Since it came at the tail end of his epic, career-spanning Video Music Awards performance — and subsequent ’NSync reunion (!!!) — it’s kind of difficult to remember that Justin Timberlake also won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at Sunday night’s show.
Which is saying something, considering it’s the VMAs’ highest honor, an award given out to music-video innovators like its namesake, not to mention Madonna, U2, R.E.M. and the Beastie Boys.
And as you could tell by his humble, slightly self-effacing acceptance speech, Timberlake doesn’t quite consider himself to be in the same company of those legends … sentiments he echoed earlier in the day, when he sat down with MTV News’ Sway Calloway to discuss his upcoming VMA performance, and the Video Vanguard Award.
“This is the ’You got old award,'” he joked. “No, in all seriousness, when you look at the people I’m included with [in] receiving this award, I don’t feel like I’m worthy of it, but I’m not going to pass it up.”
He also added that the award had him in a nostalgic mood … and not just because he’s made so many iconic videos over the past two decades. As it turns out, he was also giving us a sly bit of foreshadowing to Sunday night’s onstage reunion with his former ’NSync bandmates.
“To come here and perform again, there’s a little bit of nostalgia for me,” he said. “It feels like a good time to be back at the VMAs”
And after everything we witnessed at last night’s show, we’d have to agree with him: it was a good time indeed.