'N Sync

'N Sync
Origin Orlando, Florida, United States
Genres Pop, dance, dance-pop, teen pop, soul, a cappella[1]
Years active 1995–2002
Labels RCA, Jive
Associated acts Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera
Website nsync.com
Past members
Justin Timberlake
Chris Kirkpatrick
Joey Fatone
Lance Bass
JC Chasez

'N Sync (sometimes stylized as *NSYNC) was an American boy band formed in Orlando, Florida, in 1995 and launched in Germany by BMG Ariola Munich,[2] *NSYNC consisted of JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. After heavily publicized legal battles with their former manager Lou Pearlman and former record label Sony BMG, the group's second album No Strings Attached sold over one million copies in one day and 2.42 million copies in one week.[3][4] In addition to a host of Grammy Award nominations, 'N Sync has performed at the Academy Awards, the World Series, the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games, and sang or recorded with Elton John, Mandy Moore, Aerosmith, Mary J Blige, Britney Spears, Nelly, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, and Gloria Estefan.

While 'N Sync announced a "temporary hiatus" in spring 2002, the band has not recorded new material since. The group's official website shut down in the summer of 2006, and in 2007, Lance Bass confirmed that the group has "definitely broken up."[5] In March 2010, the group's website was relaunched to keep fans updated on the various members' projects.



1995–1998: Group formation and debut album

In 1995, Chris Kirkpatrick met with Lou Pearlman to talk about forming a pop group. Pearlman said that he would finance the group if Kirkpatrick would find other young male singers. This prompted Kirkpatrick to call Joey Fatone, a friend he had met while working at Universal Studios. Then, Fatone and Kirkpatrick approached Lou Pearlman for more suggestions. Pearlman looked through some tapes they had, and one of Justin Timberlake from the Mickey Mouse Club caught their eye. Timberlake soon joined the group and recommended his friend JC Chasez, who also was a cast member on the Mickey Mouse Club. Soon, they decided to even out their sound by finding a bass singer. Initially, their fifth member was to be Jason Galasso. After several weeks of rehearsals, the group set up a showcase and began planning to officially sign with Pearlman's Trans Continental Label. However, at the last minute, Galasso dropped out. He was not fond of the group's musical direction, claiming that being a teen idol was never a goal of his.[6] In need of a bass, the group auditioned several people without success. Timberlake soon called his vocal coach, who suggested a 16-year-old from Mississippi named Lance Bass. Bass flew to Orlando to audition and was immediately accepted into the group.

The group got their name after Timberlake's mother commented on how "in sync" their voices were. The group's name was also a play on the last letter of each member's first names: JustiN, ChriS, JoeY, JasoN, and JC.[6] The band later nicknamed Bass "Lansten" so as not to throw off the last-letter theme of their name. From there, Pearlman set the five boys up in a house in Orlando, where they rehearsed constantly, learning dance routines and vocal parts, and working on promotion for their first public performance at Pleasure Island on October 22, 1995. Pearlman hired Johnny Wright, manager of the BackStreet Boys, to manage the group. 'N Sync sent him a two-song demo-tape including "I'll Be Back for More" and "We Can Work It Out", which impressed him. The group performed for him and a group of BMG executives. Although the record company had some concerns with the band's name and Bass's dancing abilities, they agreed to sign the group to BMG Ariola Munich with Wright as their manager.[7]

After being signed to BMG Ariola Munich, the group was sent to Sweden to begin working on their debut album with the help of producers such as Denniz Pop, Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson. The album's official lead single, "I Want You Back", was released in Germany on October 7, 1996, and entered the top 10 in Germany on November 18, 1996.[8] With a record deal finally secured, the boys began touring first in German-speaking countries and later in other European territories. Their self-titled debut album was initially released by BMG Ariola Munich on May 26, 1997, in Germany, and peaked at number one in the second week after its release,.[9] The group soon became an overnight success throughout much of Europe.[10] The album also charted successfully in both Switzerland and Austria eventually selling 820,000 units in GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) region and Eastern Europe.[11][12] The group released its second and the third singles, "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Here We Go", both of which managed to reach the top-10 in numerous countries in Europe.[13][14] 'N Sync captured the attention of Vincent DeGiorgio, an A&R rep for RCA Records. After seeing the group perform in Budapest, he eventually signed them to RCA in 1998. The American label had the group record some new tracks to adjust their album for the U.S. market.

