In 2002, he released his debut solo album, Justified, which sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. The album was a commercial success, spawning the hits "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body". Timberlake continued his success with his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, and produced the US number-one hit singles "SexyBack," "My Love," and "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around."
Timberlake's first two albums made him one of the most commercially successful singers in the world, each selling in excess of 9 million copies (in addition to his 55 million albums sold with 'N Sync). Aside from music, he has alsobegun an acting career, while his other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.
Timberlake was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Lynn Harless (née Bomar) and Randall Timberlake. Timberlake has English and distant American Indian ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Charles L. Timberlake, was a Baptist minister, and Timberlake was raised Baptist, though now considers himself more "spiritual than religious".
Timberlake's parents divorced in 1985, and both have remarried. His mother, who now runs an entertainment company called Just-in Time Entertainment, remarried to Paul Harless, a banker, when her son was five. His father, a choir director at a Baptist church, has two children, Jonathan (born c. 1993) and Steven Robert (born August 14, 1998), from his second marriage to Lisa Perry. Timberlake's half-sister, Laura Katherine, died shortly after birth on May 14, 1997, and is mentioned in his acknowledgments in the album *NSYNC as "My Angel in Heaven." Timberlake grew up in Shelby Forest, a small community between Memphis and Millington. His first attempts at a singing career were country music songs on Star Search as "Justin Randall."
In 1993, Timberlake joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club. His castmates included future girlfriend and pop superstar Britney Spears, future tourmate Christina Aguilera, and future bandmate JC Chasez. The show ended in 1994, but late in 1995 Timberlake recruited Chasez to be in an all-male singing group organized by boy band manager Lou Pearlman that eventually became 'N Sync.
Timberlake and JC Chasez were the two lead singers of the popular 1990s boy band 'N Sync. The group formed in 1995, started its career 1996 in Europe, and hit it big in the United States in 1998 with the US release of its debut album *NSYNC, which sold 11 million copies. The album included a number of hit singles such as "Tearin' Up My Heart." For the next two years, encouraged by similar developments with the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync engaged in a lengthy legal battle with manager Lou Pearlman. Eventually the band signed with Jive Records. 'N Sync released a long-awaited album, No Strings Attached, in March 2000, which became the fastest-selling album of all time with 2.4 million copies sold in its first week and produced a #1 single, "It's Gonna Be Me". The release was followed by the band's third album, Celebrity, which held the title of the second-fastest selling album of all time. In 2002, after the completion of a Celebrity Tour and the release of "Girlfriend," the third single from Celebrity, the group decided to take time off, at which point Timberlake began work on his first solo album and the group went into a hiatus. In its lifetime, 'N Sync was internationally famous and performed at the Academy Awards,the Olympics, and the Super Bowl, as well as selling more than 50 million copies worldwide, becoming the third-best selling boy band in history.
During late 1999, Timberlake made his acting debut in the Disney Channel movie Model Behavior, in which he played Jason Sharpe, a model who falls in love with a waitress after mistaking her for another model. It was released on March 12, 2000.
As a member of 'N Sync, Timberlake developed into a major celebrity in his own right in addition to achieving respect as a musician, since he was the writer or co-writer of all three singles from Celebrity. The rise of his own stardom and the general decline in the popularity of boy bands led to a continuation of 'N Sync's hiatus, although the group has never officially disbanded. Band member Lance Bass has stated that he believes the group is finished, and is openly critical of Timberlake's actions in his memoir Out of Sync. On the other hand, Chris Kirkpatrick remarked in August 2008 that the five remain friends, and he believed a reunion was possible: he repeated that opinion in October 2009. In September 2008, Bass also made conciliatory comments.
In August 2002, after months of recording Justified, his debut solo album, Timberlake performed at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, where he premiered his first single, "Like I Love You," a sparse dance track produced by The Neptunes. The song reached number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100. Following the single, Timberlake released Justified on November 5, 2002. The album sold fewer copies than previous 'N Sync efforts. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 439,000 copies in its first week of release. It eventually went on to sell more than three million copies in the U.S. and more than seven million copies worldwide. The album also received critical acclaim, thanks to its heavy R&B influence provided by hip-hop producers The Neptunes and Timbaland. It spun off hits throughout late 2002 and 2003, including the top ten singles "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body." Timberlake supported the album by co-headlining the Justified/Stripped Tour with Christina Aguilera in the summer of 2003. At the end of the year, Timberlake recorded a song entitled "I'm Lovin' It." It was used by McDonald's as the theme to its "I'm Lovin' It" campaign. The deal with McDonald's earned Timberlake an estimated $6 million. A tour entitled Justified and Lovin' It Live was included with the deal as well. Timberlake was featured on Nelly's song, "Work It", which was remixed and included on Nelly's 2003 remix album.
