Joey Fatone Says He Felt ‘Blindsided’ by Justin Timberlake’s Solo Career After *NSYNC


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*NSYNC has come a long way since their last album arrived in 2001, reuniting this year for the boy band’s first new single in two decades. But in a recent interview, Joey Fatone reflected on how he honestly felt after his bandmate Justin Timberlake went solo, effectively ending the group’s run at the peak of its success.


“I was not blindsided by the breakup,” the 45-year-old singer told Yahoo Entertainment. “I was more blindsided as far as him coming out with music and not knowing that he was going to go and do an actual album/tour thing.”

Fatone said he originally thought Timberlake’s departure was temporary. “It was more of, ‘Hey, I’m going to do some music, and then we’ll get back together,’” he recalled.

Timberlake, of course, went on to become an extremely successful soloist, releasing his first of five straight hit albums in 2002 with Justified, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. “And it wasn’t him,” added Fatone, who emphasized that he never resented Timberlake for his solo success. “It was the record company … When you’re younger, you think it’s that person. But then you look at the whole bigger scheme of things, and you go, ‘Oh, that’s why I wasn’t there for that.’ That’s the business.”

Twenty years later, all five of the band members have worked on solo endeavors, and recently reunited for Trolls Band Together single “Better Place.” Fatone and Timberlake have appeared alongside JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass as a united front in several press junctions in recent weeks, including Sean Evans’ Hot Ones.

The guys also made a group appearance at this year’s VMAs, presenting the best pop award to Taylor Swift. “I had your dolls!” she exclaimed as they handed her the Moon Person. “You’re pop personified, so to receive this from your golden pop hands is really too much!”

And if you thought that *NYSNC might feel a little rusty after a 20-year hiatus, think again. The quintet is fully confident in its new song, with Timberlake joking in a hilarious Instagram reel, “Let us know if you like it. If you don’t, go f–k yourself.”

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