1998–1999: Breaking the American market and legal battle

The group released its American first single, "I Want You Back" on January 20, 1998. It reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. An album called *NSYNC followed on March 24, 1998. Album sales were sluggish, debuting at #82 on the Billboard 200, but were helped when the Disney Channel aired a concert on July 18, 1998. The concert was first offered to the Backstreet Boys but they turned it down. Three weeks before the concert, the album sat at #85 on the albums chart. Three weeks after the concert, the album reached number nine. Six months after the release of its debut album, the group was in the Top 10.[citation needed] The group released its second single, "Tearin' Up My Heart", in April of that same year. It was the top of radio airplay charts and was played on MTV and on Total Request Live. It peaked at #2 in October 1998. They toured regularly, including an opening spot on Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope Tour. The album got a Diamond Certification for sales of over 10 million by the RIAA.[15]

The group appeared on the television series Sabrina The Teenage Witch on February 5, 1999, performing "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You." 'N Sync also performed the track "Somewhere, Someday," for the soundtrack of Pokémon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back. 'N Sync's 1998 hit, 'Tearin' Up My Heart' was also featured as #30 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of The 90's" in 2007, nine years later. On November 10, 1998, the group released a holiday album, Home for Christmas. The album peaked at #7 and sold 2 million copies.[15] With this, 'N Sync achieved the rare feat of having two albums in the Billboard Top 10 at the same time. The group scored its first top 10 on the Hot 100 with their third single, "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time on You", which peaked at #8 in February 1999. Country group Alabama later re-recorded the song and released it as a single that featured vocals from 'N Sync. The fourth and final single from the album, "I Drive Myself Crazy", was a modest chart hit, but a mainstay on Total Request Live.[citation needed] In September 1999, the group collaborated with Gloria Estefan on a song for the soundtrack for her movie Music of the Heart. The track "Music of My Heart" reached #2 on Billboard's Top-100 single chart and served as a stopgap between album releases.

In 1998, *NSYNC had a publicized legal battle with Lou Pearlman, due to what the group believed were illicit business practices on his part.[16] 'N Sync sued Pearlman and his record company, Trans Continental, for defrauding the group of more than fifty percent of their earnings, rather than his promise of only receiving one-sixth of the profits.[16] The group threatened to leave and sign with Jive Records, which prompted Pearlman and RCA to countersue 'N Sync for US$150 million and the use of the name.[17] Pearlman's request for a preliminary injunction against the band was denied.[16] After reaching a settlement out of court,[18] 'N Sync signed with Jive.[19]

2000–2001: Groundbreaking success and No Strings Attached

With their legal woes behind them, *NSYNC refocused and worked on tracks for its second album. In January 2000, the group released "Bye Bye Bye", an upbeat dance track, which shot into the top 5 of the Hot 100 and spent 5 weeks atop the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The song is often considered the group's signature song. They performed at the Latin Grammy show in 2001 singing the Spanish version of their song, This I Promise You, "Yo Te Voy Amar."

The accompanying album, No Strings Attached, was released on March 21, 2000. It sold a record 2.42 million in its first week of release.[3][4] By the end of 2000, it had sold over 9.9 million copies.[20] No Strings Attached was both the best-selling album of the decade and top-selling album of 2000.[20] No Strings Attached is currently the eighth best selling album of the SoundScan era which received a Diamond Certification from RIAA for sales of over 11,099,000.[21] The album was all-time bestselling pre-ordered album on Amazon.com.[22]

The second single, "It's Gonna Be Me", became the group's first #1 single in US. The third and final single, "This I Promise You" reached the Top-5 on Billboard's Top-100 single chart. The group also embarked on a World No Strings Attached Tour that year. The adventures of preparing for the tour were featured on an MTV special "Making the Tour", which was later released on DVD. The tour was then featured on a HBO special, which aired the same week the group's song "It's Gonna Be Me" hit #1 on the charts. The group then went on the second leg of the tour in the fall and performed one last show in 2001 for the "Rock in Rio" concert. The group also released Live From Madison Square Garden, a home video release of its HBO Special.

