Survey Says Young Brits Know Justin Bieber Lyrics Better Than Famous Shakespeare Quotes

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Justin Bieber attends the Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.

"To be or not to be" or "Is it too late to say sorry/'Cause I'm missing more than just your body?" Believe it or not, when it comes to picking out a Shakespeare quote or a Justin Bieber lyric, the Biebs beats the Bard.

Justin Bieber Doesn't Care if You Don't Like His Dreadlocks

According to a new study commissioned by streaming platform Deezer to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the lyrics to such Bieber hits as "Girlfriend" and "Sorry" were way more relevant than Shakespeare to a group of 1,000 UK adults between 18-25. The survey found that an average of 43% of respondents could identify Bieber lyrics, while only 38% could correctly pick out Shakespeare couplets. In fact, fully 33% could not recognize what is perhaps Shakes' most famous quote, "to be or not to be" from Hamlet.

"Like Shakespeare, Justin Bieber is undoubtedly one of the most well-known figures of his time and his popularity means people nowadays seem to know their 'baby, baby, baby, ohs' more than their 'wherefore art thou Romeo's,'" Sam Lee, Deezer's UK and Ireland music editor told the Guardian

Rihanna Rules Hot 100, Desiigner's 'Panda' Pushes to No. 2 & Justin Bieber Makes History

Bieber is the most-streamed artist on Deezer this year and based on the results of the survey shared with Billboard either the respondents are obsessed with his music or just don't have time for the classics. Only 12% could correctly identify that Shakespeare wrote the King John line "strong reasons make strong actions"  and 17% knew one of his most famous quotes from The Merchant of Venice, "all that glitters is not gold."

In one shining light to the literary darkness, nearly 77 percent knew the Romeo and Juliet query "O Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?," while Bieber's highest numbers (69.3%) were for the "Baby" lyric "And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh." 


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.