Justin Timberlake gave his blessing to a group of Broadway stars who covered his songs in a special cabaret show on Monday night (14Jul14).
The Mirrors hitmaker is currently in the middle of his own The 20/20 Experience World Tour, but took time to send a special delivery to the cast of Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake in New York City.
A post from the official Broadway Sings Twitter.com account featured a photo of a bouquet of four dozen white roses, along with a handwritten note which read, "Break legs! I am very honored (sic). Best, JT."
Broadway stars including Tony Award winner Lena Hall and former Smash actor Andy Mientus were part of the showcase, which included covers of Timberlake's hits such as Cry Me a River, Suit & Tie and a number of 'N Sync tracks.
The concert was sold out, but the cast will take to the stage again next Monday (21Jul14).
Michael Jackson gave Justin Timberlake the confidence to quit boy band 'N Sync and go solo back in 2001 after turning down the chance to record the young star's song Gone and then insisting on recording it as a duet with the young star. In a candid new TV interview, taped for an upcoming Oprah's Master Class, the Cry Me a River singer admits his hero's interest in the song and a phone chat he had with the King of Pop inspired him to think long and hard about going solo - and that led to the end of the Bye, Bye, Bye hitmakers.
He says, "The first real seed of that was this song I had written called Gone. It ended up on our third and last album and it was the first song I kind of cut by myself and then brought it to the guys and included them. "We were having a meeting for the third 'N SYNC album at that time and I said, 'Well I have this other song, but I originally wrote it for Michael Jackson', (and) I just got word that... they (Jackson's handlers) had turned the song down, so we decided to cut it, but it was one of those songs where it felt a little more personal to me 'cause I had written it for, like, the biggest artist of all time."
He adds, "I guess Michael did hear it and called me on the phone and said he wanted to cut the record but he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I, and I said, 'Well, it's already out... We've already cut this song as an 'N SYNC record...' and I'm literally punching myself in the face, because I said, 'You know we can't do that. Could we do, like, an 'N SYNC featuring Michael Jackson or Michael Jackson featuring 'N SYNC (track)?' And he was very absolute about the fact that he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I.
"I think it's the first idea that I ever got about doing something on my own because it was the first time I'd ever really felt the confidence to do it. And I knew that the music I was interested in and was writing at the time was different than what we had previously done (in 'N SYNC) and it felt like a real departure. I never told anybody that Michael story."
Former 'NSYNC bandmate Lance Bass heard the story for the first time when the Oprah interview was teased on U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight on Monday (05May14), and he admits he was shocked to learn that the King of Pop may have been the person who ended the boy band. He explains, "I had no idea Michael Jackson gave him the inkling of the idea to go solo. I never heard that story... I always thought that it actually came from P. Diddy, because P. Diddy was opening up for us at the very last concert and I remember they were at the bar and I heard him say, 'Hey, you should go solo'."
Justin Timberlake commemorated his return to the venue where his former group 'N Sync last performed together by dedicating one of their songs to bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick, who was in the audience to support his pal. The Suit and Tie hitmaker brought his The 20/20 Experience tour to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida's BB&T Center on Tuesday (04Mar14), and the fact it was the place where the boy band ended its last tour in 2002 was not lost on him.
During his concert, he said, "This building was the last 'N Sync performance. A lot of history for me in this building."
He added, "One of my very best friends, I've spent so much time with in the last couple weeks, who's come out on tour with me is Chris Kirkpatrick. We've had a blast together (and) he's somewhere in here tonight. Chris, I love you, man."
He capped his nostalgic moment off by surprising the audience with an acoustic version of 'N Sync's 2001 hit Gone.
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Britney Spears thrilled the crowd at her Las Vegas show on Monday night (30Dec13) by performing with former 'N Sync star Lance Bass. The pop superstar kicked off her residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Sin City on Friday night (27Dec13), and introduced a section of the show during which a male audience member is plucked from the crowd to perform with the star on stage.
TV host Mario Lopez was the lucky guest during the first concert, and on Monday, Spears was surprised to find her longtime friend Bass had been picked for a turn on stage.
Bass, who worked with Spears' ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake in 'N Sync, was pictured grinning as the singer serenaded him and she later thanked him in a post on Twitter.com, writing, "Lance Bass So so good to see you!! Thank u (sic) for coming tonight," while the former boyband star added, "Thank you for dressing me up as a kitty and spanking me! It's like old times. Xoxo Love ya (sic)!"
