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Justin Timberlake: A Pop Star with Many Talents and Controversies


# Justin Timberlake: A Pop Star with Many Talents and Controversies


Justin Timberlake is one of the most successful and versatile artists of his generation. He has achieved fame and acclaim as a singer, songwriter, producer, actor, dancer, and entrepreneur. He has sold over 88 million records worldwide, won 10 Grammy Awards, 4 Emmy Awards, and numerous other accolades. He has also starred in several movies, such as The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits, and Palmer. However, he has also faced criticism and controversy for some of his actions and decisions, especially regarding his treatment of women in his life and career. In this blog post, we will explore some of the highlights and lowlights of Justin Timberlake's journey from a boy band member to a solo superstar.


## The Rise of *NSYNC


Justin Timberlake started his music career in 1995, when he joined the boy band NSYNC, along with JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick. The group became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time, selling over 70 million records worldwide. They released four studio albums: NSYNC (1997), No Strings Attached (2000), Celebrity (2001), and Home for Christmas (1998). Some of their most popular songs include "I Want You Back", "Tearin' Up My Heart", "Bye Bye Bye", "It's Gonna Be Me", "Pop", and "This I Promise You". They also performed at several major events, such as the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show in 2001 and the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.


NSYNC was known for their catchy pop songs, impressive vocal harmonies, and energetic dance routines. Timberlake was one of the lead vocalists and youngest members of the group. He also co-wrote some of the songs and contributed to the production. He developed a loyal fan base and a reputation as a teen idol. However, he also faced some challenges and conflicts within the group. In 1999, NSYNC sued their manager Lou Pearlman for fraud and breach of contract, claiming that he had cheated them out of millions of dollars. They also left their record label RCA and signed with Jive Records. In 2002, *NSYNC went on a hiatus to pursue solo projects. Timberlake decided to launch his own solo career.


## The Success of Justified


Timberlake released his debut solo album Justified in November 2002. The album was a commercial success and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. It also topped the charts in Ireland and the UK. It earned multiple multi-platinum certifications, including a triple platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) ¹ and a sextuple platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) ². It produced four singles: "Like I Love You", "Cry Me a River", "Rock Your Body" and "Señorita"; all performed well commercially, with two of them becoming top five hits on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart ³ and top two hits on the UK Singles Chart ⁴. "Rock Your Body" also reached number one in Australia ⁵.


The album was also critically acclaimed and received positive reviews from critics. It won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album ⁶ and was nominated for Album of the Year ⁷. It also won several other awards, such as American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album ⁸, Brit Awards for International Album ⁹ and International Male [^10^], MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Album ¹¹ and Best Male ¹², and MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video ¹³ and Best Pop Video ¹⁴ –the latter two for "Cry Me a River".


The album showcased Timberlake's musical versatility and maturity as an artist. He collaborated with several prominent producers and songwriters, such as Timbaland , The Neptunes , Scott Storch , Brian McKnight , and Janet Jackson . He incorporated elements from various genres, such as R&B , soul , funk , dance , rock , hip hop , and gospel . He also displayed his vocal range and skills as a singer, songwriter, rapper, beatboxer , and guitarist . He explored themes such as love , sex , betrayal , revenge , confidence , and self-expression .


However, the album also sparked some controversy and drama in Timberlake's personal life. He indirectly accused his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears of cheating on him when he hired a lookalike actress to appear in the video for "Cry Me a River". He also publicly revealed that they had slept together during a radio interview, despite Spears' previous claims that she was waiting until marriage to lose her virginity. He also dated several other women, such as Alyssa Milano , Jenna Dewan , and Cameron Diaz . He also faced some backlash from his former bandmates and fans, who felt that he had abandoned *NSYNC and betrayed their loyalty.


## The Controversy of the Super Bowl


In February 2004, Timberlake performed with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. The show was supposed to be a celebration of Jackson's career and a tribute to her brother Michael Jackson , who was facing child molestation charges at the time. However, the show ended with a shocking incident that became known as the "wardrobe malfunction". Timberlake pulled at the fabric on Jackson's costume, exposing her breast. The incident lasted for less than a second, but it was seen by millions of viewers and caused a huge uproar and scandal.


The incident was widely condemned by the media, the public, and the authorities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined CBS , the network that broadcasted the show, $550,000 for violating decency standards ¹⁵. The National Football League (NFL) banned MTV , the producer of the show, from ever producing another halftime show ¹⁶. The Recording Academy , the organizer of the Grammy Awards , asked Jackson to withdraw from presenting an award at the ceremony . Several radio stations and TV channels boycotted Jackson's music and videos . Jackson's career suffered a major setback and decline after the incident.


