Justin Bieber has a swagger coach who instructs him full time. Is that typical?
—Bieb4Ev, Florida via the Answer B!tch inbox
You speak of Ryan Good, a self-described "cool white boy" hired by Justin Bieber's mentor, Usher, to travel about with the singer and teach him the wisdom of wardrobe layering and other ways of the world.
The title apparently originated from Bieber himself, when he called Good his "swagger coach" in an interview.
Technically, though, Good's official title is "road manager," but that may not be the real story...
...given Good's job description.
From the Toronto Star:
In a business that's as much about image as sound, Bieber's co-manager, R&B star Usher, 31, hand-picked a wardrobe consultant/Man Friday for the youth.
"He has helped me with my style and just putting different pieces together and being able to layer and stuff like that," said Bieber of the ministrations of Ryan Good, 24, whose official title is road manager.
The Star also quotes Bieber as crediting Good for teaching him "different swaggerific things to do."
As for other up-and-coming young singers—yeah, no. They don't have swagger coaches.
"I've never heard of such a thing," one label source tells me.
And the source doubts Good serves as a hard-core road manager.
"If your job qualifications are 'Usher called me and said he thought Justin would benefit from being around a cool white boy,' then, no, I don't think you're doing anything real. Then again, it could be that the swagger coach is really just Bieber's assistant."
Yes, singers do often have stylists with them, particularly while touring. But they're not typically hanging around with the talent day and night—unless they have a certain personality reminiscent of another high-maintenance singer.
"Well, if you're Mariah or something, yeah," my label source says. "That's a diva move."
More likely, Good simply serves as a positive—I hope—influence and grounding presence for the teenager while he travels. (A more typical posse for a young singer—say, for a business meeting, my source says: "You'd roll with a manager, maybe a parent if you're young, at least one person from your label.")
Lastly, this whole phenomenon begs the question: Is there money in swagger coaching? Kind of.
"Generally hangers-on—security, assistants, etc.—make around $1,000 a week," my source says. "Though, of course, a proper stylist would cost much more."
Well, yeah, but can a proper stylist teach a young man the art of the swagger? Hell to the no.