Coinciding with Wednesday's release of his new concert film, "Justin Bieber's Believe," the teen pop star tweeted that he's leaving the music business.
"My beloved beliebers," he wrote late Christmas Eve, "I'm officially retiring."
Bieber -- who earned $108 million from 2010 to 2012 and another $58 million this year, according to Forbes magazine -- shortly afterward suggested he did not plan to retire into obscurity. "The media talks a lot about me," he tweeted. "They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you; being a belieber is a lifestyle. Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as God forgave us through Christ. Merry Christmas. I'M HERE FOREVER."
The 19-year-old had claimed a week earlier, in an interview with the Los Angeles radio station KPWR/Power 106, "I'm actually retiring, man . . . I'm just gonna take some time. I think I'm probably gonna quit music." E! News and others later cited anonymous sources who claimed Bieber had been joking.