Justin Timberlake is Back & Better Than Ever!
With the release of his new album and a brand new file, the Prince of Pop is on top of the world!
With the release of the second half of his newest project, the 20/20 Experience, it's clear that Justin Timberlake has made the best of his time away from the music industry. Sales of the first portion of this album (his third solo album), which was released in early 2013, became one of the best selling albums of the year, with such hits a "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors". His most recent release is expected to be just as successful, with songs like "Take Back The Night" already making its way to the top of the billboard charts. For any artist, having one successful album in a year would be considered a huge feat. But for Justin, not only did he release two albums, but he is also the star of a new movie, Runner Runner, co-starring Ben Affleck, which came out this weekend. Justin has made it clear that he is not your average pop star, he is diverse, extremely talented, and takes his career very seriously.
In the early 90's the landscape of the entertainment industry, was rich with prospects for young child stars, companies like Disney began recruiting child actors. These child actors were recruited to create television series' that appealed to the daytime demographic of young kids, like The All New Mickey Mouse Club. Some of these actors became famous adults. However the way they are perceived in the limelight can be harsh. Here is one example of a child star who utilized his experiences growing up in this environment. He is a man that seemed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of his of his childhood stardom, his name is Justin Timberlake.
Justin began his career as many aspiring child stars do, answering to various casting calls. At age 9, he made an appearance on The All New Mickey Mouse Club. At age 11 he first appeared on the television show Star Search and although he didn’t win the competition, he remained confident and continued to pursue a career in show business. It is good that he was persistant, because at age 14, Justin Timberlake joined the popular boy band NSYNC. And in 1998 the band released their self titled debut album and Justin finally found the fame he desired. NSYNC has sold over 50 million albums in their career. They were even bigger than New Kids On the Block. On January 20, 1998 NSYNC released their first American single called “I Want You Back,” the track reached number 13 on the Billboard hot 100. Many of Justin’s fans who loved him on Disney began viewing him in a new light as a teenage heartthrob, and Justin was able to capitalize on this image to further propel his career. NSYNC's sophmore album “No Strings Attached” sold a record 2.4 million within it's first week. With the release of “Pop” by NSYNC in 2002 it became clear that Justin and NSYNC were ready for a change; to create music that appealed to the Hip-Hop fan base. The band split up in 2002 and Justin began his career as a solo artist.
After legal battles with NSYNC’s manager Lou Pearlman, for defrauding NSYNC out of what seemed to be 50 percent of their profits, Justin Timberlake began to work with producers that were in his peer group, who began mentoring him through his career as a solo artist. He collaborated with producers including Timbaland and The Neptunes. In August of 2002, Justin played the Video Music Awards and premiered his new single "Like I Love You", which appeared on the album "Justified". Justin appeared to make what was a very good move for his career. In the same year, breaking up with longtime girlfriend Britney Spears. Some argue that this break up fueled the content of the album "Justified".
Some considered it a surprising turn of events when Justin Timberlake began acting in films such as, Alpha Dog, Black Snake Moan, Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, and The Social Network. He was able to shed new light on his abilities as a triple threat. He was capable of conveying dark characters and able to act outside of his element. Another turn of events that surprised Justin’s fans who saw him as a pop prince, was Jamet Jackson’s infamous "assisted wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl half time show. Justin had now achieved credibility as a bad boy.
It was obvious that Justin was comfortable with his new Hip-Hop and R&B sound as well as his new position as a sex symbol in the media. In this height, Justin released his second solo album "Future Sex/ Love Sounds". Justin capitalized upon his adulthood and literally “brought sexy back.” The album sold 684,000 copies its first week. Justin transitioned from the role of teenage heartthrob to millionaire playboy and philanthropist. Currently his plans are to release a new solo album called “The 20/20 Experience” where he will do some collaborations with Jay Z. The album is rumored to be a self reflection on his career.
So what is it exactly that has allowed J.T. to become so successful? It seems to be his relentless confidence in himself. This quality could have been instilled in him at a young age by his mother Lynn Harless. Justin is a risk taker, he is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone and try something he is unfamiliar with. He is constantly breaking boundaries, be it through exploring new genres of music or acting. Justin has an ability to capitalize on his talent and recognize his natural abilities. A skill that we could all put to good use.
See Runner Runner in theaters now! Check out the trailer here:
As for his latest release, The 20/20 Experience Part 2, it is available on iTunes and in music stores now!