2001–2002: Celebrity and "Pop"

The group's third album, Celebrity, released on July 24, 2001, produced three singles: "Pop" (#19 US), "Gone" (#11 US) and "Girlfriend" (#5 US). The album featured much more creative involvement from the group, especially Chasez and Timberlake, who wrote and produced several of the tracks. The album was also notably more heavily influenced by hip-hop than the group's previous releases. As such, rapper Nelly contributed a verse to a remix of the single "Girlfriend". The album was generally well-received, but album sales were substantially less than previous releases.

To help support the Celebrity album, the group embarked on a four-month stadium tour entitled the Pop Odyssey Tour. The outing began in May, two months before the CD's release. Over two million fans attended the concerts. The success of the tour prompted the group to extend the tour and add 33 extra shows that was called the "Celebrity Tour". A video of the concert was later released on home video, Pop Odyssey Live.

2002–present: Hiatus and Breakup

In April 2002, after the group's Celebrity tour, they went on a break. They originally intended to resume recording in September of that year, but they decided to extend their hiatus because Timberlake wanted to focus on his solo career. The group still went to award shows and events together, and regrouped at the 2003 Grammy Awards to sing the Bee Gees Medley in tribute to the Bee Gees. It was the group's last televised performance. The last public performance for 'N Sync was at the group's 2004 Annual Challenge for the Children, where the members performed "The Star Spangled Banner". It was a fitting final performance considering "The Star Spangled Banner" was the first song the five of them ever sang together. In 2005, the members regrouped one last time for the last 'N Sync Challenge for the Children, but did not perform. In the fall of 2005, 'N Sync released a greatest hits album. It included one song, "I'll Never Stop", that had previously not been released in America. In January 2010, they released another album called The Collection that consisted of singles only released in the UK.[citation needed]

The group was featured on an episode of Seth Green's stop-motion sketch comedy show Robot Chicken in 2005, but only Lance Bass and Joey Fatone voiced their own characters in the episode. Justin Timberlake was voiced by Breckin Meyer.[citation needed]

Lance Bass told People magazine that "We're definitely itching to do some music," but the only thing that's really stopping a reunion is that "It's gonna be hard to get Justin to calm down and get off tour, he's a workaholic".[23] Despite the fact that Timberlake has not released an album since 2006 and his last tour ended in 2007, he continues to be very busy with his own career. Timberlake has recently turned his attention to film and has produced a successful acting career. Joey Fatone has been featured as a host for reality game show The Singing Bee that aired on NBC and is announcer on Family Feud with Steve Harvey. Lance Bass has done some producing jobs and small film cameos.[citation needed]


The group licensed their likenesses on large number of merchandise, including board games, microphones, lip balm, marionettes, books, key chains, bedding, clothing, video games,[24] and various other articles. The group also had a deal alongside McDonald's, which included commercials featuring the group and Spears, along with a CD and a video that featured behind-the-scenes footage from the making of 'N Sync's music video. The vocal group also had a deal with Chili's Grill & Bar in which the members appeared in commercials for the restaurant, while Chili's helped sponsor the group's tour.[citation needed]




  • For the Girl Tour (1997) (also known as the "I Want You Back Tour" in the fall of 1997)
  • 'N Sync in Concert (1998-2000) (also known as the "Second II None Tour" in the winter of 1998, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now Tour" in the spring of 1999, "Boys of Summer Tour" in the summer of 1999 and "The Winter Shows" in the winter of 1999)
  • No Strings Attached Tour (2000-01)
  • PopOdyssey Tour (2001-02) (known as the "Celebrity Tour" in 2002)
As supporting act


