Screaming girls storm Dublin shops in search of Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber will spark 'Bieber fever' in Dublin tonight when he plays the first of two sell-out shows.
Tickets for the concerts at the 02 sold out in minutes when they went on sale last year, and the 17-year-old can expect a full -- and eardrum-shattering -- house.
There was something of a preview last night when gardai were called to Dublin's Grafton Street to contain a swarm of pre-teen and teenage girls who ran amok after rumours the young man was shopping in the vicinity.
Hundreds of young girls screamed and chanted his name as they ran from shop to shop after word spread that the singer was in the area.
Powerless to stop the dozens who made it into BT2, bemused security guards and shop staff covered their ears and shook their heads as the mob scrambled at breakneck speed up the stairs and the escalator to Starbucks, where the Canadian heart-throb was reportedly holding court.
One of the singer's entourage, who was in fact there, appealed for calm and quiet -- but to no avail.
Tickets for tonight's concert are like the proverbial gold dust.
"We could have sold eight or 10 nights of Justin Bieber, that was the kind of demand we were dealing with," said promoter Peter Aiken.
Excitement has been rising since Sunday, when the Canadian singer informed his eight million followers on Twitter that he had touched down in Dublin.
The star jetted in from Birmingham on an Aer Lingus flight for the latest leg of his 'My World' world tour.
The reasons for the young man's popularity may be lost on older generations, especially because he has only had a few hits to date.
"Justin Bieber is very talented and he's written, or co-written, most of his best known songs. But most of all Justin Bieber has the X factor, which makes him the most popular thing on the planet right now," Mr Aiken added.
It remains to be seen whether the teenager will in fact take to the capital's main streets for a spot of shopping.
The star will be supported by Willow Smith, the daughter of actor Will Smith, who told her fans on Twitter about the excitement she felt coming to Ireland for the first time.
"I am going to Dublin, to ROCK THE BEAT!!!! Are you ready for the rockin' show?"
Who is Justin Bieber?
Justin Drew Bieber was born in March 1994 to parents Jeremy Bieber and Pattie Malette in London, Ontario, Canada.
From an early age, he was playing piano, guitar, drums and the trumpet. Discovered on YouTube, the teenager has had a meteoric rise courtesy of R&B singer Usher, who signed him to his label. Since then, he has enjoyed a string of international hits, including 'Baby', 'Never Let You Go', 'U Smile' and 'Somebody to Love'.
He is the first artist to have seven songs from his first studio album, 'My World 2.0', chart on the Billboard Hot 100. In February 2011, he was reported to be worth more than €71.5m.
Bieber's rags to riches story is told in the documentary, 'Never Say Never', which took a staggering €14.3m in its opening week at the US box office.