Justin Bieber and Drake Bell are bringing their cyberbeef into the real world.
After years of throwing virtual jabs on Twitter, the feuding pair nearly came face-to-face Thursday night when the "Baby" crooner crashed the Nickelodeon alum's album release party.
Here's what we know: Bell, 27, was celebrating the release of "Ready Steady Go!" at Mixology 101 @ Planet Dailies at The Grove in Los Angeles. He was looking spiffy in his blue suit and had a cheery red carpet reunion with his "Drake & Josh" co-stars, Josh Peck and Miranda Cosgrove. (Show creator Dan Schneider was also there.) There was had an "epic cake" made for the big bash, and Bell performed for partygoers.
At some point during the evening, the Biebs, 20, rolled up outside in a monstrous SUV. The Canadian crooner — who had ditched L.A. for Atlanta before returning (with a "Gilligan's Island" hat) to see Selena Gomez — opened the door and poked out his head. And while he flashed a peace sign at the fans lined up on the sidewalk hoping to see the one-time "Drake & Josh" star, it seemed more like an act of (silly celebrity) warfare — like he was trying to steal Bell's thunder. And it seemed successful judging by the level of screaming.
While Bell was busy being the guest of honor at his fete, Bieber's presence outside didn't go unnoticed. He tweeted about it, calling out the troubled pop star by name:
And then tweeted about it some more:
Bieber also took to social media, but didn't refer to Bell directly. First he posted a message to his fans:
To all the fans i just met at the grove...I love you. #beliebers— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) April 18, 2014
Then he shared a video of the drive by:
Soon, #DrakeBellFlopParty was trending on Twitter, which the "Boyfriend" singer had his Beliebers to thank for. (Biebs has 51 million followers to Bell's 3 million, giving him the social media advantage.) Not that Bell seemed to care — he kept posting about having a "blast" at his bash.
To those of you not hip to the ongoing Bieber-Bell drama, you're lucky. But we'll also give you some background: The two stars have been engaged in an online war of words since July 2012, when Bell posted his first anti-Bieber tweet. And make no mistake, Bell has been the instigator. He has called Bieber "talentless" and criticized his musical skills, which he received death threats from Bieber loyalists over — not that it made him stop. When Justin was arrested earlier this year in Miami, Bell weighed in — and he was totally down with that petition to deport his nemesis.
For his part, Bieber hasn't really retaliated. This is the most memorable thing he's posted about Bell:
Things escalated in interviews Bell has given this year. And the crux of his argument seems to be that he thinks Bieber is a bad role model — a point many can agree with, though it seems Bell may be going about sharing it in the wrong way.
"We didn't sign up to be role models, but we are," Bell told Buzzfeed earlier this month. "Artists like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga have more sway over popular minds than a politician. They could get on a pedestal and say, 'This is how you should treat people,' but instead [Bieber’s] going around telling kids that as long as you have enough money and swag, you can do whatever you want. Instead of working to change the world, [he's saying]: Work to get as much money and power as possible because then you can do whatever you want and no one can say anything to you. I just think that's a gross, awful, terrible message."
Well, if we're talking messages, Bieber seemed to send one last night. And it's: This feud isn't over.