POP brat Justin Bieber is lining up a new opening act for his concerts – British girl band The Saturdays.
He sent his manager Scooter Braun to watch them perform a secret acoustic set for VIPs at the headquarters of their US record label Mercury in New York.
With Braun at the private mini-gig was top music producer Dallas *Austin, 42, who has worked with 19-year-old Bieber, the late Michael Jackson and Madonna, 54.
A brief scene from the unplugged set is due to be aired soon on the reality show Chasing The Saturdays, which is tracking the girls’ bid to make it big in America.
An insider who was among around 40 guests and executives, including Mercury Records president David Massey, said yesterday: “Scooter and Dallas were on a spying mission.
“They wanted to check out the girls with a view to Dallas producing their music and Scooter steering them on their path to fame in America.
“They were so impressed that *Scooter immediately called Justin to tell him he’d found the ‘perfect’ act to open for him at venues in the US when he returns from the European leg of his Believe tour.”
The Saturdays have racked up ten Top Ten hits in the UK and other *European countries. But the girls – Una Healy, 31, Mollie King, 25, * Frankie Sandford, 24, mum-to-be *Rochelle *Humes, 23, and Vanessa White, 23 – have not set the States alight so far.
Their debut US single What About Us, featuring Sean Paul, appears to have peaked at No.27 in the dance chart despite strong ratings for their E! reality show.
But now they have opened talks with Braun, 31, over when their shooting schedule will allow them to open for Bieber when his tour returns to America on June 22.
Two days later he hits LA’s Staples Centre and The Saturdays could join him on stage at the *famous venue.
A source close to the band said: “We are very near to sealing a deal that should ensure The Saturdays really crack America where it counts – *performing live in huge stadiums.
“There is even talk of Justin and The Saturdays collaborating on at least one number.
“If that happens, they are *guaranteed a No.1 hit in the US.”
The source added: “Justin might have upset a few of his British fans recently by turning up late for one gig, walking off stage midway through another and attacking a *photographer.
“But if he takes The Saturdays on board, he’s going to make a lot of fans over there very happy indeed.”
Music industry insiders also believe top producer Austin will sign on to “hone” their sound for the US *market.