9 de Agosto 2004.-
A former Exeter schoolboy has been in America researching a biography into pop’s hottest property, Justin Timberlake.
While in the Bible Belt of Tennessee, Sean Smith discovered the star’s rough cut image is not a true reflection of his childhood when he was a well-behaved swot in an affluent town.
Sean, a former pupil at Bramdean School, Heavitree, has previously written biographies on Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and former Exeter University student JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter blockbusters.
His latest quest was to discover the real Justin, whose rise from being one-fifth of US boy band *NSYNC to solo stardom has been meteoric.
Sean, 43, said: «Artists who do urban dance music like to say they come from Memphis because it projects a cool, edgy image.
«But I discovered his hometown was a small, middle-class place which is one hour from Memphis called Shelby Forest. It is actually a very rural area where people raise families or like to retire to. There would be no street cred saying he came from Shelby Forest.
«The nearest town is called Middleton and there are only two places there where you can get a beer.
«Justin went to only one school, which was great for me because it was easy to find his old schoolmates. It’s a close-knit, local community there so there were plenty of people who remembered him.
«It turned out he was in the special stream at school for extra bright kids. Justin was a bit of a school swot. My experience of pop stars is that they are very street smart but not that hot academically. That doesn’t apply to Justin. He was a straight A student and was even in the algebra club.»
Justin was also a swot when it came to preparing for pop stardom.
«By the time he was 11, he was a little professional,» said Sean. «He started his singing lessons with a local singing teacher when he was very young, and I tracked him down.
«He told me about how Justin began to train to sing properly when he was only eight years old. This teacher would take him to shopping malls to perform and he would appear with other kids.
«It’s unbelievable how professional he was from a young age. He was only 11 when he won 20,000 in a talent contest in Nashville. Then he got into the Mickey Mouse club, a cheesy Disney kids show, where he met Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and moved to Orlando with his mum.»
The heartthrob’s love life has been equally wholesome, despite rumours of flings with celebrities like Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue.
«When he falls for a girl, he falls hard,» said Sean. «He treats them well with kind gestures and presents. He gets it from his stepfather, Paul, who is a gentleman of the old school.
«I was able to find Justin’s first two girlfriends, one who lives in Memphis and one who lives in Orlando. When his first love was ill in bed, he came round to visit her and cooked her a special dinner – but he was only 14!
«It’s very interesting that he is only 23 now but has been through at least four relationships which have lasted a year or longer. For many people at that age, their relationships have lasted only a few weeks. Compare that to Robbie Williams, who is only 30 and has barely had a relationship worthy of the name, except with Nicole Appleton.
«It shows Justin grew up very quickly in both his professional and personal life.»
Sean says his research shows there is not much chance of Justin getting back together with Britney, one of his early loves.
He said: «It’s one of those things where people grow up together and have so much in common but then drift apart when they become adults. They both had a crush on each other even when they were very young. The celebrity lifestyle, with the long distances and separations, was the death knell for them.»
Sean predicts Justin’s global appeal will continue to grow and that he could even become a big movie star. «He is very single-minded,» he said. «That work ethic will stand him in good stead.»
Es un artículo bastante interestante, un poco antiguo aún así. Dice que Justin era un chico de 10 en el colegio, que estaba en el grupo de algebra, que de pequeñito empezó a dar con 8 años clases de canto, y ganó 20.000 dólares en una actuación. Luego se fue a Micky Mouse Club donde conoció a Britney y Christina. Dice tambien que cuando Justin se enamora, se enamora de verdad y las relaciones le duran mas de 1 año. Tuvo dos novias antes de ir al Micky Mouse Club. Viene de un pueblecito tranquilo en el que se conoce toda la gente… y nada más. Si señor, un buen artículo de Sean Smith ;)
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