Also Credited As:Justin Randall, Justin Randall Timberlake
|Actor, Director, Producer, Writer, Production Management, Music, Sound|
|Justin Randall Timberlake on January 31, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA|
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Born on Jan. 31, 1981, Justin Randall Timberlake grew up in the suburb of Millington, TN, just outside the city of Memphis. The grandson of a Baptist mister, Timberlake was raised in the religion and even attended the same Baptist church where his father, Randall, served as choir director. Randall Timberlake and Justin's mother, Lynn Bomar Timberlake, divorced in 1985. However, Lynn remained an active part of her son's life and career well into his adulthood. Showing a proclivity for singing early on, the 11-year-old Timberlake appeared as a contestant on "Star Search" (syndicated, 1983-1995) in 1993. Performing under the stage moniker of "Justin Randall," Timberlake crooned cute country-western tunes to an appreciative audience. While he did not go home a winner that night, Timberlake's career was officially launched. Soon after his "Star Search" appearance, Timberlake was tapped by an Orlando casting for a remake of the popular children's variety series, "The Mickey Mouse Club." The cast proved to be a talented assemblage; in addition to Timberlake, other cast members included Timberlake's future girlfriend, Spears, future tour mate Christina Aguilera and future 'N Sync band member, J.C. Chasez. It was Timberlake and his short-cropped, curly blond hair - with his burgeoning dancing and singing talents frequently on display - who emerged as one of the show's brightest stars.
After "The Mickey Mouse Club" ended production in 1995, Timberlake was recruited by singer Chris Kirkpatrick and music producer Lou Pearlman to be a member of a new all-male vocal group. To help fill the remaining ranks, Timberlake recommended his fellow Mouseketeer, J.C. Chasez. Along with Joey Fatone and Lance Bass, the photogenic quintet was dubbed N Sync (or *NSYNC, as it was often stylized). Launching their careers in Germany first, the group later conquered U.S. charts. Their first album, 1998's self-titled *NSYNC spawned a number of Top 40 hits, most notably the chart topper "Tearin' Up My Heart" and the saccharine sweet puppy lust ballad, "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time On You." N Sync's next effort, 2000's No Strings Attached, fared even better, selling over 2.4 million albums in its first week and eventually becoming the group's fastest selling album of all time.
Not surprisingly, expectations ran extraordinarily high for their next album, 2001's Celebrity. Although the album did well, eventually selling well over 5 million units,Celebrity fell far short of the 15 million copies sold of No Strings Attached. Soon after the completion of the Celebrity tour in 2002, 'N Sync issued a press release stating that the group would be taking a sabbatical from the recording studio. As expected, Timberlake used the time off to pursue his long-rumored solo project. Tired of his squeaky-clean image, Timberlake actively sought out help from hip-hop producers Pharrell Williams and Timbaland to help him craft a sexier, edgier new sound. Mindful of his old fan base, Timberlake also hired R&B singer-producer Brian McKnight to polish his sexy pop-friendly ballads. Released in November 2002, Justified debuted at No. 2 on the charts and eventually went seven times platinum. In addition to winning the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album of the year, Justified also spawned a Grammy-winning single "Cry Me a River," and a video that took an obvious swipe at his now ex-girlfriend Spears.
Alas, Timberlake's road to success was not without its share of bumps In February 2004, the singer found himself thrust into the center of controversy as the result of a performance during the Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show. Scheduled to sing "Rock the Body" live on-stage alongside Janet Jackson, Timberlake surprised audiences with an especially sultry rendition and sexually suggestive choreography. At the climax of the song, Timberlake tore off a part of Jackson's black leather outfit as part of a planned costume reveal. As part of her outfit detached, however, Jackson's right breast - complete with metal nipple cover - was briefly exposed before 140 million viewers worldwide. The fallout from this so-called "wardrobe malfunction" was surprisingly intense. The next day, CBS (the network that aired the Super Bowl that year) issued a press release, expressing outrage over the incident. Pressured into offering a mea culpa, Timberlake publicly apologized for the "boob-boo" at the 2004 Grammy Awards. For her part, Jackson seemed less contrite. Ironically, it was she, much more so than Timberlake, who ended up taking the brunt of the controversy.
The only thing hotter than Timberlake's recording career was his personal life. Between 1998 to 2007, Timberlake was romantically linked with a bevy of A-list starlets and songstresses, starting with pop queen and former Mouseketeer, Spears. The relationship ended after four years in 2002 amid speculations of her infidelity which he had so blatantly revealed to the world with his "Cry Me a River" video, complete w/ a cheating Britney look-a-like. The two would, however, remain friendly after the break-up. After his split with Spears, Timberlake entered into another long-term romance, this time with actress, Cameron Diaz. The love connection between these two young, beautiful, and highly successful individuals lasted nearly four years, during which time the athletic twosome graced the covers of countless supermarket tabloids, often seeing golfing or surfing. In early 2007, however, the couple confirmed what many gossip columnists had predicted by splitting up. Timberlake reportedly wasted no time embracing his bachelorhood. Following his break-up with Diaz, Timberlake was publicly spotted in the company of some of Tinseltown's hottest ingénues, including a rumored Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson.
In September 2006, Timberlake released his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. To promote the album, Timberlake appeared on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) as both guest host and musical guest. The highlight of the evening was a mock music video that featured Timberlake and "S.N.L." regular Andy Samberg for a song called "D*ck in a Box." Shockingly vulgar and riotously funny, "D*ck in a Box" quickly gained a cult following on the internet, becoming one of the most downloaded video clips on YouTube.com. In addition to spawning two hit singles - "SexyBack" and "My Love (featuring T.I.)" - FutureSex/LoveSounds also garnered Timberlake two more Grammys for Best Dance Recording and Best Rap/Collaboration. Hot off his latest musical triumphs, Timberlake launched his acting career in 2007. Though Timberlake had a few small film roles in the past - such as in the 2006 direct-to-video thriller, "Edison Force" - Timberlake's first true role of substance was as Frankie Ballenbacher in director Nick Cassavettes' "Alpha Dog" (2007). Based on the true-life story of baby-faced drug dealer, Jesse James Hollywood, "Alpha Dog" fared poorly at the box office, despite a strong marketing push from Universal Pictures. Timberlake's next project, the unsettling "Black Snake Moan" (2007) did nominally better, but reception of Timberlake's performance was decidedly mixed. Timberlake was such a hot property on so many levels, however, that Hollywood hardly cared, lining up to land the singer-turned-actor for roles in future film projects.
After earning a Grammy nod in 2008 for his collaboration with Madonna on "4 Minutes" off her Hard Candy album, Timberlake received an Emmy Award win in 2009 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), in which he reunited with cast member Samberg for their hilariously inappropriate follow-up video to "D*ck in a Box" called "MotherLover." On the big screen, he earned his biggest acclaim to date for his portrayal of former Facebook executive and Napster founder Sean Parker, who was forced out of the company by Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) after his arrest for drug possession in the Academy Award-baiting drama "The Social Network" (2010). Meanwhile, he again hosted "SNL" and went on to receive an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in 2011. On the business end of things, Timberlake took an ownership stake in MySpace after News Corp. sold the flailing company for a paltry $30-40 million in 2011 after plunking down $580 million six years prior. Though the details of the deal remained murky, Timberlake stated that he planned on using the site - which had transformed into a music promotion site after Facebook took over the social networking scene - to premiere original content while allowing fans to interact with artists.