Born and raised in Tennessee, he appeared on the television shows Star Search and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club as a child. In the late 1990s, Timberlake rose to prominence as one of the two lead vocalists and youngest member of NSYNC, which eventually became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time. Timberlake began to adopt a more mature image as an artist with the release of his debut solo album, the R&B-focused Justified (2002), which yielded the successful singles “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body”, and earned his first two Grammy Awards.
His critically acclaimed second album FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), characterized by its diversity in music genres, debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 and produced the Hot 100 number-one singles “SexyBack”, “My Love”, and “What Goes Around… Comes Around”. With his first two albums exceeding sales of 10 million copies worldwide, he was established as one of the most commercially successful singers of the decade. Furthermore, he produced records and collaborated with other artists. From 2008 through 2012, Timberlake focused on his acting career, effectively putting his music career on hiatus; he held starring roles in the films The Social Network, Bad Teacher, In Time, and Friends with Benefits.
Timberlake resumed his music career in 2013 with his third and fourth albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, exploring neo soul styles, partly inspired by the expansive song structures of 1960s and 1970s rock. The former became the best-selling album of the year in the US with the largest sales week, and spawned the top-three singles “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors”, while the latter produced the top-ten song “Not a Bad Thing”. For his live performances, including the eponymous concert tour for the albums, he began performing with his band The Tennessee Kids, composed by instrumentalists and dancers. Timberlake voiced the lead character in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls (2016), which soundtrack includes his fifth Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”.
Among numerous awards and accolades, Timberlake has won ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, three Brit Awards, and seven Billboard Music Awards. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2013. His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.
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