‘It’s *NSYNC’s World, We Just Live in It’: An Oral History of ‘No Strings Attached’ Selling a Historic 2.4 Million First-Week Copies in 2000

‘It’s *NSYNC’s World, We Just Live in It’: An Oral History of ‘No Strings Attached’ Selling a Historic 2.4 Million First-Week Copies in 2000

<p>*NSYNC at the 2000 Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2000.</p>

Following our Billboard staff-picked list of the 100 greatest songs of 2000, we’re writing this week about some of the stories and trends that defined the year for us. Here, we flash back to late March of that year, when one of the biggest groups in pop music released their much-anticipated sophomore album — and set a record-breaking mark for runaway success that stood for 15 years to come. 

Twenty years ago, pop heartthrobs *NSYNC set an industry standard with their sophomore album, No Strings Attached. The LP sold a whopping 2.4 million copies in its first week in March 2000, doubling the record their boy band contemporaries the Backstreet Boys had set the year before with their own blockbuster sophomore effort, Millennium

For *NSYNC, the timing of their second full-length release couldn’t have seemed more perfect: Big pop acts were beginning to take over the music industry, with the prior few years seeing the rise of boy bands, as well as teenage darlings Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. CD sales were at an all-time high, as artists of all genres (Dixie Chicks, Kid Rock, Santana) were reaching diamond status around the turn of the century; meanwhile, MTV’s Total Request Live was at its peak, giving those young stars a platform to connect with fans (and promote the hell out of whatever project was coming next). 

But while the scene was set for *NSYNC, the new millennium marked a period of uncertainty for the group, as they were coming off of a highly publicized legal battle with their initial label, Trans Continental/RCA Records, and now-disgraced mogul Lou Pearlman. The fivesome — Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake — sued Pearlman for defrauding, nearly losing their group name (and $150 million) before a judge ruled in their favor in November 1999. The decision allowed *NSYNC to sign with Jive Records, an independent label that was home to Spears and, ironically, the Backstreet Boys.

Read more here.

Is an *NSYNC Reunion Any Closer to Reality? ‘We’ve Been Talking,’ Says Lance Bass

The group’s “No Strings Attached” album turns 20 this year.

What does Justin Timberlake really think about an *NSYNC reunion? And would JC Chasez consider taking the group on the road without him? Those were two burning questions posed by fans on “The Daily Popcast With Lance Bass,” airing this week — and sort of answered.

A return to the *NSYNC  original lineup — Timberlake, Chasez, Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone — would be the ideal way to mark 20 years since “No Strings Attached” was released, selling over 2.4 million copies in its first week, a record for the time.  

“We’ve been talking about it,” Bass tells Variety. “No plans have been made. If there will even be plans, who knows? … I think if we did anything, it would be for the fun of it — the world needs something fun to listen to and I think we could bring some positivity to it. That’s what we need right now. It could be something simple to test it out, and if it works, it works and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

Bass, 40, says fans will get clearer answers on where the group stands on the idea when he releases his interviews, one day at a time starting today. One member will also interview Bass for Friday’s edition of the Popcast, while Saturday’s anniversary special features co-hosts Peachy Keen (Jess Keener) and Giggles (Lisa Delcampo) asking the singers “hilarious” rapid-fire questions.

“I’ve done Joey and JC so far and they’re very different interviews,” Bass adds. “JC’s the hardest to nail down and more mysterious, so it was interesting to get into his head. You’ll definitely hear his opinion on the reunion and if it’ll happen.”

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Bass is also thrilled about getting a rare insight into Timberlake’s thoughts on topics the two have “never discussed” in their 25-year friendship. “He’s the only [bandmate] I haven’t interviewed before, so I’m super-excited to delve into what his life’s like now, talk about ‘No Strings Attached and that era, ask what that [solo] transition was like and get his opinions on the future of *NSYNC,” says Bass. “I want to pull the curtain back and show you who Justin is – who my best friend was years ago. He was 14 years-old when I met him. A bond that’s incredible. We experienced things most people didn’t go through and I love the juxtaposition of what we were then to now, and how we’ve all grown into who we grew into … it’s all because we influenced each other at such a young age.”

