At the American Music Awards two weeks ago, Justin Timberlake was pretty secretive about his upcoming concert plans. But now that touring partner Christina Aguilera has spilled the beans, Timberlake feels justified to start yapping about the summer extravaganza.
"It was an idea that both of our managers concocted," he said. "When it came to me I said, 'It sounds really interesting. It would be fun to be on tour with somebody who's that talented' " (see "Timberlake, Aguilera Will Team Up For Summer Tour").
Although some folks have raised an eyebrow at the idea of Justin touring with a supposed rival of Britney Spears, Timberlake wants to downplay any potential controversy, and he's quick to sing Aguilera's praises.
"She's got one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard," he said. "That homegirl can sing. She can release a song like 'Dirrty' and get everybody talking, and then release a song like 'Beautiful' and say, 'Look, this is why I am standing here.' She's bad. That's the Christina that I met on the TV show that we did ['The All-New Mickey Mouse Club'], and that's the Christina that will be around 10 years from now."
One of reasons Timberlake is eager to hit the road with Aguilera is because he's confident enough in his abilities as a singer and performer to not worry about being upstaged. Once he starts specifically talking about his show, he starts to sound like a self-aggrandizing WWE wrestler.
"I'm gonna make an arena feel like a club," he boasted. "I want people to feel like they're a part of the show and it's a party. Anybody who sits down during the show will get kicked out. If you sit down, once I find you, you will get booted."
Before Timberlake and Christina hit the road, Justin will re-enter the studio to tinker with new material. And next month he'll shoot the video for "Rock Your Body," the next single from Justified. A director for the clip will be chosen in the coming days.
If he's looking to ruffle feathers with the video, he'll have a tough time topping the audacity of "Cry Me a River," which depicted a heartbroken Justin watching a Britney look-alike getting in another man's car. Then Timberlake breaks into her house and leaves a tape of himself groping another girl running on her TV (see "Justin And Britney At War, Magazine Cover Story Declares").
Naturally, the footage provoked a flood a commentary from fans — which was actually Timberlake's goal. He said the clip was his way of commenting on the way the media has portrayed his love life, and he doesn't regret having filmed it.
"I knew what I was doing," he said. "When you become a product of the media's rumor mill you kinda get this 'thing' about you. It was a chance for me to use it and do a little reversing. To go, 'Now I've got all of you in the palm of my hand.' "
Since Timberlake released Justified, many critics have stopped talking about his love life and started focusing on his music. For him, being taken seriously as a musician is one of his greatest achievements, and it makes it easier to stomach the rumors that circulate like buzzing flies and the reporters that still want to dig for dirt.
"Regardless of what you do, rumors are gonna be around," Timberlake shrugged. "I'm sure when Eminem goes to do an interview they still wanna ask him about [ex-wife] Kim and his mom. And I'm sure he don't wanna talk about it just like I don't wanna talk about all this bullsh-- either. But it's just part of what we do. Unfortunately it's entertaining for people. They want to know about what you do when they don't see you."
For a full-length feature on Justin Timberlake, check out "Justin Timberlake: Justify My Love."