NEW YORK — Justin Bieber is in the holiday spirit: The singer says he's the first artist on the Universal Music roster to have part of his album sales benefit charity.
Partial sales from "Under the Mistletoe," his Christmas album that is out Nov. 1, will go to various charities, including Pencils of Promise and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Universal never actually allowed money from the album to go to charity, so it's kind of a unique thing and I'm very happy and proud of what we've done," the 17-year-old said in an interview from Lima, Peru, on Monday.
Universal Music Group is the parent company to labels like Interscope Records and Island Def Jam Music Group, where Bieber is signed to. Universal is also the home to acts like Eminem, Rihanna, Kanye West and Lady Gaga.
Bieber said he isn't sure how much of the sales will go to charity, but thanks his team for helping him achieve his goal of wanting to help others during the holiday season.
"I tell them basically what I want and they kind of go and help me get it done," said Bieber, who will also donate money to various food banks.
"Under the Mistletoe" features collaborations with Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, among others. He said he wanted to "work with people who had great experiences with Christmas albums."
"They were all great people and fun to be around," said the Canadian-born entertainer, who appears on a "super festive" version of Carey's classic song "All I Want for Christmas."
Chris Brown co-wrote and co-produced the song "Christmas Eve," which Bieber says "all the ladies will like." And there are also tunes featuring Usher and the country trio the Band Perry.
"They've been really successful and great in the country world, so I wanted to get them on my Christmas album and cross some barriers and try to get some different audience members to listen to my music," he said.
Bieber, who also raps on the Busta Rhymes-assisted "Drummer Boy," said he enjoys performing different styles of music.
"I guess I can be pretty versatile — being able to do country music and put out a record of me rapping on the Internet," he said. "I just think that with the Internet, not a lot of artists can be taken seriously if they try to change lanes and so I made it kind of apparent at first that I love to do everything and people kind of take me seriously when I switch over, so I'm really lucky to be able to have that."
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin
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