Justin Timberlake Reveals The Real Reason He Decided To Leave *NSYNC

by Adam Silvers

Music superstar and cultural icon Justin Timberlake recently sat down for an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about being a dad, being best buds with late night host Jimmy Fallon and why he decided to leave *NSYNC back in 2002.

Youssef Boudlal/REUTERS

Yes, the 36-year-old touched on a number of topics during his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, but, I don't think he dropped a more interesting tidbit than when he revealed the real reason he left famed boy band *NSYNC.

So, why did Justin Timberlake bounce out on JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone and Lance Bass?

Well, according to JT, it's because *NSYNC was "too big." Speaking about his decision to leave in 2002, Timberlake said,

We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big.

He continued,

It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche. And, also, I was growing out of it. I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group. And I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart.

Damn, dude. Now who's tearing up whose heart?

After he left *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake performed his first solo single, "Like I Love You," at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that song reached as high as No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and JT's first solo album, Justified, sold three million copies.

The rest, as they say, is history.

In case you're curious, it appears Jimmy Fallon spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and dished about how his friendship with Justin Timberlake began.


Speaking on the roots of their bromance, Fallon said,

I was hosting [the 2002 VMAs] by myself for the first time, and Justin was performing by himself for the first time, so we really bonded that night. Our dressing rooms were connected, and we were both pacing, trying to calm each other down. 'You're going to be great,' 'No, you're going to be great.' And we've just been pals ever since.

The more you know, right?

Citations: Justin Timberlake on Fatherhood, His Uncertain Future and Being Best Friends with Jimmy Fallon (The Hollywood Reporter)