He has been dubbed the new Michael Jackson thanks to his sensational dance moves and high-pitched vocal style.
But Justin Timberlake was actually inspired by Elvis Presley.
From the age of three, Justin sang along to the King’s songs as he strummed his toy guitar.
He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee — home to Elvis’s Graceland mansion — and Justin’s family were always playing Presley records.
Now 22, he has enjoyed massive success with the boyband NSYNC.
And — helped by his racy duet with Kylie Minogue at last week’s Brits — he is carving out an impressive solo career.
His album, Justified, topped the British charts for a second time last Sunday.
Justin’s musician father,
Randy, split from the star’s mother Lynn when Justin was two.
But he has followed his boy’s career closely. Today he opens his family album exclusively for The Sun to reveal the singer’s early years.
Speaking from his home in Memphis, Randy says: «Justin was surrounded by music from the day he was born. We never had to teach him how to sing. Even as a toddler he would sing and dance for us.
«When he was just two or three he would jump on stage when my band were playing and pretend to play his toy guitar.
«He was raised very close to where Elvis lived and that was a big influence. Elvis was always around you in Memphis and Justin was a big fan.
«He was always listening to his records and singing along.»
Randy, 43, admits that it was extremely tough on Justin when he walked out on the family 20 years ago. And he regrets the cost of the split with his son.
Lynn later married Paul Harless and Randy found it hard when Justin then began referring to his step-father as «dad».
He reveals: «I lost a lot of quality time with Justin, which I will always regret.
«I am not in touch with him anywhere near as much as I would like to be. Divorce is always tough on everyone and I’m sure it affected Justin.
«It was very hard getting to see him after the divorce. I tried as often as possible but it would rarely be more than once every other week.
«It was even harder when he got the part on TV’s Mickey Mouse Club because he was away in Florida half the year. I would fly down to see him but it was difficult.
«Now he is a star I get to talk to him even less often — he has such a busy schedule.
«We get on well but I admit I haven’t stayed as close as I would have liked to.
«He was exposed to so much so young and perhaps that is why he has always been so mature. He was always such a well-behaved little baby. Very good-natured and the sort of child who was just as happy playing on his own or getting on with friends.
«He was always clowning around — putting on a show.»
Randy also remarried and went on to have two children, Jonathan, now nine, and Stephen, four, with wife Lisa.
The boys worship their step-brother and he returns to Memphis to see them at Christmas armed with presents.
Jonathan is already planning to follow in his brother’s footsteps and Justin thinks he stands a good chance of success.
Randy explains: «When Jonathan is singing and dancing it is quite spooky how much it takes me back to when Justin was the same age.
«Justin was amazed when he saw it. He said, ‘That’s exactly how I would do that — he’s like a Mini Me.’
«My boys are in awe of Justin and play his records all the time. He’s a fantastic big brother for them to have.
«He plays basketball with them for hours and when he came back last Christmas it was like Santa Claus was visiting.»
Justin’s home is in Millington, a small town just outside Memphis, where he lives with his mother and step-father.
As a result of the traumatic divorce, Justin grew incredibly close to Lynn. She now works as his co-manager.
His mum travels the world with him – and he even has her initials tattooed on his back.
Justin’s grandmother, Sadie Bomar, 69, explained just how close they are.
She says: «The divorce was very hard on Justin, even though he was so young.
«It’s a very confusing thing for a boy — that was his Daddy and he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t there for him any more.
«Lynn and Justin moved into our home and Justin would stand up on the side of the bath, look out at their old house next door and say, ‘Granny, will I ever go back to live in that house again?’ It broke my heart.
«Justin had hardly any contact with his dad after he left, and they only really started communicating again when he was a teenager.
«You can never make up for so much lost time from such a crucial period of your life.»
On a happier note, Sadie continued: «We are a very close family and that will always be true, no matter how famous Justin gets. We know we all mean the world to him.
«Justin is really busy but he comes to see us as often as he can. He loves nothing more than coming home for some good old home-cooking.
«And when he can’t make it home he flies us out to see him on tour.
«He is particularly close to his mother — he loves her so much. She is always the top priority for him.
«And that love and support has made him who he is — such a nice, good, well-behaved young man all his life.
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