Justin Timberlake Explains Why He Left NSYNC to Pursue a Solo Career

Justin Timberlake offers an answer to the age-old question regarding the demise of our beloved ’90s boy band NSYNC: Why did they ever go their separate ways?

Timberlake traces through his lifelong career that began in his early childhood in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The singer explains the reason behind the band’s breakup — which was labeled as a “hiatus” in 2002 — and why he decided to blaze his own path.

“We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big,” says Timberlake. “It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche. And, also, I was growing out of it. I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group. And I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart.”

A notable moment in Timberlake’s solo career was his first solo performance the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards that was hosted by Jimmy Fallon, who is now one of Timberlake’s closest friends. Fallon describes the way they connected to THR.

“I was hosting by myself for the first time, and Justin was performing by himself for the first time, so we really bonded that night,” Fallon says. “Our dressing rooms were connected, and we were both pacing, trying to calm each other down. ‘You’re going to be great,’ ‘No, you’re going to be great.’ And we’ve just been pals ever since.”

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CREDIT: Miller Mobley for 'The Hollywood Reporter'

Timberlake’s latest single “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the movie Trolls was a gift to his son Silas and has now been nominated for Oscar. He grins when he recalls Silas’s experience discovering the song.

“Watching him jump around to ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ starting to learn words because of that song — it’s the best thing in the world.”

Read the feature interview in its entirety over on The Hollywood Reporter.