In February 2004, during the halftime show of the Super Bowl XXXVIII broadcast on the CBS television network, Timberlake performed with Janet Jackson before a television audience of more than 140 million viewers. At the end of the performance, as the song drew to a close, Timberlake tore off a part of Jackson's black leather costume in a "costume reveal" meant to accompany a portion of the song lyrics. According to CBS, "both Jackson and Timberlake had confirmed they planned it 'independently and clandestinely' without informing anyone." Part of the costume detached, and Jackson's breast was briefly exposed. Timberlake apologized for the incident, stating he was "sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl...." The phrase "wardrobe malfunction" has since been used by the media to refer to the incident and has entered pop culture. As a result of the controversy, Timberlake and Jackson were threatened with exclusion from the 2004 Grammy Awards unless they agreed to apologize on screen at the event. Timberlake attended and issued a scripted apology when accepting the first of two Grammy Awards he received that night (Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Cry Me a River"). He had also been nominated for Album of the Year for Justified, Record of the Year for "Cry Me a River", and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Where Is the Love?" with The Black Eyed Peas.
After the Super Bowl controversy, Timberlake put his recording career on hold to act in several films, having starred in a few feature films earlier in his music career. The first role he took during this time was as a journalist in the thriller Edison Force, which was filmed in 2004 and received a direct-to-video release on July 18, 2006. He also appeared in the films Alpha Dog, Black Snake Moan, Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, and voiced Prince Artie Pendragon in the animated film Shrek the Third, released on May 18, 2007. He also appeared as a young Elton John, in the video for John's song "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore". Timberlake was considered to play the role of Roger Davis in the film version of the rock musical Rent, but director Chris Columbus had insisted that only the original Broadway members could convey the true meaning of Rent.
He continued to record with other artists. After "Where Is the Love?", he again collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas on the 2005 track "My Style" from their album Monkey Business. When recording the 2005 single "Signs" with Snoop Dogg, Timberlake discovered a throat condition.Nodules were subsequently removed from his throat in an operation that took place on May 5, 2005. He was advised not to sing or speak loudly for at least a few months. In the summer of 2005, Timberlake started his own record company, JayTee Records.
Timberlake made a cameo in the video for Nelly Furtado and Timbaland's single "Promiscuous", released on May 3, 2006.
Timberlake released his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, on September 12, 2006. The album, which Timberlake created in 2005, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 684,000 copies its first week.It is the biggest album for pre-orders on iTunes, and beat Coldplay's record for the biggest one-week sales of a digital album. The album was produced by Timbaland and Danja (who produced a bulk of the album), will.i.am, Rick Rubin and Timberlake himself, and features guest vocals by Snoop Dogg, Three 6 Mafia, T.I. and will.i.am. A studio representative described it as being "all about sexiness" and aiming for "an adult feel".
The album's lead single, "SexyBack", was performed by Timberlake at the opening of the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for seven consecutive weeks. "My Love", the album's second single, also produced by Timbaland and featuring rapper T.I., reached number one on the Hot 100, as did third single "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around Interlude". The song is reported to have been inspired by the break-up of his childhood friend and business partner, Trace Ayala, with actress Elisha Cuthbert. In October 2006, Timberlake said that he would focus on his music career rather than his film roles, specifying that leaving the music industry would be a "dumb thing to do at this point". He was the special guest performer at the 2006 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for being where he sang SexyBack. In January 2007, Timberlake embarked on the FutureSex/LoveShow tour. "Summer Love/Set the Mood Prelude" was the fourth U.S. single off the album, and the next single in the UK was "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude". The song "Give It to Me", a Timbaland single on which Timberlake guests with Nelly Furtado, reached the Hot 100 number-one spot.
In February 2008, Timberlake was awarded two Grammy Awards. At the 50th Grammy Awards Ceremony, Timberlake won the Male Pop Performance Award for "What Goes Around...Comes Around", and the Dance Recording Award for "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows".
In April 2007, Timberlake was seen entering a London studio with Madonna, thus confirming rumors that he was collaborating with her. A song "4 Minutes", was first played by Timbaland at Philadelphia's Jingle Ball on December 17, 2007. When released on March 17, 2008, "4 Minutes" was revealed to be a duet between Timberlake and Madonna, with backing vocals by Timbaland. It was lead single from Madonna's eleventh studio album Hard Candy, which featured four other song-writing collaborations with Timberlake. The single was an international hit, and topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and reached the Top 5 in Austria, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. Timberlake also appears in the music video, which was directed by Jonas & François. On March 30, 2008, Timberlake performed the song at Madonna's Hard Candy Promo Show at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.On November 6, 2008, Timberlake performed the song with Madonna on the Los Angeles stop of her Sticky & Sweet Tour.
