If you don’t already know that Justin Bieber is one of the world’s most popular musicians, and inspires such adulation among his fans that he may register as one of the most influential people alive today, just try this story on for size.
The young icon played live for the Today Show on Friday morning, right in the middle of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Desperate to see their idol, hundreds of Bieber fans started lining up Thursday afternoon and evening, willing to brave the elements overnight just for the chance to be front and center for the Bieber circus.
For some in the crowd, as they skipped school Thursday to line up and Friday to shriek and swoon, that meant they would have to miss their school’s prom Friday night. And for a few, it was their senior prom that they were missing out on – all to bask in the Bieber glow.
“We’re missing our prom…but we’ve been planning this whole thing for three months, so it’ll be worth it,” 18-year-old New Jersey high school senior Becca Jude told DNAinfo.
And more than any of the online fan footage or skyrocketing Twitter trends that I’ve seen, this is the story that puts Bieber’s stardom into stark relief: There’s only one senior prom in our lives, and yet for some, seeing Justin Bieber play a few songs registers higher on the bucket list.TIME