Socialite Paris Hilton was also in the audience with her sister Nicky.
R. Kelly has found himself at the centre of a bizarre concert scandal after fans were allegedly duped into attending a Louisiana party hosted by the R&B veteran, only for an impersonator to take the stage instead. Attendees at the Ced's All Black Affair event in Monroe, Louisiana on Saturday night (26Oct13) were left outraged after claiming the man promoted as the Ignition hitmaker was just a local doppelganger attempting to lip-sync his way through the show.
He was booed offstage by angry devotees just minutes into the gig and they have now bombarded event promoter Cedric Johnson with demands for refunds.
Johnson has promised to explain all later on Monday (28Oct13), but the incident has been further complicated by the fact that Kelly's official website also lists the Monroe Civic Center appearance as part of his tour.
The singer has yet to comment on the controversy.
Justin Bieber has fallen foul of music critics who have branded his performance in New Jersey on Wednesday (31Jul13) "sluggish", "bored" and "lazy" and accused him of lip-syncing large portions of the show. The teenage superstar took to the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark as part of his ongoing Believe world tour, but his lacklustre performance prompted criticism from reviewers in the audience.
Mesfin Fekadu of the Associated Press has written a scathing report about Bieber's show, insisting the singer was "not in pop star form", while also accusing him of lip-syncing most of his songs and failing to keep up with his dancers.
He writes, "He seemed to be lip-syncing and his sluggish, lazy dancing didn't match the oomph of the beats... Bieber phoned in a good amount during his show; at some moments, he even appeared bored. He was clocking in - another day, another sold-out concert... When performing the hit Beauty and a Beat, he couldn't keep up with his background dancers.
"He was lip-syncing again... During She Don't Like the Lights, Bieber barely moved to the track's futuristic beat (maybe it was the leather tights?)."
Chris Jordan of local newspaper the Asbury Park Press was also disappointed with the 19 year old's performance, insisting the star did not deliver during the few moments of the show when he actually attempted to sing.
He writes, "As for Bieber the performer, well, there's not a whole lot to believe in. His voice is thin and reedy... Unfortunately, his dancing isn't any better than his singing. His turns are loose and his body control is sloppy. He seemed divided as to whether he should join his team of dancers full force or just let them do most of the work."
Michael Jackson's ill-fated comeback shows in London would have featured a lookalike onstage and lip-syncing from the legendary performer. The Thriller hitmaker was booked for a string of 50 sell out shows at London's O2 Arena in 2009 but passed away in June that year (09) just weeks before the run of gigs was due to begin.
The star's mother Katherine has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against bosses of concert promoters AEG Live, who were behind Jackson's This Is It shows, alleging they were negligent in ignoring her son's life-threatening health issues as he was not well enough to perform.
Now the hearing in Los Angeles has been told Jackson was so out of shape he planned to lip-sync some songs and use an auto-cue machine to prompt him on his lyrics.
A jaw-dropping stunt in which Jackson appeared to leap through a pane of glass would have featured a lookalike to fool fans.
Choreographer Travis Payne told the court on Tuesday (14May13) he received an email from another worker on the This Is It shows stating: "Michael Jackson is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time."
A lot has changed for the children of the '90s since our Trapper Keeper toting days. Most of us are in our 20s or early 30s. We may be married, starting our anti-aging battles against gray hairs and facial lines, or even have kids of our own. And like us, pop culture has changed. No longer do we tape our favorite shows on a VHS cassette and turn on the radio to hear our beloved Britneys, Christinas, and boy bands. Until now. Prepare yourself for nostalgia overload, as some of our favorite ‘90s boy bands are poised for a major comeback.
This summer, the kids within us will be reawakened as a major boy band summer tour featuring New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men kicks into full gear. And in celebration of this epic event, it’s time to put the former boy bands to the test. Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees judges the ultimate boy band death match. Who will hold the spotlight in this faceoff?
RELATED: Jeff Timmons: Joey Lawrence Better Get Ready for Chippendales
The Boy Band Death Match Begins:
Round One: The Dance-Off
Winner: ‘N Sync. “‘N Sync would kill us all,” Timmons tells Hollywood.com. “Those guys are the dancing troop. They are amazing.”
