It now turns out that international pop icon Justin Bieber's tweet that he was officially retiring from music was a joke. Over Christmas he tweeted twice hinting at his retirement.

"My beloved beliebers I'm officially retiring," he tweeted sending ripples across his fan base. He then contradicted himself a short while later saying that he would be here "forever".

"The media talks a lot about me. They make a up a lot of lies and want me to fail but I'm never leaving you, being a belieber is a lifestyle... Be kind loving [sic] to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas IM HERE FOREVER," the 19-year-old Baby singer, who hit international stardom when he was scouted through YouTube videos in 2007, confessed.

His manager Scooter Braun, too dismissed Bieber's remarks and confirmed that he would not be retiring but in fact would be taking a short break.

"Next year he's taking a break just to make music and relax, take some time for himself for the first time since he was 12," Braun said.

Sources close to the singer, who previously dated American singer-actress Selena Gomez, also reportedly confirmed that he was joking.

"The kid's got ambition," the insider told Independent.

Bieber first suggested he would be quitting music during an interview with Power 106 FM in Los Angeles hosted by Kurt Alexander.

"Um, I'm actually retiring man. I want to grow as an artist, and I'm taking a step out, I want my music to mature," Beiber had then stated.

He has nearly 48 million followers on Twitter and more than 60 million fans on Facebook.

Bieber's "retirement" tweets on Christmas Eve were re-tweeted almost a quarter million times by the following morning, apart from over 185,000 favourites.

Reactions to the tweets were mixed: while his Beliebers were heartbroken, there were others who were apparently elated.

"A life without Justin Bieber. A life without my idol, hero, inspiration, my everything. Not the best thing to think about on Christmas Eve,"Twitter user @theycallmejerry tweeted.

"Justin Bieber retiring is the greatest Christmas gift EVER,"CozImAGuy said.