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Justin Bieber finds a fan in Steve Stoute after Grammys loss

February 21, 2011 | 10:56 am

Justin Bieber, with Rihanna at the NBA All-Star Game, is defended by Steve Stoute

Steve Stoute defends Justin Bieber, attacks the Grammys Nothing like taking out a full-page newspaper ad to declare yourself ... a Justin Bieber fan? In an open letter calling the Grammy Awards "a series of hypocrisies and contradictions," Steve Stoute has outed himself as yet another Belieber.

"How is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist," the former hip-hop manager and music industry exec asked in an open letter critical of the Grammys, NARAS and NARAS President Neil Portnow, published Sunday in the New York Times.

Stoute also questioned Eminem and Kanye West's losses in previous years in the album of the year category to Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock, respectively. He blamed the "Grammys fail" on an overzealous desire to produce a popular TV show, and a disrespect of cultural shifts. Stoute is president of Translation Advertising, which he founded in 2008 with Jay-Z.

"What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions," Stoute wrote in the letter that was also published on the Huffington Post. "As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed 'Month of May' -- only to ... surprise ... win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform 'Ready to Start.'"

Of Arcade Fire's two-song stint at the end of the Grammys, "Some in the audience thought that it was a punk-spirited coup of the microphone," The Times' Geoff Boucher wrote, "but Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said in recent days that he would let the band do an extra song if the show was running ahead of schedule."

Baby, baby, baby, oh -- but does Stoute have a point?


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Justin Bieber and Rihanna, top, at the NBA All-Star game at Staples Center on Feb. 20, 2011. Steve Stoute, left, in 1999, when he was managing Nas and allegedly assaulted by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs; Combs was later acquitted. Credits: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images, top; handout, left.