Justin Timberlake Reunites NSYNC During Los Angeles Performance

Over the past few months, Justin Timberlake has been staging one-off shows across the United States in anticipation of his new album “Everything I Thought It Was,” out this Friday, bringing lively performances to his native Memphis and New York City. But those who were lucky enough to snag a free ticket to attend his “One Night Only” show on Wednesday (March 13) at The Wiltern in Los Angeles got a once—or, technically, twice—in-a-lifetime experience, as the pop singer reunited with his group NSYNC to perform for the first time since 2013.

The last time that NSYNC joined together as a quintet was at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, when Timberlake received the Video Vanguard Award. Before that, it was back in their glory days. Rumors were circulating in the audience and music industry reps were promising something special would take place at The Wiltern, with speculation flying that a reunion was in store. And just before the end of the show, when Timberlake typically wades into the audience while the DJ plays some of his classics, the opening notes of NSYNC’s “Gone” kicked up. As the curtain rose, the four additional members joined Timberlake for a brief, but powerful, mini-set, touring some of their biggest hits and debuting their new collaboration “Paradise,” included on Timberlake’s “Everything.”

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Fans in the audience were deeply moved; tears were streaming down faces. After all, NSYNC is one of the foundational acts for millennials, and the reunion has been a hope and a wish since their final album in 2001, “Celebrity.” Timberlake has largely focused on his solo career apart from his NSYNC bandmates—the group reunited without him during Ariana Grande’s headlining set at Coachella in 2019—and there was a tiny spark of hope that a full-blown NSYNC project or tour would arrive after they recorded and released “Better Place” last September for the “Trolls Band Together” soundtrack.

But nothing came of it, other than a few press appearances and some TikTok videos featuring the band. Pleas for an NSYNC tour went unacknowledged. So the NSYNC performance at The Wiltern held weight, even if lasted for a few moments.

After joining Timberlake, the four other members—JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick—ran through a few of their biggest singles as a fivesome. They wandered into the audience as the DJ cut up “Girlfriend,” and came back to the stage to sing glimpses of “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” Each of them took a seat for “Paradise,” their concluding number, which Timberlake explained that they had just practiced. Harmonies flew, eyes were wet, and they stood at the front of the stage at the end, soaking up the rapturous applause.

Of course, there was more to the show than just the NSYNC reunion. Timberlake gave a greatest hits performance for an hour-and-a-half, running through “Suit & Tie,” “Rock Your Body,” “My Love,” “Señorita” and “Cry Me a River.” He brought out Grammy-winning R&B singer Coco Jones for their remix of her song “ICU,” explaining that he was shocked when he reached out and she agreed to join. He also gave shine to “Everything,” giving renditions of single “Selfish,” “No Angels” and “Sanctified,” where featured artist Tobe Nwigwe joined him.

But even Timberlake knew the NSYNC reunion carried far heavier weight. “I don’t know what to do after that but this,” he said as his bandmates left his side, sliding into his closing song, “Mirrors.” The energy was palpable, and Timberlake went out with a bang. Those hoping for another NSYNC reunion may have to keep their fingers crossed that lightning strikes a third time, as Timberlake gears up to head out on a global tour for his new album. But, for one night, he gave attendees everything they wanted.

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