Justin Bieber’s mom almost passed up the opportunity for him to record his first album because the agent that discovered him was Jewish. She said “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! God, you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?”
While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber’s 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber’s school, and finally contacted Mallette, who was reluctant because of Braun’s Judaism. She remembered praying, “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label!” and “God, you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?” However, church elders convinced her to let Bieber go with Braun. At 13, Bieber went to Atlanta, Georgia, with Braun to record demo tapes. Bieber began signing for Usher one week later.
Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher. Justin Timberlake was also reportedly in the running to sign Bieber, but lost the bidding war to Usher. Usher then sought assistance in finding a label home for the artist from then manager Chris Hicks, who helped engineer an audition with his contact L.A. Reid of The Island Def Jam Music Group. Reid signed Bieber to Island Records in October 2008 (resulting in a joint venture between RBMG and Island Records) and appointed Hicks as executive Vice-President of Def Jam where he would be able to manage Bieber’s career at the label. Bieber then moved to Atlanta with his mother to pursue further work with Braun and Usher. Braun became Bieber’s manager in 2008.
Bieber’s first single, “One Time”, was released to radio while Bieber was still recording his debut album. The song reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 during its first week of release in July 2009, and later peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. During fall 2009, it had success in international markets. The song was certified Platinum in Canada and the US and Gold in Australia and New Zealand. His first release, an extended play entitled My World, was released on November 17, 2009. The album’s second single, “One Less Lonely Girl”, and two promo singles, “Love Me”, and “Favorite Girl”, were released exclusively on the iTunes Store and charted within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100.