Around June 2007 Timberlake co-wrote, produced and provided vocals for the songs "Nite Runner" and "Falling Down" for Duran Duran's album Red Carpet Massacre, released on November 13, 2007. "Falling Down" had been released as a single in the UK on the previous day.
Also in 2007, Timberlake made an appearance on 50 Cent's third album, Curtis. Timberlake, along with Timbaland, is featured on a track called "Ayo Technology", which was the album's fourth single. Also, another possible collaboration was to occur with Lil Wayne for his album Tha Carter III with Nelly Furtado and Timbaland.
With the wrapping up of the FutureSex/LoveSounds tour of Australasia and the Middle East in November 2007, Timberlake resumed his film career. Projects underway early in 2008 were starring roles in Mike Myers' comedy The Love Guru (released June 20, 2008) and Mike Meredith's drama The Open Road (released August 28, 2009). In March 2008 it was announced that he was be an executive producer in an American adaptation of the hit Peruvian comedy My Problem with Women for NBC.
On November 20, 2008, TV Guide reported that Timberlake’s next single, "Follow My Lead", which also featured vocals by Timberlake’s protégée, former YouTube star Esmee Denters, would be available for exclusive download through MySpace. All proceeds would go to Shriners Hospitals for Children, a charity dedicated to improving pediatric care for sick children.
In 2008 a collaboration between Timberlake and T.I., "Dead and Gone" featured on T.I.'s sixth studio album, Paper Trail, and was released as its fourth single late in 2009. In November 2008, it was confirmed that Timberlake would make a guest appearance and produce some tracks on R&B/pop singer Ciara's upcoming album Fantasy Ride due out May 5, 2009. Timberlake featured on Ciara's second single "Love Sex Magic", the video being shot on February 20, 2009. The single became a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in numerous countries and peaking at number one in several countries including Taiwan, India, and Turkey. The single is now nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
Timberlake and his production team The Y's, along with Mike Elizondo, produced and co-wrote the song "Don't Let Me Down" for Leona Lewis's second studio album, Echo, released (in the US) on November 17, 2009.
Timberlake also co-wrote and performed on "Carry Out," the third single from Timbaland's album Shock Value II, released on December 1, 2009.
Near the end of 2002, Timberlake was the first celebrity to appear on Punk'd, a "candid camera" type show created by Ashton Kutcher to trick celebrities. Timberlake, who cried during the episode, later admitted to being under the influence of marijuana when he was pranked. Three episodes later, he set up Kelly Osbourne to be "punk'd", thus making him the first celebrity to appear on the show more than once. Timberlake later spoofed Ashton Kutcher and Punk'd in a 2003 episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
Timberlake has hosted many music events, including the European MTV Music Awards in 2006. On December 16, 2006, Timberlake hosted Saturday Night Live, doing double duty as both host and musical guest for the second time. During this appearance, he and Andy Samberg performed an R&B song for a skit entitled "Dick in a Box," which some radio stations have aired as an unofficial single from Timberlake and has become one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. On May 9, 2009, he appeared in another SNL Digital Short opposite Samberg, Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson entitled "Motherlover", a quasi-sequel to "Dick in a Box".
Timberlake appeared on Jimmy Fallon's debut as host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on March 2, 2009.
In 2004, ABC hired Timberlake to write a song for its NBA coverage.
Timberlake is the executive producer on the MTV reality series The Phone, which premiered on April 21, 2009. According to People Magazine, the series "thrusts contestants into a heart-stopping action adventure worthy of a summer blockbuster. In six hour-long episodes, a mysterious stranger on the phone invites four strangers into the dangerous game. If they accept, they're paired into two teams and dared to perform physical and mental challenges reminiscent of Matt Damon's The Bourne Identity or Shia LaBeouf's Eagle Eye."
Timberlake will reprise his role as Artie in the fourth Shrek movie.
Timberlake has co-owned or provided celebrity endorsement for three restaurants in the United States: "Chi" opened in West Hollywood, California in 2003, and "Destino" and "Southern Hospitalty" in New York opened in 2006 and 2007, respectively. He also has his own brand of tequila called 901; the name comes in part from the area code of his hometown of Memphis.
In 2005, Timberlake launched the William Rast clothing line with childhood friend Juan ("Trace") Ayala. The 2007 line contained cord jackets, cashmere sweaters, jeans and polo shirts. The pair reports inspiration from fellow Memphis native Elvis Presley: "Elvis is the perfect mixture of Justin and I," Ayala says. "You can go back and see pictures of him in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and a nice button-down shirt, but then again you can see him in a tux and a collared shirt with rhinestones on it and slacks. We like to think 'If he was alive today, what would he be wearing?'"
