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The Tragedy of the Justin Bieber Lookalike

The name Toby Sheldon probably doesn’t mean anything to anyone unless I tell you he was the guy who spend more than $100,000 on plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber.

Sheldon suffered from a particular type of body dysmorphia disorder, a terrible condition where someone is never comfortable with their appearance. In Sheldon’s case, he felt compelled to do whatever he needed to in order to look like Justin Bieber. Plastic surgery. Hair implants. Liposuction. Injections. Fillers.

This story does not end well. From the LA Times:

Sheldon, whose real name was Tobias Martin Strebel, was found dead Aug. 21 in a room at a Motel 6 along Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. The 35-year-old had been missing for three days. Officials say prescription drugs were found in the room, although the cause of death has not been determined.

More than 10 days after his body was recovered, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office has still not conclusively identified the body as Strebel’s. The reasons for the delay — difficulties reaching his mother in Germany, his only known relative, and the “severely decomposed” state of his body – compound what was already a tragic dénouement.

“We believe it is him,” said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner’s office. “But we have to be positive.”

The full sad story can be found here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38573 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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