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In the year 2000, if someone said to you that Justin Timberlake — who at the time was the blond-dyed, curly-haired, Britney-dating, falsettoed leader of boy band *NSYNC — would be perhaps the top male pop artist in both sales and credibility at the end of the decade, you would have either laughed or cried.
Somehow, though, Timberlake was one of … well, he’s the only boy-bander who was able to break out of the cookie cutter shell and establish himself as a serious and dominant solo artist.
Towards the end of his *NSYNC days, Timberlake could easily have become another music industry victim. He was dating Britney (never an easy thing to do), the boy band trend was dying (whew!) and he needed his own sound and image. Out of nowhere, Timberlake showed he could be Jekyll and Hyde when it came to pop — churning out outright celebratory and danceworthy tunes (‘Rock Your Body’) one minute, and vengeful Britney-bashing breakup tracks (‘Cry Me a River’) the next on his solo debut album, ‘Justified.’ It was at this time in 2002-2003 when the world realized JT was for real.
Another sign of JT’s invincibility and staying power came during the 2004 Super Bowl, when a swift hand movement made him one half of ‘Nipplegate’ — Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” … a term he (or at least his PR team) coined. A quick apology and some time out of the spotlight let the scandal blow right by.
As the decade went on, Timberlake continued to shatter expectations and grow as an artist. On first listen, his 2006 smash hit ‘SexyBack’ seemed like a bit of a mess. On tenth listen, it was an infectious dance staple that still gets crowds moving. Add in ‘My Love,’ ‘What Goes Around’ and his ambitious ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ became one of the decade’s best pop albums. So much for being a token boy bander.
Though Timberlake hasn’t released much since 2006’s ‘FutureSex,’ there’s a very good chance that when he does unleash his next album on the world, we’ll all be dancing and nodding our heads to it.
Who of these is the celebrity of the decade?
Britney Spears 35%
Angelina Jolie 26%
Justin Timberlake 12%
Tom Cruise 5%
Paris Hilton 3%
Total Votes: 25,421