Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American singer who came to fame as a vocalist in the pop band *NSYNC. Timberlake has become notorious for baring the breast of Janet Jackson during the 2004 Superbowl halftime show.
Justin Timberlake's career began after a childhood stint on the American television talent show Star Search, when he became a cast member of The New Mickey Mouse Club teenage variety show. His co-stars on the show included fellow pop singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, as well as *NSYNC bandmate Joshua Chasez.
Timberlake began dating Britney Spears after *NSYNC took off and Spears began her pop career. Both were wildly popular teen idols, and their relationship and breakup made headlines. Spears and Timberlake made more headlines when Britney disclosed the pair had been intimate after Timberlake's interview with Barbara Walters in which he divulged information on their sex life. She had once publicly vowed she would "save herself" for marriage, but admitted that she had lost her virginity to Timberlake.
In November 2002, Timberlake released his debut solo album, Justified, which received critical acclaim. As opposed to many of his ealier recordings with *NSYNC that have been classified as teen pop, Justified has a heavy R&B influence thanks to production from hip-hop stalwarts The Neptunes and Timbaland. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, and has sold over 3 million copies in the US alone and over 7 million copies worldwide.
Near the end of 2002, Timberlake became the first star ever to get Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher on the premiere episode of this MTV series, which was aired at the beginning of 2003. Kutcher and his team convinced Timberlake that the IRS was seizing his property and boarding up the doors and windows of his home for not paying his taxes.
Timberlake supported the album by touring with Christina Aguilera on the Stripped tour, which ran throughout 2003. Like Spears and Aguilera, Timberlake has traded the squeaky-clean image created by his handlers for a far-more raunchy persona, as typified by his staged groping of Kylie Minogue's backside as they performed a duet later that year.
In February 2004, during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, Timberlake performed with Janet Jackson before an audience of over 100 million. In the course of the performance, as Jackson sung the lyrics "gonna have you naked by the end of this song," he tore off a part of her costume, baring her right breast. CBS, the NFL and MTV, which produced the halftime show, denied all responsibility under a hailstorm of controversy, calling the incident a "wardrobe malfunction". Jackson released a taped apology, using the "wardrobe malfunction" phrase. Timberlake issued a scripted apology of his own while accepting his first of two Grammy Awards in early 2004 (one for Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified, and the other for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Cry Me a River). The FCC announced an investigation.
Timberlake began dating American actress Cameron Diaz in early 2003. Timberlake is set to co-star in the thriller Edison, due out in 2005 which co-stars Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman.
When recording the single Signs with Snoop Dogg he allegedly discovered a throat condition. Nodules were removed in an operation that took place on 5 May 2005 to save his singing career. He was advised to not sing or speak loudly for at least a few months.
He is featured on the track "My Style" on the Black Eyed Peas album Monkey Business. He also appears in the hip-hop group's hit single "Where is the Love?" from their previous album, Elephunk. The song was the top single of 2003 in the U.K.
Rumormongers speculate that Timberlake is going to release a single on the cassete format, which he had used as a teen, and claim that he likes the "plucketting" sounds found on tapes.