Canadian pop star Justin Bieber says living in the bubble of fame has become isolating, and that he empathizes with doomed singer Amy Winehouse.
"People see the glam and the amazing stuff, but they don't know the other side," the singer tells the British music magazine NME in its new print issue, in excerpts published Thursday. "This life can rip you apart. I get depressed all the time. And I feel isolated. You're in your hotel room and there are fans all around, paparazzi following you everywhere, and it gets intense," he said. "When you can't go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed. I would not wish this upon anyone."
Bieber, 21, said he understands the forces that helped drive the English singer to death by alcohol poisoning in 2011, at age 27. "I watched the Amy Winehouse documentary on the plane," he recalled, referring to the 2015 film "Amy," "and I had tears in my eyes because I could see what the media was doing to her, how they were treating her. People thought it was funny to poke her when she was at rock bottom, to keep pushing her down until she had no more of herself. And that's what they were trying to do to me."
Reflecting on his belligerent behavior in recent years, including assault and vandalism charges, reckless driving in residential neighborhoods, videos of vulgar activities and other incidents, Bieber told the magazine, "I was a wholesome pop star who was so amazing who had nice hair and a [expletive] image that no one could ever live up to." He said his "rebelling against everybody and everything" was "being a normal 19-year-old," but that "when all this happened people were like, 'Whoa, let's rip him apart.' "
Ultimately, he said, "I'm struggling just to get through the days. I think a lot of people are."
Bieber's fourth studio album, "Purpose," is out today.