The group has multiple RIAA awards. These include two Diamond Awards, four platinum home video releases, and multiple platinum awards for the group's records.[15]

See also

  • List of best selling music artists in U.S.
  • List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
  • Boy band


  1. ^ "Celebrity *NSYNC". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Celebrity-NSYNC/dp/B00005LD1A. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Biography:Lance Bass". Film.com. http://www.film.com/celebrities/lance-bass/biography/14662202. 
  3. ^ a b Huhn, Mary (2000-11-20). "Backstreet Boys Want to Beat *NSYNC'S Mark". New York Post Online. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/nypost/access/68886822.html?dids=68886822:68886822&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+20%2C+2000&author=MARY+HUHN&pub=New+York+Post&desc=BACKSTREET+BOYS+WANT+TO+BEAT+*NSYNC%27S+MARK&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  4. ^ a b "NSync's Biography on Billboard". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/artist/nsync/261075#/artist/nsync/bio/261075. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  5. ^ Abbott, Jim. "Lance Bass Book Comes Out". The Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/orl-bass2307oct23,0,2291743,print.story?coll=orl_mezz. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b "VH1's Driven's *NSYNC Episode Summary". VH1.com. http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/driven/59733/episode_about.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Artist Biography – *NSYNC". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/artist/nsync/261075#/artist/nsync/bio/261075. 
  8. ^ "CHARTS-DEUTSCHLAND:Single Top 100 (18.11.1996)" (in German). Charts.de. http://www.charts.de/weekchart.asp?cat=s&year=1996&date=19961118&country=de. 
  9. ^ "Charts-Deutschland:Album Top 100 (09.06.1997)" (in German). Charts.de. http://www.charts.de/weekchart.asp?cat=a&year=1997&date=19970609&country=de. 
  10. ^ http://www.starpulse.com/Music/*NSYNC/Biography/
  11. ^ "*NSYNC – *NSYNC (ALBUM)". Hung Medien. http://www.swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=%27N+Sync&titel=%27N+Sync&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  12. ^ N Sync's Inderect Path to the Top. Billboard. 1999-03-20. http://books.google.com/books?id=nw4EAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA7-IA5&dq=*N%20SYNC%20sold%2056%20million&lr&rview=1&pg=PA84#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  13. ^ "*NSYNC – Tearin' Up My Heart". GfK Dutch Charts. http://www.dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=%27*NSYNC&titel=Tearin%27+Up+My+Heart&cat=s. 
  14. ^ "'N SYNC – Here We Go". GfK Dutch Charts. http://www.dutchcharts.nl/showitem.asp?interpret=%27N+Sync&titel=Here+We+Go&cat=s. 
  15. ^ a b c "Gold and platinum". RIAA. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=1&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=N%20Sync&format=&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2008&sort=Artist&perPage=25. 
  16. ^ a b c Manning, Kara. "'N Sync Scores Small Victory As Legal Battle Begins". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1432531/19991124/n_sync.jhtml. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  17. ^ Wolk, Josh (1999-10-13). "'N Court". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,84723,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  18. ^ Rolling Stone Dec 29, 1999 N Sync and Trans Con Settle N Sync vs. Trans Con: the music biz's nastiest legal battle of the decade
  19. ^ "Zomba Records, LTD: Company History". FundingUniverse.com. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Zomba-Records-Ltd-Company-History.html. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  20. ^ a b "Linkin Park beats out pop acts for No. 1 album of 2001". Live Daily. 2002-01-04. http://www.livedaily.com/news/4167.html. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  21. ^ "Gold and Platinum". RIAA. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=2&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=N%20Sync&format=&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2008&sort=Artist&perPage=25. 
  22. ^ "Media Alert/'N Sync Breaks Sales Records At Amazon.com". AllBusiness.com. 2000-03-31. http://www.allbusiness.com/retail/retailers-book-music-hobby-stores-stores/6414390-1.html. Retrieved 2010-05-09. 
  23. ^ http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20224637,00.html
  24. ^ "PC Game Overview: 'N Sync Hotline". Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. http://www.thatchickensite.com/?p=1679. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 

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