Justin Randall Timberlake is an American singer and actor, who first came to prominence with the boy band 'N Sync. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee on the 31st of January 1981.
He started performing as a country and western singer on the reality TV show Star Search, filmed in Hollywood. Timberlake went on to star in the Walt Disney produced variety show The New Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel during seasons 6 and 7. Also on the show was JC Chasez, whom Timberlake would later sing with. After the end of The New Mickey Mouse Club, Justin Timberlake recruited fellow show star JC Chasez to help form a boy band under the manager Johnny Wright who had earlier managed The Backstreet Boys.
The band formed in 1995 and was called ‘N Sync, after Timberlake’s mother commented that their singing voices were complimentary and in sync. ‘N Sync’s first single was I Want You Back, released on the 7th of October 1996 in Germany and other European countries and made 6 top twenty positions on the charts. Their debut album *NSYNC was first released in Germany on the 26th of May 1997 and charted at no.1. The album was re-released in 1998 in the UK and US. After performing in a worldwide concert on the Disney Channel, the album peaked at no.30 on the UK Albums Chart and at no.2 on the Billboard Hot 200. Tearin' Up My Heart was also a hit single from the album.
N’ Sync toured regularly in 1998-1999, including in support of Janet Jackson on her Velvet Rope Tour. The boy band released two seasonal Christmas albums in 1998, Home for Christmas was released in the US on November 10th and The Winter Album was released in Germany one week later.
In 1998 N’ Sync also began a lengthy legal battle against Pearlman and his record company. An out of court settlement was agreed and the five singers moved to Jive Records.
The single Bye Bye Bye was released in January 2000 and peaked in the top 10 of over twelve countries, including 3rd and 4thin the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 200 respectively. This became the lead single of No Strings Attached, N’ Sync’s 2ndstudio album. No Strings Attached reached no.1 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and no.14 on the UK Albums Chart and still holds the record for most album sales in the 1st week at over 2.4 million units. The album’s three other singles; It's Gonna Be Me, I'll Never Stop and This I Promise You all charted highly.
N’ sync’s third and final album Celebrity was released on July 24th 2001, becoming the 2nd fastest selling album of all time with first week sales of over 1.8 million albums. It went straight to top spot on the US Billboard Hot 200 and peaked at 12 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was preceded by the hit single Pop, released on May 15th. `The album featured songs written by band members themselves.
N’ Sync toured to support Celebrity’s release, actually starting two months before the album’s release. It was called the Pop Odyssey Tour and lasted for 4 months with 50 North American dates. Due to its unprecedented success, 33 dates were added in the US, which were called the Celebrity Tour.
After the tour, the boy band went on hiatus, a reality that eventually became permanent.
Justified became Timberlake’s first solo album, released in November 2002. It was preceded by the lead single Like I Love You, reaching 2 and 11 on the UK Singles and US Billboard Hot 100 charts respectively. Justified reached no. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and 2nd on the US Billboard Hot 200 along with reaching a top 10 in 9 other countries. Cry Me A River was the second single, peaking at no.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 2nd place on the UK Singles Chart. The third single, Rock Your Body charted in the top 10 in 10 countries, including at no.5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at no.2 on the UK Singles Chart. The final single for the album, I'm Lovin' It was used by McDonalds to promote its fast food.
Timberlake toured in support of Justified with fellow former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera from June to September 2003. It was called the Justified/Stripped Tour, spanning 45 dates in North America. Acts including Black Eyed Peas and Jamelia supported the headliners.
In mid-September 2006, FutureSex/LoveSounds was released as Justin Timberlake’s 2nd studio album. It was a huge success, topping the charts in the UK, US, Ireland, Canada and Australia and reached a top 10 in 13 other countries. FutureSex/LoveSounds produced 6 singles, the album being preceded by the single SexyBack. SexyBack peaked at no.1 in both the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 10 in 18 other countries. My Love (featuring American rapper T.I.) was the 2nd single, released two weeks after the album and topped the Billboard Hot 100 while it also peaked at no.2 on the UK Singles Chart and scored 13 other top 10’s. Third single What What Goes Around...Comes Around reached no.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no.4 on the UK Singles Chart while also getting 18 other top 10 chartings after being released on the 8th of January 2007. The other 3 singles; Summer Love; LoveStoned and Until the End of Time also charted well.
Timberlake has acted in several films. The first was in a Disney Channel movie in 2000 titled Model Behaviour, where he plays the role of Jason Sharpe, the protagonist’s beau. Edison Force was his second performance, as a young journalist in the 2006 direct-to-video release.
Ronnie, partner of the promiscuous Rae, was played by Justin Timberlake in Black Snake Moan, released in 2006. His character spends most of the movie on military deployment with his army unit.
In January 2007, Timberlake starred in Alpha Dog as Frankie Ballenbacher. The film centres on the dynamics of a small-time gang and on the kidnap of Zack Mazursky, whose brother owes the gang leader a debt of money.
The Open Road was a 2009 comedy-drama, where Timberlake plays the leading role as a poorly performing basketball star Carlton Garrett. He must find his father and together with other must fly across the country to sign the papers for doctors to operate on his mother.
Sean Parker, the founder of Napster was Justin Timberlake’s character in the 2010 film The Social Network, charting the first years of the formation of Facebook and the accompanying legal battles.
Timberlake played Cameron Diaz’s love interest in 2011’s Bad Teacher.
In the same year he starred alongside Mila Kunis in the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits, playing Dylan, a new employee who becomes Kunis’ character Jamie’s casual lover.
Justin Timberlake is also well known as the first celebrity to have a prank played on them on MTV’s Punk’d reality practical joke show. The show’s host Ashton Kutcher had actors and closed boxes and other props outside Timberlake’s house. They were to pretend to be the Inland Revenue Service and that they were repossessing everything he owned. He appears shocked and cries, but is immediately light-hearted when he is informed of the prank.