Timberlake provides celebrity endorsement for many commercial products, this aspect of his business being managed by IMG Sports & Entertainment since April 2008. Major endorsements in 2009 included Sony electronic products, Givenchy's men's fragrance "Play", Audi's "A1", and Callaway Golf Company products.
An avid amateur golfer, in 2007 Timberlake purchased the run-down Big Creek Golf Course in his home town of Millington, Tennessee, which he redeveloped as the eco-friendly Mirimichi Golf Course at a cost of some $US16 million. It was reopened on 25 July 2009 but closed again on 15 January 2010 for further improvements expected to take six months.
Timberlake has been active in several charitable pursuits, initially through 'N Sync's "Challenge for the Children" aimed at a range of charities, and since 2001 through his "Justin Timberlake Foundation," which initially funded music education programs in schools, but now has a much broader agenda. In October 2005, the Grammy Association presented Timberlake with an award for his humanitarian efforts in Tennessee, alongside writer/director Craig Brewer, also a Memphis native.
In November 2007 he donated $A100,000 from takings from his Australian tour to Wildlife Warriors founded by the late Steve Irwin. On March 23, 2008, he donated $100,000 to the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum and another $100,000 to the Memphis Music Foundation.
On November 12, 2007, the PGA Tour announced that Timberlake, an avid golfer who plays to a 6 handicap, would become the host of the tour's Las Vegas tournament starting in 2008. With Timberlake's agreement to host the tournament, its name was changed to the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He played in the celebrity pro-am on the day before the competitive tournament and hosted a charity concert during the week of the tournament. The activity was a success, and was repeated in 2009. A review of the value of celebrities to fundraising concluded that Timberlake's contribution to Shriners Hospitals for Children was the single most valuable celebrity endorsement in the US during 2009, and worth over $US9 million.
Timberlake golfing in 2006.
Early in 1999, Timberlake began what eventually became a high-profile celebrity relationship with fellow pop singer Britney Spears, with whom he had worked on the New Mickey Mouse Club. This ended abruptly in March 2002, amidst tabloid press speculation on Spears' infidelity with choreographer Wade Robson, a mutual friend of Spears and Timberlake. Lynn Harless says as a mother she too was devastated regarding the break-up, but to this day speaks warmly of Spears, "Britney grew up on my living room floor. I still love her to death. They (Justin and Britney) were together 10 or 11 years and had, from day one, instant chemistry between them. She's a sweet girl. I just hate what she's going through now." The breakup influenced the lyrics and theme of Timberlake's hit "Cry Me A River", one of the most popular singles from Justified.
Post-Spears, Timberlake has generally refused to discuss his personal life with the media, as a result of which his relationships have been the subject of much speculation in the tabloid and celebrity press. He was involved with singer-actress Stacy Ferguson prior to 2001. He was romantically linked with actress-dancer Jenna Dewan (in mid-2002) and actress-singer Alyssa Milano (between September and October 2002). Timberlake began dating actress Cameron Diaz soon after they met at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in April 2003. Regular rumours of break-ups reported in the tabloid press were either ignored or occasionally denied. On the December 16, 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live, Diaz introduced Timberlake as the night's musical guest, and the couple officially split shortly afterwards. After the tabloid press alleged an affair between Timberlake and Scarlett Johansson, with whom he had shot the video for his single "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around Interlude", Diaz and Timberlake issued a joint statement on January 11, 2007:“It has always been our preference not to comment on the status of our relationship, but, out of respect for the time we've spent together, we feel compelled to do so now, in light of recent speculation and the number of inaccurate stories that are being reported by the media. We have, in fact, ended our romantic relationship and have done so mutually and as friends, with continued love and respect for one another.”
Later in January 2007 Timberlake was linked to Jessica Biel when pictures surfaced of the two snowboarding in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. On May 12, 2007 romantic pictures of Timberlake and Biel on multiple dates were published. In the August 9–15, 2008 edition of Heat magazine, when Timberlake was asked to describe his perfect woman, he replied "About 5ft.7in.-5ft.8in., nice butt, Midwestern American, kind-of-German last name, green eyes, big pouty lips, fair skin, ahhh....sinewy bod..."However, during an appearance on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 11, 2008 when Jay Leno questioned him about anything related to rumors of engagement and pregnancy, Timberlake jokingly responded that he "is engaging in a conversation with Leno" and "everybody in general can get pregnant."
Timberlake was given Sexiest Man titles by Teen People and Cosmopolitan magazines.On February 17, 2009, Timberlake was named the "Most Stylish Man in America" by GQ magazine
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