The Rise and Rise of Justin Timberlake

To celebrate the exciting release of Friends With Benefits (gag), we have created an educational run-down of the five eras that made Justin the all-rounder he is today. Justin’s success lies in learning not to take himself too seriously. Humble beginnings as a Mouseketeer then being shown up on Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher of all people, transformed Justin into a Saturday Night Live favourite and Hollywood pick. So here they are – the five eras that were the making of Justin Timberlake.

# 5 – Squeaky clean and cheesy beginnings at the Mickey Mouse Club

Curly-haired “Justin Randall” from Memphis, Tennessee was launched into the public eye on Star Search in the early 90s. Despite being dressed as a cowboy and losing to a little preened girl with probably psychotically pushy parents this boy was set for stardom. Despite the loss, little Justin became a “Mouseketeer” on The Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club where he would frolick around in suitably early-90s get-up from 1993 to 1994. During this time Justin met life long friends Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, as well as JC Chasez, who he would later team up with for *NSYNC fame.


# 4 – Pop hoes and afros

In 1995 Justin and JC Chasez were snapped up by boy-band magnate Lou Pearlman who was also responsible for the like of the Backstreet Boys and O-Town. Ten years later, Pearlman would plea guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding, and in 2008 be sentenced to 25 years in prison. Apparently spawning 90s boy bands weren’t his only crimes.

With *NSYNC Justin would record four albums and perform at the Academy Awards, the World Series, the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games, and sing with Aerosmith, Elton John, Mary J Blige, Britney Spears, Nelly, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, and Gloria Estefan. *NSYNC were undeniably pop pioneers, but after seven years, one US #1 and a few platinum records, Justin decided he wanted to be sexy so flaked out of *NSYNC and launched his own sexy career.

During this time Justin was dating “virgin” Britney Spears, but after their messy break-up and he’s sexy overhaul, he admitted to doing the dirty with the pop princess.


# 3 – Justin brings sexy back

In 2002 Justin got a total image overhaul to turn him from an afro’d boy bander in to “The Trousersnake”. His first solo album Justified sold over 7 million copies worldwide. The album contained a dig at Brit, “Cry Me a River” and a video that appeared to take place inside a Rubix cube, “Rock Your Body”. His second album, FutureSex/LoveSounds from 2006, hit #1 on the album charts and made Justin one of the most commercially successful singers in the world. Justin won six Grammys and two Emmys but musical success was not enough for this ambitious boy from small-town USA, he wanted to be an actor too.


# 2 – How crying on TV helps launch a career in comedy

In the transitional period between shiny pop star and shinier sex symbol, Justin dabbled in comedy, and continues to do so. In 2002 Justin became the first celebrity to be Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher’s cruel reality TV show and cried on TV. He later admitted to being a little stoned when this happened. Justin discovered the motto “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, and teamed up with Ashton Kutcher to punk Kelly Osbourne. Now being an established comedian Justin went on to perform elaborate jokes such as getting Janet Jackson’s nipple out at the super bowl. In 2006 Justin hosted Saturday Night Live and launched what was to become one of the most viewed YouTube videos ever; Lonely Island’s Dick in a Box.

Putting his junk in a box was just the start for Justin’s SNL career, and he later went on to perform leotard-clad alongside BeyoncĂ© in a Single Ladies skit.

Justin actually turned out to be rather funny and joined the SNL comedy music skit team with Lady Gaga for “Threeway”, which taught us that it’s OK for straight men to touch, when in the context of a threesome. He teamed up with the Gaga again to create the video below, “Liquorville”.


# 1 – Having a go in Hollywood

Justin first dabbled in acting in 2004, playing a journalist in Edison Force, a direct-to-video film released in 2006. He then appeared in Alpha Dog, some other shitty movies and then voiced Prince Artie Pendragon in Shrek the Third, which is kind of cool. Starring as the cock-sure Napster founder, Sean Parker, in The Social Network Justin found his way into mainstream cinema. Now he’s starring in his very own romantic comedy alongside Black Swan hottie Mila Kunis, Friends With Benefits. Is is possible that the arrangement will get too complicated? Is it possible they fall in love at the end? Is it possible to see the entire film in the trailer? Find out the answers to all of these questions below.

Know more about Justin than I do? Doubt it. But if you do, share it below.

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