Justin Timberlake Finally Reveals the Truth About His Split From 'NSYNC

Justin TimberlakeIn 1999, if you had told me that the curly-headed kid in my favorite boy band would be one of the music world's biggest superstars a decade and a half later, I probably would've ignored you and turned Carson Daly and Total Request Live up.

And if you had told me his breakout song would be something called "SexyBack," I most definitely would've said "Bye Bye Bye," because those kinds of things just don't happen in real life. But Justin Timberlake had a vision for his music, and now he's finally opening up about the truth of his feelings over leaving 'NSYNC to pursue it.

JT received more than his fair share of criticism when he decided to split from Chris, Joey, JC, and Lance to pursue a solo career, and on Sunday's season premiere of Oprah's Master Class on OWN, the singer shared what it was like back in those days.

"I would wake up every morning feeling this more and more of an urge to step out on my own," he confessed. He was only 21, and ready to "try my own hand as a musician, just by myself," despite being warned not to leave the group at the height of its popularity.

"Why wouldn't you ride this out?" he said he felt everyone thinking. "You're the biggest group in the world. Why would you walk away from this?"

On his ultimate decision to follow his instincts, he said, "It's one of the best/worst things that I have ever done ... it was bittersweet. It was hard to say goodbye to that era, but I felt it changing. I felt music changing. And I felt myself changing."

While FutureSex/LoveSounds went on to win two Grammys, JT had a hard time convincing people to go for the record's first single, "SexyBack," which was written and co-produced with Timbaland and Nate "Danja" Hills.

"I had to convince people that 'SexyBack' was my song ... they didn't even think it was me, people thought it was a joke," he shared. (I totally would've been one of those people, and "SexyBack" was my ringtone for a while there in 2006. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, mmmkay?)

The singer also said of the song, "I believed in it and I believed in what it made other people do. You learn to trust your gut. I only have my instinct, which is a powerful thing."

Powerful indeed. Justin Timberlake's gut apparently knows a thing or two about music, and now our ears can rejoice that his heart was big enough to follow his dream even when everyone around him discouraged it.

Have you ever had to let someone down to do what you knew was right in your heart?


Image via Justin Timberlake/Instagram

justin timberlake, music


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fave82 fave82

Just an fyi, Sexyback wasnt on Justified.. It was on his second cd FutureSex/LoveSounds.

nonmember avatar Jenn

SexyBack was released in 2006, not 2003. On his second album, not his first.

nonmember avatar lilk

jenny did you do research when you wrote this ?
Justified was his first album, released in 2002, with the songs he cant love you/Cry Me a River/ Rock Your Body/ Senorita .

Future Sex Love Sounds was his 2nd album released in 2006 with songs SexyBack/ My Love/ What Goes Around .

mizza... mizzashley227

lol must not be that big of a JT fan considering his first single was "Like I Love You" produced by Pharrell and the Neptunes. that was the CD with Cry Me A River produced by timbaland. FutureSex/LoveSounds and SexyBack wasnt released for another 3 years in Summer/Fall 2006.  

nonmember avatar Setha

I was going to say the same thing everybody has said. Another fail there Jenny.

elk571 elk571

Sorry but while I liked him in NSYNC I don't like him as a solo artist. And 'they' were right, SexyBack was NOT him at ALL, I laughed then and I still laugh at it now

nonmember avatar Tristan

elk571...You can keep laughing. You may hurt his feelings but he just has to look at his bank account to make himself feel better.

Rhodin Rhodin

No one believed SexyBack was Timberlake because he's so damn autotuned that he sounds like a woman.

nonmember avatar Shan

She made that comment because that's the way it was mentioned on Masterclass. He didn't really talk about Justified, he skipped that and went straight to Sexy back. Sometimes people do get it right. Talk what you know.

JBgr1083 JBgr1083

Jenny is the worst writer ever.

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