Timberlake, on the other hand, faced much less consequences and criticism. He was allowed to perform and win two awards at the Grammy Awards . He also continued to enjoy commercial and critical success with his music and movies. He issued a brief apology during his acceptance speech, saying that the incident was "unintentional" and "regrettable" . However, he did not defend or support Jackson in any way. He later admitted that he had distanced himself from her to protect his own career . He also claimed that he had been pressured by MTV to do something "shocking" during the show .


Many people accused Timberlake of being selfish, cowardly, and sexist. They argued that he had exploited Jackson for publicity and then abandoned her when she needed him most. They also pointed out the double standards and racism in the industry and society, which punished Jackson more harshly than Timberlake for the same mistake. They also questioned Timberlake's credibility and integrity as an artist and a person.


## The Innovation of FutureSex/LoveSounds


Timberlake released his second solo album FutureSex/LoveSounds in September 2006. The album was a huge success and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart . It also reached number one in countries such as Australia , Canada and the UK . It was later certified four times platinum by the RIAA and six times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) ; it sold over 10 million copies worldwide . It spawned six singles, including three Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits: "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around... Comes Around" .


The album was also praised by critics for its musical innovation and experimentation. It won four Grammy Awards, including Best Dance Recording for "SexyBack" (in 2007) and "LoveStoned" (in 2008), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "My Love", and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "What Goes Around... Comes Around" . It also won several other awards, such as American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album , Billboard Music Awards for Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Selling Album of 2006 , Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist , MTV Europe Music Award for Future Sounds Award , MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year for "What Goes Around... Comes Around" , and World Music Award for World's Best Selling Pop Male Artist .


The album showcased Timberlake’s artistic evolution and vision as a musician. He collaborated mainly with Timbaland, who produced most of the tracks on the album. He also worked with other producers and artists, such as Danja, will.i.am, Rick Rubin, Nelly Furtado, T.I., Three 6 Mafia, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, and Madonna. He incorporated elements from various genres, such as R&B, pop, dance, rock, hip hop, funk, soul, electro, techno, new wave, disco, folk, country, and even gospel. The album was a critical and commercial success, earning Timberlake six Grammy Awards and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. It was also ranked as one of the best albums of the 2000s by several publications .


The album's title was inspired by Timberlake's experience of being haunted by an ex-girlfriend. He explained that he felt like he was "chasing something" that he couldn't have. The album explored themes of love, sex, betrayal, heartbreak, and redemption. Some of the songs were based on Timberlake's personal life, such as "What Goes Around...Comes Around", which was about his breakup with Britney Spears, and "My Love", which was dedicated to his then-girlfriend Jessica Biel. Other songs were more fictional or experimental, such as "SexyBack", which was a futuristic dance anthem that challenged the conventional notions of sex appeal, and "Losing My Way", which was a gospel-inspired song about a drug addict who seeks God's help.


The album also featured some innovative musical techniques and sounds that Timberlake and his collaborators created. For example, they used a human beatbox to create the percussion for "Ayo Technology", they sampled a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. for "Why Should I Care", and they used a vocoder to distort Timberlake's voice for "FutureSex/LoveSound". The album also had some cinematic influences, such as the film noir style of the music video for "What Goes Around...Comes Around", and the sci-fi theme of the short film for "SexyBack".


The album was a landmark in Timberlake's career and in the music industry. It established him as one of the most influential and versatile artists of his generation. It also influenced many other musicians who followed his footsteps in blending different genres and experimenting with new sounds. The album was a haunting masterpiece that showcased Timberlake's musical genius and vision.


##20/20 Experience


One of the most remarkable achievements of Timberlake’s career is his third and fourth studio albums, The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2. These albums were released in 2013 as a double disc project, and they showcased Timberlake’s artistic evolution and vision as a musician. He collaborated mainly with Timbaland, who produced most of the tracks on the albums. He also worked with other producers and artists, such as Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Rob Knox, Jay-Z, Nelly Furtado, T.I., Three 6 Mafia, Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, Drake, and Jay Cole. He incorporated elements from various genres, such as R&B, pop, dance, rock, hip hop, funk, soul, electro, techno, new wave, disco, folk, country, and even gospel.


The albums were a critical and commercial success, earning Timberlake six Grammy Awards and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. They were also ranked as some of the best albums of the 2010s by several publications. The albums featured some innovative musical techniques and sounds that Timberlake and his collaborators created. For example, they used a human beatbox to create the percussion for “Ayo Technology”, they sampled a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. for “Why Should I Care”, and they used a vocoder to distort Timberlake’s voice for “FutureSex/LoveSound”. The albums also had some cinematic influences, such as the film noir style of the music video for “What Goes Around…Comes Around”, and the sci-fi theme of the short film for “SexyBack”.


