7 Secrets to Justin Timberlake's Solo Success

As JT hits a bullseye with 'Shirt & Tie,' Celebuzz is breaking down his journey to stardom.

from MUSIC MAN to mogul
Justin Timberlake at 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

Fifty million records sold, six Grammy awards and four Emmys...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Justin Timberlake may have had humble beginnings -- we first got a glimpse of him on The New Mickey Mouse Club in the '90s -- but the now-31-year-old has grown into a bonafide megastar.

In 1995, Timberlake joined pop group 'N SYNC, which went on to sell a whopping 50 million albums. Just two  years later, he launched a successful solo career that spawned hits like "SexyBack," "Cry Me a River," and "What Goes Around...Comes Around." The latest feather in his cap: "Suit & Tie," the brand-new Jay-Z assisted single that's already scaling the charts.

But how did JT achieve so much at the young age of 31? Here are seven secrets to his success:

1. START A FASHION EMPIRE. In 2006, Timberlake and pal Trace Ayala launched the William Rast clothing line, named after a combination of their grandfather's first and last names.  The label focuses on denim but also produces outerwear and sportswear for both men and women. In 2011, William Rast branched out and formed a limited partnership with Target.

2. MARRY AN A-LIST ACTRESS. Timberlake dated Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz and was linked to Scarlett Johansson. But it was Jessica Biel who finally got him down they aisle; they wed in Fasano, Italy, on October 12, 2012 -- and it sure ups his ante to have an equally famous partner.

 

 

3. STAY AWAY LONG ENOUGH TO BE MISSED. JT has released just two albums in 10 years: 2002's Justified and 2006's Future Sex/Love Sounds -- and his fans have been feverishly waiting for a taste of what's next, as evidenced by the success of "Shirt & Tie." There's more to come: the singer recently touted his upcoming album on his website, saying, “I’m calling it The 20/20 Experience and it’s coming out this year. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it. That’s all I’m giving you for now… I know, I know! Again, with the teasing!!!”

4. CONQUER THE BIG SCREEN.  In 2006, Timberlake took a hiatus from music and was bit by the acting bug. His breakout film was Alpha Dog. In 2010, he played Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster, in the Oscar-winning film The Social Network. He's also starred in Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits alongside Mila Kunis, and In Time with Amanda Seyfried.

 

5. BUY A PIECE OF THE WEB. Not only does he appear in movies about social networking sites, but he buys them too! JT is a partner in MySpace; the new site launched on January 15.

6. SERVE UP SOME SOUTHERN COMFORT. The entrepreneur has a Memphis-themed barbeque bar and restaurant, Southern Hospitality, in New York. It strives to bring down-South manners and comfort food to the Big Apple with a menu that includes pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, BBQ chicken and fried catfish. That's not all: it's been reported that Timberlake plans to open another restaurant in the Silicon Valley.

7. MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE. As an avid golfer who plays to the tune of a 6 handicap, Timberlake went green and opened his own eco-friendly course: Mirimichi Golf Course in his hometown of Millington, Tennessee.  And his golfing prowess hasn't gone unnoticed: Callaway Golf hired him in Dec. 2011 as its creative director in an effort to connect with the next generation of golfers.

What do you think is the key to Justin's Success? And what's the mogul's next move? Sound off in the comments.

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