It’s not surprising how impactful the young singers’ friendships were given the tumultuous wave they rode together preceding NSA’s release. While working on the follow-up to 1997’s self-titled debut, the group – as well as their peers, the Backstreet Boys – became suspicious of their then-manager Lou Pearlman’s financial dealings. Both bands took legal action, with *NSYNC successfully cutting ties with Pearlman and RCA, signing with Jive Records and retaining their name.

“It was a crazy time because we didn’t know where our careers were going and every expert around us said, ‘Your career’s over kids,’” recalls Bass, who produced the film “Boy Band Con,” a 2019 documentary about Pearlman. “That hurts when you’re that young and have worked so hard. The last thing you want to hear is the head of the label saying, ‘Guys, you might have one more album in you if you just stick with Lou Pearlman.’ It was a scary moment. We thought our careers were done. So many crazy thoughts went through our heads, but when we finally got our name back and ended our relationship with Lou, everything started flowing.”

NSA spawned two of *NSYNC’s biggest hits, “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” which featured writing credits by Max Martin, Andreas Carlsson and the Cheiron Studios team. The album also featured songs by Richard Marx and Diane Warren.

While *NSYNC followed up with 2001’s “Celebrity,” the quintet announced a hiatus in 2002, and in recent years have only reconvened on stage to honor Timberlake and his Video Vanguard Award at the 2013 MTV VMAs. He was absent from Coachella 2019, where the four joined Ariana Grande for a surprise appearance, having just wrapped his Man of the Woods tour.

It was at Coachella where Bass met an artist he’d never heard of — Lizzo — who would become key to one of his biggest 2020 projects, collaborating with Richard Branson’s Virgin Fest. Lizzo and A$AP Rocky are headlining the Los Angeles music and environmental awareness event in June.

“Richard Branson and myself are big space geeks and tech people, so we wanted to create something that entertained people – by bringing in the Lizzos and Anderson.Paaks – but also showed the future,” Bass elaborates. “It’s about doing right [for] the environment and what next cool futuristic thing will help our planet. It reminds me of the World Fair, where people used to go to see new stuff, with a little mix of Coachella!”

Bass’ love for podcasts will feature at Virgin Fest, where The Daily Popcast and Bass’ favorite hosts will broadcast live from the Bubble Tap VIP Area, a nod to his Bubble Tap Trailer mobile wine business. It’s one of several boozy endeavors, including his West Hollywood bar Rocco’s WeHo and upcoming mixers line, J.A.X. (Just Add X – X being your favorite spirit), a collaboration with “Vanderpump Rules” star Jax Taylor, launching at Virgin Fest.

“The fun thing has been coming up with J.A.X flavors because they’re unique, taste great, are low-calorie and have vitamins,” says Bass, who’s also producing a film about *NSYNC superfans who put their lives on hold in order to follow the band on tour. “The dangerous part is you can’t taste the alcohol. It’ll sneak up on you.”

As for whether J.A.X or Bubble Tap have been loosening lips in-studio during Bass’ *NSYNC interviews: “I haven’t done Justin or Chris yet, so maybe I’ll bring some in … then they can give me testimonials!”

Read the article here.

*NSYNC reunion: Lance Bass’ surprise for fans as No Strings Attached turns 20

25 years ago, a group of five friends burst onto the music scene, marking the genesis of one of the world’s biggest boy bands – *NSYNC.

The boys had it all, from the hair to the fashion and dance moves – and they sold over 50 million records, tearing up hearts the world over.

Watch the full story above 

Led by Justin Timberlake, the band quickly sought world domination – from fashion to toys and posters in every teenage girl’s bedroom.

But it was late recruit Lance Bass who fans developed a soft spot for.

