THE message to his almost 48 million Twitter followers was typical in its brevity.

“My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring.”

Posted at 2.20pm (AEST), the message was certainly a strange Christmas present to fans, although not entirely unexpected: he had floated the idea of his retirement last week.

On December 19, the Canadian pop star told a Los Angeles radio station he’s planning to take a break from music after his new album Journals was released.

“After the new album, I’m actually retiring man,” he said. “I’m retiring.”

In follow-up tweets today, the Baby, Baby singer told his fans that the media “make up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I’m never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle.”

A couple of minutes after that he tweeted again, advising his 47,932,323 followers – his following is second only to Katy Perry’s – that he was “HERE FOREVER”.

“Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas.”

Justin Bieber is dropping out of music but will still play “Marcy” in the stage musical of Married with Children.

In that same interview, Bieber also suggested he hasn’t quite made up his mind, adding: “I want to grow as an artist and I’m taking a step out, I want my music to mature.”… see more