The albums also explored themes of love, sex, betrayal, heartbreak, and redemption. Some of the songs were based on Timberlake’s personal life, such as “Mirrors”, which was about his relationship with Biel, and “Not a Bad Thing”, which was inspired by his proposal to her. Other songs were more fictional or experimental, such as “Suit & Tie”, which was a retro-inspired ode to classy dressing, and “Blue Ocean Floor”, which was a minimalist ballad about drowning in love.


To promote the albums, Timberlake embarked on two major tours: the Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour with Jay-Z in 2013, and the 20/20 Experience World Tour in 2013-2015. The tours were both highly acclaimed and profitable, grossing over $280 million combined . Timberlake also performed at several award shows and events, such as the MTV Video Music Awards, the Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl LII halftime show.

The 20/20 Experience albums were a landmark in Timberlake’s career and in the music industry. They established him as one of the most influential and versatile artists of his generation. They also influenced many other musicians who followed his footsteps in blending different genres and experimenting with new sounds. The albums were a musical masterpiece that showcased Timberlake’s musical genius and vision.


##Man of the Woods


Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods is his fifth studio album, released in 2018. It was inspired by his family, his Southern roots, and his musical influences. He worked with various producers and artists, such as Timbaland, the Neptunes, Chris Stapleton, and Alicia Keys. The album features a mix of genres, such as R&B, pop, funk, soul, country, and gospel. The album received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Timberlake's vocals and production, but criticized his lyrics and lack of cohesion. The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 and selling over 10 million copies worldwide. It also earned Timberlake six Grammy nominations.


Some of the songs from the album are:


- Filthy: The lead single from the album, a futuristic dance-pop song that showcases Timberlake's falsetto and Timbaland's beats. The song peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and was accompanied by a sci-fi themed music video featuring a robot. ¹


- Supplies: The second single from the album, a trap-pop song that features vocals from Pharrell Williams and references to social issues and conspiracy theories. The song reached number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was accompanied by a dystopian music video featuring Eiza González. ²

- Say Something: The third single from the album, a country-pop song that features vocals and guitar from Chris Stapleton. The song is about finding one's voice and expressing one's truth. The song peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and was accompanied by a live music video filmed in a single shot at the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles. ³


- Man of the Woods: The fourth single from the album, a folk-pop song that celebrates Timberlake's love for his wife Jessica Biel and his son Silas. The song is named after his son's name, which means "man of the forest". The song reached number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was accompanied by a playful music video featuring Biel. ⁴


The album also includes other songs, such as:

- Midnight Summer Jam: A funk-pop song that samples the Gap Band's "Outstanding" and pays homage to Timberlake's hometown of Memphis.

- Higher Higher: A soul-pop song that reflects on Timberlake's rise to fame and fortune.

- Morning Light: A soul-pop duet with Alicia Keys that expresses gratitude for finding true love.

- Montana: A disco-pop song that uses metaphors of nature to describe a romantic relationship.

- Breeze Off the Pond: A folk-pop song that uses imagery of water to convey peace and tranquility.

- Livin' Off the Land: A rock-pop song that tells the story of a man who struggles to survive in the wilderness.

- The Hard Stuff: A country-pop ballad that praises the value of commitment and loyalty in love.

- Young Man: A pop-rap song that features vocals from Timberlake's son Silas and offers him advice for life.


(1) Justin Timberlake - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Timberlake.

(2) Justin Timberlake | Biography, Songs, Movies, & Facts. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Justin-Timberlake.

(3) Justin Timberlake - Biography - IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005493/bio/.

(4) Justin Timberlake - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Timberlake.

(5) Justin Timberlake discography - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Timberlake_discography.

(6) Justin Timberlake Albums and Discography | AllMusic. https://www.allmusic.com/artist/justin-timberlake-mn0000312890/discography.

(7) The List of Justin Timberlake Albums in Order of Release. https://albumsinorder.com/justin-timberlake-albums-in-order/.

(8) List of awards and nominations received by Justin Timberlake. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Justin_Timberlake.

(9) Justin Timberlake - Awards - IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005493/awards/.

(10) Awards list | Justin Timberlake Wiki | Fandom. https://justin-timberlake.fandom.com/wiki/Awards_list.

(11) List of awards and nominations received by Justin Timberlake. https://justintimberlake.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_Justin_Timberlake.

(12) Justin Timberlake's Most Controversial Moments Ever. https://www.nickiswift.com/344967/justin-timberlakes-most-controversial-moments-ever/.

(13) Justin Timberlake apologises to Britney Spears after documentary ... - BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-56047830.

(14) Justin Timberlake Faces Another Accusation About His Supposedly Rude .... https://www.nickiswift.com/940593/justin-timberlake-faces-another-accusation-about-his-supposedly-rude-behavior/.

(16) Justin Timberlake blasted for Britney Spears, Janet Jackson downfalls. https://nypost.com/2021/11/22/justin-timberlake-blasted-for-britney-spears-janet-jackson-downfalls/.

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