What’s On looks ahead to Justin Timberlake tour, coming to UAE, at du Arena. We profile the former N Sync star has also appeared The Social Network.

One Direction coming to Dubai

Justin Timberlake is the sort of man who could make other men chew their knuckles with jealousy. He’s a singer, movie star, dancer, style icon and he’s done it all by the age of 33.

But strangely, he doesn’t inspire hatred. Justin is a guy’s guy who’s been through the cheesy pop machine with boy band ‘N Sync and come out the other side to make great music. He’s appeared in good movies (The Social Network, Inside Llewyn Davis) and some not so good movies (Runner Runner, Friends With Benefits, In Time) without ever becoming an insufferable little twerp.

Here’s how he’s done it…

He hasn’t chased the money: “I grew up in Tennessee. My mom told me it’s uncouth to talk about money. I feel weird talking about it.”

He’s gone against the grain: “I’ve made a career out of doing things that I should not be doing.”

He’s worked hard: “I’ve been told that I’m addicted to work – that’s probably fair to say.”

He’s been around the block: “I’ve been doing this professionally since I was ten. If entertainment years were dog years, I’d be 250 years old.”

He’s proved his critics wrong: “I’ve had a lot of people tell me I was going to fail; a lot of people doubted me, and I still have a sense of that, only now I feel differently about it. I no longer need to prove them wrong.”

He’s kept his feet on the ground: “I get to do something extraordinary, but I don’t think it makes me extraordinary. I don’t think it makes me more special than a doctor, for example. A doctor is an extraordinary person. Doctors should be celebrities. We just entertain people. They save lives.”

He’s been brave: “I don’t think you make your point by sitting in the corner. Be bold. I’m not cool. Being cool is about keeping your blood pressure steady. Don’t be cool. Be passionate. Be dedicated. Be tenacious. Be uncompromising. And whatever happens, happens.”

He can laugh at himself: “I grew up in public so all these weird stages in my teenage years are documented. Why did no one tell me how terrible some of those outfits were?”

He’s been booed: “In my younger days, I played a benefit in Toronto. I got to the show and the bill said the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and Justin Timberlake, and I remember thinking, ‘One of these things is not like the others.’ And, boy, did I find out quickly. I started singing and there was an assault of cans and bottles. I developed cat-like reflexes from that experience.”

He listens to his mum: “My mom said to me, ‘You are extraordinary, you move people, but it doesn’t make you better than them. You still put your pants on the same way as them, one leg at a time.’ It stuck with me.”

He’s realised life is short: “I think I’ll die in a small town. When I can’t move my bones around a stage any more, you’ll find me living in a place that’s rural and spacious.”

He survived being in a boyband: “As a lifestyle, it’s isolating, weird, and sometimes really sad. You go from an arena of 80,000 people to a tour bus where you’re alone, from a place where the decibel level is so loud you can almost see it, to absolute silence. It’s a manic experience.”

He’s paid attention to the little things: “[When I was in ‘N Sync] they would tape the show for me and I would watch it on the bus and make notes, and then I’d give them to the lighting guys and the other members of the band. I was very serious. I was too serious, probably. I was never satisfied. I always had to be better.”

He makes mistakes: “I’m not perfect. I lose my temper, but I hate it when I do.”

He’s listened to those wiser than him: “Stevie Wonder told me there are two types of music: good music and bad music. Try not to make the second one.”


The night before the gig
He gets lots of sleep.

Day of the gig
He keeps his talking to a minimum to save his voice.

Two hours before the gig
Periods of stretching, meditation, and lying on an inversion table.

Minutes before the gig
He starts dancing. “I want to feel the blood all the way to my fingertips. I want to feel hot.”

Seconds before the gig
Drinks a shot of tequila and then… showtime.


1981 Justin born in Memphis, Tennessee
1990 Appears on Star Search
1993-1994 Cast as member of The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez and Ryan Gosling.
1995 N’Sync formed.
1999 Makes his acting debut in the Disney Channel original movie Model Behavior.
Jan 2002 N’Sync went on permanent hiatus after three smash albums, multiple tours and performances at the Academy Awards, the Olympics and the Super Bowl.
Aug 2002 Justin premieres his debut solo single Like I Love You at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Nov 2002 Releases his debut solo studio album Justified
2003 With Aguilera he headlines the Justified/Stripped Tour; Timberlake also records the song I’m Lovin’ It, which was used by McDonald’s.
Feb 2004 Timberlake wins two Grammy awards: Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Cry Me a River.
2006-2007 Driving his acting career forward, Timberlake appears in Alpha Dog, Black Snake Moan and voiced Prince Artie Pendragon in Shrek the Third.
2006 Releases his second studio album, FutureSex/LoveSounds
Feb 2008 Wins two Grammy Awards: Best Male Pop Performance for What Goes around…Comes around, and Best Dance Recording for LoveStoned/I Think She Knows.
Sep 2009 Announced that Timberlake is to star as infamous Internet entrepreneur/former Facebook president Sean Parker in David Fincher’s The Social Network.
Oct 2010 The Social Network opens, garnering critical raves for Timberlake’s portrayal of Parker.
May 2011 Bags first hosting gig, not musical guest, of Saturday Night Live
Jun 2011 Co-stars with Cameron Diaz in the comedy Bad Teacher.
July 2011 Stars alongside Mila Kunis in the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits
Oct 2012 Marries longtime girlfriend Jessica Biel in a secret ceremony in southern Italy.
Jan 2013 Timberlake unveils “Suit & Tie,” a single featuring Jay-Z



15 appearances on American sketch show Saturday Night Live. Justin has actually hosted the show five times and been a musical guest three times.

He’s starred in 17 films, including The Social Network and Yogi Bear.

$16,000,000 The amount of money he spent buying a golf course near his home town in Tennessee and renovating it to make it eco-friendly.

10,000,000 copies his second album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, sold worldwide. It went platinum in nine countries.

14 His age when he joined ’N Sync. For two years before that he’d been in The Mickey Mouse Club along with fellow future celebrities Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling and Christina Aguilera.

$100 million His estimated net worth, as of last year.

$70.7 million Ticket sales raked in so far from his current tour, The 20/20 Experience World Tour.

540,000 complaints received after he performed with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl in 2004. No-one was complaining about the singing, rather Janet’s unfortunate ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

2.43 million copies His album The 20/20 Experience was the biggest-selling album in America last year. It was also the only album to sell more than two million copies in the USA.

31.5 million Twitter followers. Justin has the 10th most followed account on Twitter.

300 renditions of Cry Me A River, which seems to be Justin’s favourite song. He’s performed it over 300 times at his concerts over the last 12 years. His second most-performed song is Rock Your Body.

9 Grammy Awards won, along with four Emmy Awards.

2012 The year he married actress Jessica Biel. The wedding ceremony took place in Fasano, Italy, on October 19.

$100,000 His donation to the Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum in 2008, followed by a donation of the same amount to the Memphis Music Foundation.

His golf handicap.

May 23
Du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 9pm, Dhs300. Tel: (800) 86823 Taxi: Du Arena. ticketmaster.ae