Hey *NSYNC-ers! Happy New Year from all of us here at *NSYNC Online. (And by all of us, I mean just me, Christine, right now!)
2022 will hopefully be another year of bringing you *NSYNC news, appearances and updates. I am hoping to expand the site by bringing on a crew to work with me. What are some things you’d like to see? Articles? A larger photo gallery?
Head on over to *NSYNC.com for their Black Friday sale. If you missed out on various pieces of merch from previous capsules, you may be able to purchase them for up to 35% off! There are limited sizes available. Note: the mask, *NSYNC Safe and Home tee and puzzle are NOT discounted.
Share your purchases with us on Twitter @nsynconline!
Not-so-tiny tots with their eyes all aglow will likely be tuning in to ABC’s “A Very Boy Band Holiday” special, coming soon to the network.
The show will feature appearances by some of the most beloved members of iconic boy bands, including Joey Fatone (*NSYNC), Chris Kirkpatrick (*NSYNC), Lance Bass (*NSYNC), Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men), Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), Bobby Brown (New Edition), Michael Bivins (New Edition), Joey McIntyre (NKOTB), Erik-Michael Estrada (O-Town), Nick Lachey (98 Degrees), Drew Lachey (98 Degrees), Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) and Justin Jeffre (98 Degrees).
On tap: classic tunes and their groups’ greatest holiday hits, along with some unnamed, but “special” surprise guests. The show airs Monday, Dec. 6 at 8 ET/PT on ABC. The special can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.
The special will also debut a new song titled “A Very Boy Band Holiday,” performed by *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone and Boyz II Men’s Wanya Morris, a special performance of “This One’s For The Children” by Joey McIntyre and his son Griffin McIntyre, as well as some of the groups’ hits and a mix of classic holiday favorites including “Let It Snow,” “This Christmas,” “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” and more.
David Chamberlin, Michael Antinoro, Joe Mulvihill and Chris Wagner serve as executive producers, and Helen Bromfield is co-executive producer. The special is produced by 45 Live.
Justin Timberlake has joined his longtime collaborator Timbaland at Beatclub, an online global marketplace for music makers offering exclusive beats, loops and sounds. Beatclub, founded by Timbaland and his longtime manager and business partner Gary Marella, has already signed up such A-listers as J. Cole, Mike Will Made It, Mike Dean, Scott Storch, Larance Dopson, Tainy, Tommy Brown Boogz and Jozzy, among others. It’s expected to launch later this year.
“Justin is without a doubt one of the most inspiring song writers and artists in the world,” said Timbaland. “Having him join Beatclub is like welcoming an old friend home. I’m thrilled that music creators are going to have the ability to actually collaborate with Justin and me when we launch later this year.”
Added Marella: “Beatclub is positioned to become the most creator-friendly music marketplace in the landscape. Unlike similar platforms, Beatclub allows creators to keep 100% of their master and publishing rights,100% of their revenue, and gives them the ability to customize licenses, allowing the creator to set their own terms and fees. This empowering, creator-centered model has attracted hundreds of elite producers, song writers and artists who have been invited to join the platform. When Beatclub launches later this year, creators globally will be selling beats, loops, sounds, acapellas and demos on the platform.
Timberlake and Timbaland’s work together goes back nearly 20 years to Timberlake’s 2002 debut album, “Justified.” The two also collaborated on 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” 2013’s “The 20/20 Experience” and 2018’s “Man of the Woods.” Their hits together include “SexyBack,” What Goes Around… Comes Around” and “My Love.”
Trailblazing producer Timbaland has won four Grammy Awards and has been nominated 21 times.
Beatclub principals include Marella, co-founder and co-CEO (with Timbaland); producer Federico Vindver, co-founder; Daniel Glogower, head of business development; Dev Tejwani, CMO; Eric Czar, CTO; and Brian Berger, SVP of A&R.
As they crammed into a closet lined with mattresses at the home of their manager Johnny Wright to put their spin on Christopher Cross’ Yacht Rock classic “Sailing,” little did the members of *NSYNC realize how the casual recording might impact music 25 years later.
Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake were in the early days of putting together their debut album when Wright suggested they record the 1980 song, which Drake has now sampled in “TSU” on his just-released new album, “Certified Lover Boy.”
“It’s flattering when things like this happen and with us, it doesn’t happen that often,” Kirkpatrick tells Variety. “It’s neat that I can tell friends who don’t know I was ever in a band, ‘Hey, I’m in this new record. Check it out!’”
“It’s like when Eminem wrote a [lyric] about me and at first I was like, ‘Wait, I have beef?’ Then I thought, ‘I’m in an Eminem song. That’s amazing,’” Kirkpatrick continues referring to Eminem’s “Without Me.” “And Ariana [Grande] did it [sampling *NSYNC’s ‘It Makes Me Ill’ in ‘Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.’] It makes you feel old, but also makes you go, ‘At least we affected music today.’ It’s cool we had a little hand in the landscape of music today.”
