He's a Belieber: 'Popstar' 's Andy Samberg Says Justin Bieber Is the Most Underrated Pop Star

The Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping star explains why Bieber is underappreciated in pop music

Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images; Stoianov/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES

Although Andy Samberg‘s upcoming musical comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping pokes fun at the extravagant lifestyle, behavior of and concert documentaries about music’s rich and famous – like Justin Bieber – it doesn’t make the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star any less of a fan of the Biebs’ musical talents.

“I feel like Bieber is underappreciated,” Samberg tells PEOPLE. “There is a large faction that sort of wrote him off early, but his new music is really good. I think a lot of the world agrees with that, but there’s a lot of people who still haven’t given it a chance because of their preconceived notions of him. That ‘Where Are Ü Now?’ song is fantastic. ‘Sorry’ is good too. ‘What do you Mean?’, they’re all really good.”

For more from our interview with Samberg, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Talking of Bieber’s maturation as a solo artist brings up the first time Samberg noticed the pop star potential in his future pal, Justin Timberlake.

“I didn’t really pay attention to ‘NSYNC or Backstreet Boys until I became friends with Justin,” says Samberg, who forged a friendship with Timberlake via their time together on SNL. “Akiva [Schaffer, co-director of Popstar and part of their Lonely Island music comedy trio] always talks about the first time we heard the ‘NSYNC song ‘Gone’ on the radio, which is the first time Justin really stepped out. It was not like super thick layers of all of them singing at once. I remember being like, ‘Who the f— is this? Is this ‘NSYNC? This is great.’ And then a year later he was doing stuff with Pharrell. It was like, ‘That guy sounds good.’ ”

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping hits theaters June 3.

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