feel protective of her,” Justin answered. “It was hard for me, being that young and being in the industry and not knowing where to turn. And everyone, you know, telling me they loved me and, you know, just turning their back on you in a second. So it’s hard because I want her to know that she can count on me.”
But Justin also acknowledged that while he will always be there for Billie, she is her own person. “At the end of the day, I don’t wanna—I’m never gonna force myself to be in a relationship with her, it has to be natural right? So I just kinda, you know, let her do her thing and if she ever needs me I’m gonna be here for her,” Justin emotionally concluded.
The “Baby” singer also said that he hopes Billie never has to go through what he experienced as a young star, and said he’s only “one call away” should she ever need advice.
You can watch and listen to the Zane Lowe interview in full this Saturday at 10:00a PST only on Apple Music.