During Sunday night’s VMAs in Brooklyn, Justin Timberlake capped off an amazing medley of hits by reuniting ’NSYNC to perform their single “Pop.” Now, looking back at the group’s first MTV interview in 1998, it’s mind-blowing to think how far they’ve come since then.
News of their intended reunion leaked earlier in the week, and the group had been trending on Twitter for days, until fans’ wildest dreams actually came true at the Barclays Center. J.C. Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone joined Justin onstage and the crowd went wild.
It was a monster night for Timberlake, who took home Video of the Year for “Mirrors” and was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The 32-year-old “President of Pop,” as he was fondly introduced by Jimmy Fallon, has been on quite the journey since his boy-band days.
In their 1998 interview with MTV News, a young Timberlake shared his vision for a future career that clearly turned out to be a long and prosperous one. When asked which star’s career they would like to emulate, JT was quick to respond. “We don’t wanna be anybody else, we wanna be ’NSYNC,” he said. “Wherever it takes us, I think it’s gonna be in a positive direction because we surround ourselves with positive energy.”
“Everybody sacrifices when they wanna do something like this,” he added, of their inability to lead “normal” lives. “But for us, it’s worth it because this is what we love to do. We love to make music, we love to tour, we love to be in the studio, we love to go on television and act silly. And I think you’ll find that our personalities are just five normal guys that just have fun,” he added.
At the time, the boys were still very young and solely focused on their work as a group, laughing off questions about possible solo careers. J.C. joked about working on his solo LP My Prerogative 2 and Justin cracked up after naming Mr. Holland’s Anus as his own solo project.
Things eventually changed over the next decade, but girls across the nation were briefly transported back to their childhoods when the guys reunited at the VMAs on Sunday night. It was definitely one for the history books.