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At the turn of the century, there was no bigger group than *NSYNC, who ruled the world with their harmonies, teen-idol charm, and flawless dance moves. They formed in 1995 in Orlando, a hotbed of talent that seemed like a sunny answer to Seattle’s grunge, under the tutelage of Lou Pearlman, the svengali who also assembled Backstreet Boys. The quintet consisted of two Mickey Mouse Club alums, Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, and three aspiring singers, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass, who soon moved to Sweden to hone their craft alongside future superstar Max Martin and other producers. For their 1997 self-titled debut, Chasez and Timberlake were the lead voices, but it was their group vocals on songs like “I Want You Back” and charismatic, choreographed performances that launched them into orbit. Their liberation from Pearlman became a theme for 2000’s No Strings Attached, which moved over a million copies on its release day thanks to the radio and MTV hits “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” For years, it was the fastest-selling album of all time, and they nearly eclipsed that feat with 2001’s multiplatinum, more mature Celebrity. But, when Timberlake’s solo career took off and other members pursued their own projects—Fatone opted for acting and Broadway; Bass tried becoming a cosmonaut—*NSYNC called it quits in 2007. They reunited at the 2013 MTV VMAs and, should they ever make a more permanent return, there’s no question that fans old and new will turn out in droves.
- Orlando, FL, United States