Pharrell Williams croons on the opening track of Justin Timberlake’s solo debut Justified. Of course, Timberlake needs even less introduction today, as he is a celebrated singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and one of today’s most successful recording artists.
After starting his career early, and already having achieved superstar status in his teens, Justin Timberlake launched his solo career during a performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2002, where he premiered his first single “Like I Love You.” Three months later, Timberlake’s debut album, Justified, sold 439,000 copies its first week, and earned both Grammy and American Music Awards.
Timberlake also achieved success at the box office. He began his movie career appearing in the films Alpha Dog, Southland Tales, and fellow Memphian Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan. His box office appeal continued with starring roles in such acclaimed films as the Academy Award-nominated The Social Network and other hit movies including Friends With Benefits, Bad Teacher, Trouble With The Curve and Inside Llewyn Davis.
In 2006, Timberlake returned to music with his second studio album FutureSex/LoveSounds. With avant-garde instrumentals courtesy of hip-hop producer Timbaland and grandiosity reminiscent of Prince’s Purple Rain, the album signaled a new direction for the singer and helped to showcase his considerable range. Like its predecessor, FutureSex was also a smash commercial success, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and producing the singles “SexyBack”, “My Love”, and “What Goes Around…Comes Around”, all three of which became number-one hits in the U.S. At the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, Justin Timberlake was awarded two Grammys for the album, bringing his career total to four.
For the next five years, Timberlake limited his musical output to guest appearances, lending his vocal talents to musicians as disparate as Duran Duran, Madonna, T.I. and others. He also refocused his attention on acting, making waves with his role as Napster-founder Sean Parker in the critically acclaimed film The Social Network, which was instrumental in his career as an actor, earning him rave reviews for his depiction of the suave, conniving entrepreneur. Timberlake also established his chops as a comedic performer during appearances on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
In January 2013, Justin Timberlake made his long-awaited return to music with the smash single “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z. The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience was released in March and showed no signs of artistic atrophy, eventually becoming the best-selling album of the year, selling almost 1 million copies the first week. Only months later, Timberlake’s follow-up The 20/20 Experience-2 of 2 hit the shelves. The album debuted at number one and produced three hit singles. In 2016, Timberlake scored his fifth #1 single with the infectious smash single "Can't Stop the Feeling," which went on to win the Grammy for "Best Song Written for Digital Media".
In addition to his impressive professional resume, Justin Timberlake has become the embodiment of celebrity civic leadership in Memphis and worldwide. Along with his ownership stake in the Memphis Grizzlies, Timberlake’s other ventures span from creating Mirimichi Golf Course, releasing Sauza 901 tequila, and generously contributing both to the local Memphis music scene and music education with charitable donations made to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Memphis Music Foundation and others. To date, Justin Timberlake’s work has earned him nine Grammy and Emmy Awards. In both 2007 and 2013, Time Magazine named Timberlake one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Credit: JustinTimberlake.com Media
Nearly 40 years after Elvis Presley’s death, Memphis can once again claim to be the home of music’s biggest star.
Photo credits: JustinTimberlake.com Media
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