With many superstar acts up to their elbows in solo projects, movie roles, charity work or just on interminable hiatus, we decided to check in with some of them to determine when they might deliver their next albums. Barring gazing into a crystal ball, we did a bit of sleuthing to find out who is doing what, and when fans can expect another album (if at all).
The scenario: Lance's space mission trudges on, and Justin's solo career looks poised to blast off. Joey's working the Great White Way in "Rent," Chris is trying his hand at TV work, and JC is working on material with techno whiz BT.
The party line: Joey recently told "TRL" that the group plans to begin writing new material in February or March, but with Justin about to launch his debut album, "Who knows?" He ultimately pledged, "We're still going to be here."
The bottom line: Even if Justin takes off on his own, it'll be hard to say "Bye Bye Bye" to a force as profitable as 'NSYNC. Smart money's on an album next year.
Guns N' Roses
The scenario: Axl Rose's reclusive studio tinkering has nearly become the stuff of rock legend. Guns N' Roses haven't released an album since 1993's The Spaghetti Incident?, and while the only original member left is Axl, a handful of recent live appearances has raised fan expectations once again.
The party line: Axl told MTV News that despite his band's recent return to the stage, "You'll see [the album], but I don't know if 'soon' is the word." Interscope Records does not list Chinese Democracy on its release schedule. An Interscope Records spokesperson said that while it has no release date for the LP, "soon" is a good word.
The bottom line: Just a little patience … we've waited this long, what's another 10 years?
The scenario: Beyoncé Knowles' film career is taking off, but while her single from the "Austin Powers in Goldmember" soundtrack had groove, it didn't have chart power. Michelle Williams has been focusing on her gospel album, and Kelly Rowland's been topping the charts with Nelly, as well as signing on for a lead role in the upcoming flick "Freddy vs. Jason."
The party line: A representative from Columbia Records said that all the individual projects come before a new album from the group. The next one on deck is Rowland's album, which comes out on October 22.
The bottom line: With Beyoncé and Kelly lining up movie roles that could stretch well into next year, the independent women may not drop a new album until late 2003.
The scenario: Nick Carter's got a solo album on the way, Brian Littrell has a baby on the way, A.J. McLean is about to walk down the aisle, Kevin Richardson's been testifying about the environment on Capitol Hill and Howie Dorough's laying low.
The party line: The group's management said that the guys are writing songs for the album, but that there is no release date yet.
The bottom line: Even though Black & Blue didn't sell as well as Millennium, the Boys aren't down for the count: They'll most likely hit with another album in 2003.
The scenario: The smarty-pants hip-hoppers seemed to become increasingly uncomfortable with their party band image, however 1998's Hello Nasty reconciled the group's irreverence with a more mature worldview.
The party line: Capitol Records said that there are currently no Beastie projects on its calendar.
The bottom line: Although Mix Master Mike told us the intergalactic rappers would be in the studio last spring, there have been no further interplanetary transmissions from the Beasties. We're not holding our breath.
Nine Inch Nails
The scenario: While our bleakest rock star may be flying under the radar, he's been busy collaborating with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan on their much anticipated project Tapeworm.
The party line: Interscope Records said there is no release date for NIN this year.
The bottom line: With at least four years between each NIN studio album, and Trent Reznor's reputation as a perfectionist, it's a safe bet we won't see a new NIN album until well after the Tapeworm album is released.