*NSYNC's Joey Fatone Was 'Blindsided' By Justin Timberlake Going Solo

By Rebekah Gonzalez

October 5, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Joey Fatone says he was caught off guard by his *NSYNC bandmate Justin Timberlake pursuing a solo music career. In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the boy band member opened up about what he was thinking during their 2002 breakup.

“I was not blindsided by [*NSYNC’s breakup]; 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 added that he and the rest of the group— Lance Bass, JC Chasez, and Chris Kirkpatrick— were under the impression that Timberlake had plans to return to the band. “It was more of, ‘Hey, I’m going to do some music, and then we’ll get back together.’ That’s what that was."

Fatone continued, "I was like, OK. But then when he went on tour and then things started going, I was like, ‘All right, I’ll go do Broadway.'” However, there were no hard feelings about Timberlake's exit and he understood that his decisions were coming from "the record company" more than anything. “When you’re younger, you think it’s that person. But then you look at the whole bigger scheme of things. … That’s the business," he said.

Two decades later, as you already know, *NSYNC reunited with a new song "Better Place" which dropped at the end of September. As of now, *NSYNC has yet to announce any more reunion plans beyond the song, which will be featured in the forthcoming movie Trolls Band Together. However, the members have teased something more could be in store if the fans keep showing them love. "We did not expect the fandom to go that nuts. So, thank you! We love you all," Bass told iHeartRadio. "We just want to let the fans know that they are shaping our future, for sure. So, keep it going!"

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