“Sailing” was written by Cross and released in 1980; that year, Cross cleaned up at the Grammys. Kirkpatrick says Wright always loved the song and thought it would be a good fit for *NSYNC as they got to work on their 1997 self-titled debut album.
“He threw out the idea and Robin Wiley, our vocal coach, did a ridiculously good arrangement on it and we replaced a lot of the synths, violins and sounds with our voices,” Kirkpatrick, 49, recalls. “At first, I was worried because I didn’t want to ruin the song, but we put enough of our own spin on it to make it different and likable.”
“The arrangement Robin came up with complimented the band so well,” he continues. “She knew our limitations and what we could do, so she pushed the boundaries, vocally. I was in there for a couple of days just doing layers and layers of backgrounds. It was in Johnny’s closet with mattresses pushed up against the wall for better sound – you do anything when you start out!”
It was Kirkpatrick who initially sang lead vocals on the track. And given how much he loved the song, he was disappointed when Chasez was asked to take over.
“Obviously, they listened to it and said, ‘We don’t want it to sound like a little girl’s singing it, so we’ll have JC do it,’” laughs Kirkpatrick, who along with his bandmates performed “Sailing” with Cross at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1999. “I was a little heartbroken, but got over it.”
While the “*NSYNC” album spawned some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Tearin’ Up My Heart” and “I Want You Back,” hearing Drake had used one of the record’s lesser-known tracks came as a surprise to Kirkpatrick.
“At first, it didn’t make sense because ‘Sailing’ was a cover,” he says. “It’s Christopher Cross’ song. So, when I heard he sampled our version, I was like, ‘I’m gonna go home and listen to it on some real speakers tonight and get excited.’ I love it.”
“If I could guess why Drake does what he does, I could be Drake,” Kirkpatrick adds about why he thinks the rapper featured the composition. “I guess he had an idea, went with it and it worked perfectly.”
*NSYNC isn’t the only male vocal group that Drake, 34, pays homage to with his new music. In the video for “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug, the trio are joined by Los Angeles Clippers player Kawhi Leonard while dancing against a snowy landscape in scenes reminiscent of Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” video.
Their all-white outfits could also be a nod to the “I Want It That Way” video by the Backstreet Boys (who previously took to Twitter, jokingly pointing out the similarities between Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and their own phone-related smash, “The Call.”)
Drake’s apparent nods to such groups come amid heightened interest and increasing collaborations between the bands in recent months. Fatone and Bass teamed up with Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter and AJ McLean for fundraiser “Bingo Under the Stars” at The Grove in Los Angeles in June. Fatone, Carter and McLean then formed a group with Boyz II Men’s Wanya Morris for recent Las Vegas engagement “The After Party,” where the musicians sang each other’s hits, performed covers and were joined by surprise guests like Coolio and Bobby Brown.
And while speaking with Variety on Saturday, Kirkpatrick was heading home from Kentucky following another project – his latest gig with ATCK (All the Cool Kids), a side group McLean formed with producer Brandon Mashburn, aka DJ Lux. Its rotating members include Kirkpatrick, 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons and Canadian drummer Ryan Stevenson.
So, could Drake’s references to *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Boyz II Men mean the ultimate cool kid is up for a further collab?
“He’s on another level,” says Kirkpatrick. “I would just sit back and go, ‘Tell us what you need us to do and we’ll figure it out.’”
Until then, Kirkpatrick – who’s yet to discuss “TSU” with his bandmates – says the idea of hearing snippets of “Sailing” in grocery stores and gas stations today is one of the “best parts” of *NSYNC’s legacy. He adds that “TSU” is also a reminder of how ‘90s fun became something bigger than he ever imagined. (It should be noted that “TSU” also samples an R. Kelly song, which has drawn sharp criticism.)
“It’s things like this song that really puts it in perspective,” Kirkpatrick says. “We were five guys having fun and things just happened to go crazy and we got to do all these amazing things without really understanding what was happening. It’s now – looking back, going to all these places, getting accolades and people knowing me in strange worlds I’ve never even visited – that it really hits and you’re like, ‘It wasn’t just five guys goofing around. It was very meaningful.’”
Joey and Chris will be appearing at the FountaineBleau in Miami, FL at the Total 93.9 Miami Pool Party and Concert on September 25th with AJ McClean and Ryan Cabrera. This event is hosted by Mack in the Morning.
Tonight at 8PM EST / 5PM PST, *NSYNC’s label will be hosting a listening party for Celebrity’s 20th anniversary. As NO previously reported, this popped up mysteriously on their website last week!
With what little information we have, it appears that it will be a syncronized stream of Celebrity on Spotify. This will require a Spotify Premium account in order to engage with the “chat” feature that will pop up and the sync feature that allows everyone to listen to the album together.
*NSYNC fans, let’s show up and show our guys that we are always here to support them! (Who knows what this is a precursor to…?)