Famous for his frosted tips and ‘shy guy’ persona, he remained one step ahead of his bandmates, leading to his own showbiz supremacy.

Now, 25 years on from his first audition, Lance is back behind the mic for a new project – but it’s his time as part of the world’s biggest boy band that will forever keep us all in sync.

“When we got together, we were all friends, and we decided we would start an a capella group and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” Bass said.

“You didn’t even really have time to think about what the future would be, but I know it was definitely bigger than we all thought it could be.

“When I joined the group, I was the last to join the group. None of the guys thought that my mum would let me do it because I was 16-years-old. But somehow she let me do it.”

Early-2000s nostalgia 

And with the 20th anniversary of *NSYNC’s second album, No Strings Attached fast approaching, Lance knows the fans are eager as ever for a reunion.

“If there’s any time to do a reunion, it would be now,” Bass said.

“Everyone loves the nostalgia of the 90s and the early 2000s. It’s something that we are actually discussing right now. I don’t know exactly what will happen, or if anything will happen, but we are talking about it right now.

“It definitely hasn’t happened in over a decade, but the reunion is certainly closer.”

*NSYNC reunion news

After leaving the band, Lance went on to start his own management company – and now he’s co-hosting a new podcast called The Daily Popcast, and he’s got some big news for *NSYNC fans.

“This podcast format has been incredible,” Bass said.

“We started a couple of months ago, and we just have the best time going over all of the pop culture news of the day.

“Leading up to the No Strings Attached 20th anniversary, each of the *NSYNC guy will be sitting down with me one-on-one leading up to the anniversary.

“This is going to be the first time I get to interview Justin Timberlake. I’ve had the show for a number of years, but this is the first time we will have a sitdown – and I’m excited to really get into it with him.”

Source: here

JC Chasez ‘doing his research’ for possible *NSYNC reunion

Chasez, 43, is doing his “due diligence” in conducting “the appropriate research” for a 2020 comeback, a source close to the boy band told Page Six.

The timing could coincide with the 20th anniversary of their album “No Strings Attached” in March.

“Anyone who knows JC knows that everything he does, whether it pertains to the original group and even Coachella, is done in a very thoughtful and meticulous matter,” the insider said, noting that the singer has been spotted meeting with industry insiders.

Read more here at PageSix.

Joey interview with Billboard

What Does the Future of *NSYNC Hold?

Following *NSYNC (minus Justin Timberlake) performing with Ariana Grande at Coachella last spring, a lot of people wondered what could be next. A tour? A new album? And would it be with or without JT? Well, Joey says there were definitely some question marks after their weekend in the desert. “We started getting phone calls, of course,” he says. “‘Well, are you guys back together? What are you doing? Oh my gosh! There’s an offer here.’ This, that. There were offers thrown on the table, but the whole thing was, I don’t think we were ready for it yet. I don’t think even at the moment, like to really mentally wrap our head around to see what we want to do, and I think that’s the conservation that we really have to have that we haven’t had yet. It’s really going: ‘Do we wanna do it, or do we not? And if we do want to do it, what is it?’ And that’s something that will definitely take some time.”

That said, he’s not shutting down the possiblity. “It’s not a no, but it’s not a yes, because the thing is, we may come up with an idea that may not work for all of us. … If I did do something like this, I think it’s just something that definitely we will wanna do maybe more music, but also have fun, do you know what I mean? … There’s not a lot of pressure anymore. Usually back in the day, it was, ‘You need to be No. 1. You need to do this. This should be that. This should be this.’ For us, if we ever came back out, it’s like it’d be nice to do all this stuff and be No. 1, but we’ve already done it. We’re in our 40s! We got kids now! The backstage is going to be completely different, that’s for damn sure! There’ll be a lot more kids running around, no groupies,” he laughs.

To see more, visit the original article here.

With ‘No Strings Attached’ Turning 20, Is an NSYNC Reunion Any Closer to Reality?

