|Real name||Birth date||Sun sign||Hometown|
|Justin Randall Timberlake||January 31,1981||Aquarius||Memphis, Tennessee, USA|
A tall, curly-haired Tennessean who went from cowboy hats and fringed shirts on "Star Search" to cornrows and studded jeans as *NSYNC's most popular heartthrob, Justin Timberlake may have been the youngest member of the vocal group, but he certainly made up for his lack of age and experience with a wealth of energy and charisma. A childhood pageant winner who scored well during his 1992 "Star Search" appearance but was beat out, Timberlake recovered with a part as a regular cast member of the popular Disney Channel variety series remake "The Mickey Mouse Club" from 1993 through 1994 where he was able to show off his natural ease on the dance floor and potentially great singing voice to good effect.
A natural born entertainer, Timberlake was in Nashville working on some vocal tracks when approached by Chris Kirkpatrick to join his developing singing group. Recommending fellow "MMC" veteran J.C. Chasez, Timberlake joined Kirkpatrick and well-known Orlando talent Joey Fatone (along with Lance Bass) in 1995, forming the would-be supergroup and heading to Europe where they quickly gained fame. It wouldn't be until 1998 that the group would have domestic success, but with the release of their self-titled debut that year, their anonymity was soon behind them. The hit singles "Tearing Up My Heart", "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" and "I Want You Back" launched the group into the charts and into the hearts of teenaged girls everywhere.
Though their 1998 holiday album was a good seller, legal battles with manager and accused Svengali Lou Pearlman, led to *NSYNC hitting a roadblock 1999, stuck in court for the latter quarter of the year rather than releasing their follow-up album as planned. Having switched to Jive Records, *NSYNC was in breach of contract and was sued by Pearlman and BMG Entertainment for $150 million dollars. A countersuit pointed out the firm's questionable contracts and practices. The name calling ended in late December when the two sides finally came to an agreement. Determined to start fresh in 2000, the group did their best to put aside past problems and make the most of their next release, the aptly titled "No Strings Attached".
The album's March release was preceded by a staggering month of heavy duty promoting, leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that all record-buyers were aware of the impending best seller. Sporting a new hipper look, Timberlake emerged more confident than ever and with his magnetic performances and engaging manner, he was clearly the frontman of the group in attitude if not always in vocals. When *NSYNC managed to move 2.4 million records in a single week (more than doubling the previous honor held by the Backstreet Boys, who sold 1.13 copies of their 1999 effort "Millennium"), people were shocked by the unfathomable volume but not by the accomplishment. With inescapable songs like "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me", "No Strings Attached" was an omnipresent entry into the popular culture canon of 2000. Timberlake and company proved worthy of the immense adoration they inspired with remarkably energetic stage shows that featured almost flawless live vocals, the likes of which those raised on New Kids on the Block and Milli Vanilli were certainly not expecting. While the kids screamed, many parents nodded, thanks to presentations like HBO's "*NSYNC Live at Madison Square Garden" (2000), which brought the magic home.
Given the daunting task of living up to their big record breaker, *NSYNC opted to alleviate the pressure with an eclectic and risky album that reflected their musical interests and aspirations rather than one that tried to predict what buyers would want. Ironically named "Celebrity" after the title the five were saddled with and felt didn't fit, the long-awaited record hit the shelves in 2001.
While Timberlake has opened up his musical horizons, co-writing and co-producing songs, the very celebrity he doesn't understand has offered him even more entertainment opportunities. With comedic experience from the admittedly corny but at times well-observed "MMC", Timberlake tried a romantic lead in the "Wonderful World of Disney" production "Model Behavior" (ABC, 2000). While he didn't exactly bowl audiences over with his acting chops, he would surely excel in more physical roles that showcased his grace and natural, almost instinctive, dancing abilities. In mentions for roles in such developing projects as a movie adaptation of "Rent" (as the videographer Mark) and a modern take on "The Wizard of Oz" called "The O.Z." (as the Scarecrow), Timberlake could expect to translate his remarkable energy and on stage charisma into an electric screen presence, given the right project.