Nine months since JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass almost broke the internet with their show-stopping Coachella performance, a new year is bringing new anticipation for an NSYNC reunion. There’d be a strong hook for it: 2020 is an anniversary year for “No Strings Attached,” the album that set a first-week record by selling 2.4 million copies when it came out in March 2000, a mark that stood for 15 years before it was bested by Adele. Moreover, Chasez’s recent movements have heightened hopes that this will be the decade the group says Bye Bye Bye to being Gone and tears up our hearts with a long-awaited comeback.

The boy band, who went on hiatus in 2002, last performed as a five-piece while supporting Justin Timberlake as he received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2013 VMAs, then reunited for their Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2018. However, the unlikelihood of Timberlake setting his hugely successful solo career aside to take part in a reunion has remained a roadblock. Variety has learned the singer is planning to start recording new music in February, making his involvement even less likely. (A rep for Timberlake did not respond to a request for comment.)

However, when the band hit the stage as a foursome to perform with Ariana Grande at Coachella, the phenomenal response made a loud and clear statement that the world wants an NSYNC reunion — with or without Timberlake. That left comeback hopes heavily hinged on NSYNC’s other lead singer, Chasez, and his recent sightings have fans hoping he’s quietly helping hatch a comeback.

Shortly after Coachella, Chasez flew to London where he saw Take That in concert and had drinks with the band at Rosewood London. Just like NSYNC, Take That had two lead vocalists (Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow), and while Williams, like Timberlake, embarked on a successful solo career, Take That has succeeded without him.

Check out more on variety.com!

Everything the *NSYNC Guys Have Said About a Reunion Since Performing at Coachella

New article from Billboard Magazine!

Read the full article here.

Since Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick took the stage together during Ariana Grande‘s Coachella set on April 14, 2019, *NSYNC fans have been dying to know if that performance meant a full-blown reunion is underway. And naturally, that’s all the guys have been asked about for the last nine months.

Bass has served as the unofficial spokesperson for the group (which, of course, also includes Justin Timberlake, who did not participate in the Grande-union), braving the burning *NSYNC question in countless interviews. Fatone and Kirkpatrick have also chimed in on the matter, and all three of them have masterfully remained vague. But if there’s one positive takeaway, it’s that at least three *NSYNC members are on board if the opportunity is right.

Lance Bass wants an ‘NSYNC reunion: ‘If there’s any time, it would be right now’

Of course, all of this nostalgia has fans making their ultimate Christmas wish: for a full-fledged ‘NSYNC reunion in the new year. And Bass tells Yahoo Entertainment he’s all for it. “Look, you don’t have to ask me. I’m in! I would love to do more ‘NSYNC music. … I mean, it would be a choice. If there’s any time, it would be right now.”

So… how can we make this happen? “I don’t know,” says Bass. “I mean, it’s hard to get all five of us to agree to do anything. We’re such boys, and the communication is horrible. We’re great on text about sending silly stupid things, but when it comes down to business, it’s really hard for us to make a decision on stuff. And I mean, Justin is killing it right now. He hasn’t had a break since we recorded last.” Of course, the crazed reaction at Coachella proved that fans really want this reunion even if Timberlake isn’t on board. “It was encouraging, definitely, to see that,” says Bass. “And especially for JC [Chasez]. Because JC stayed out of the limelight a good bit since ‘NSYNC. He’s a studio cat; he loves writing for other artists. It was nice to remind people how talented he was, you know? I mean, the No. 1 trending thing after Coachella was ‘JC Chasez.’ Holy moly. His voice is one of the best male vocalists I’ve ever heard.”

Article here

People LIVE: Lance discusses NSYNC reunion rumors

File under: yet another reunion question:

Lance spoke about an NSYNC reunion and commented that the band hasn’t spoken about a reunion yet, that they are the worst communicators ever.

https://people.com/music/lance-bass-reveals-if-an-nsync-reunion-or-song-is-in-the-works/