Round Two: The Fistfight
Winner: 98 Degrees. “That’s us, easily,” Timmons says. “We are a bunch of brawlers. We’re Ohio guys, blue-collar guys, all sports guys that ended up doing music, not music guys that went into sports. So, we would win a fistfight easily.” And Timmons thinks that New Kids on the Block would be their fiercest competition. “The Boston guys are pretty scrappy,” he says. “They might give us a run for our money.”
Round Three: The Jeopardy Test of Wits
Winners: 98 Degrees or NKOTB. “It would be a toss-up between us and the New Kids,” Timmons says. “The Lache brothers are pretty cerebral —those guys are pretty smart — so we might be pretty good. Although the New Kids [have] Donnie Wahlberg [and] he’s pretty quick-witted. He sounds pretty educated.”
Round Four: The Fashion Face-off
Winner: Boyz II Men. “They are always pretty savvy with fashion,” Timmons says. “They would win. 'N Sync does a little more of space age, kind of out there, funky style. And we’re always kind of conservative. Boyz II Men are the most fashion [forward] looking group out of everybody.”
Round Five: The Shirts-Off Contest:
Winner: New Kids on the Block. “The New Kids are in pretty good shape,” Timmons says.
Round Six: The Sing-off
Winner: Boyz II Men. “Boyz II Men wins that hands down,” Timmons says. “It’s not even a competition when it comes to live singing. We can kind of hold a candle to them, but Boyz II Men is amazing. They sound just like a record in person. We’re pretty good with the harmonies and everything, but, no question about it, Boyz II Men are high above anybody else.”
Next: Timmons Shares the Scoop on 98 Degrees' New Album
New Album and Tour
Timmons may list his competitors as winners in the boy band death match, but in real life, 98 Degrees may be coming out on top this year. They've got a new album in the works and a hot summer tour lined up.
While a release date has yet to be set for the new album, the boys (or men, now) have already returned to the studio to start recording. Timmons tells us that the album will be all new tracks and will incorporate “some new sounds.” “We’re R&B guys at heart, so it’s going to have some R&B flavor to it,” he says. “[And back in the ‘90s,] primarily, we were known as balladeers; [We’d] sing slow songs. Nowadays, it’s all up-tempo songs on the radio, so we’re trying to see how we fit in that.”
Timmons is hoping that one song in particular makes the cut for the new album. “It’s called ‘Microphone,’ and I actually hope it is the first single," he says. “It’s pretty kick ass. It’s definitely radio friendly and a big hit." Timmons feels that the single really shows off his band’s talents. “We all sound great on it,” he says. “The production is amazing, the writers are cool, [and the] song is pretty killer.”
RELATED: 98 Degrees Reuniting
But don’t worry, 98 Degree fans, the band will be bringing back some of their more popular tunes when they hit the road this summer with Boyz II Men and NKOTB. And concert-goers will get a good taste of all of the bands’ flavors. According to Timmons, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men will each perform a 40-minute set before New Kids takes to the stage for their headlining act.
If a medley of throwback jams isn't enough to entice you, maybe the possibility of some '90s fashion will be. Timmons tells us he will never say never to breaking out some of the band’s old school costumes to liven up their performances. “It might be cool! It might be something we do... but I don’t know. Everybody nowadays is too cool for school to maybe take that risk,” he says. “We had silver jumpsuits at one point. We can just rock that sh*t and then see what everybody does.”
But all joking aside, the summer tour holds a special place in Timmons’ heart, as it was Boyz II Men who helped inspire Timmons and his band to break into music. “I was singing their songs in the shower in college,” he says.
RELATED: Jeff Timmons: On Nostalgia and More
98 Degrees even crashed a concert to get Boyz II Men’s attention. “We were like, ‘Okay, Boyz II Men got discovered singing backstage at a concert,’” Timmons says. “'We’re going to go to their concert and do the same thing.' We bought tickets to the show, went to the show, sang our way backstage, and got on the radio,” he says. “Then we got discovered back there and we ended up getting signed to Motown just like Boyz II Men did.”
Because of their history, 98 Degrees is excited to take the stage with Boyz II Men, and they're thrilled to be touring with NKOTB as well. “New Kids on the Block, despite what people say about them, sold more records than any of us,” Timmons says. “They had a tremendous amount of success. They are great guys and they are talented. To be on a bill with both of those legendary acts, I’ve got to pinch myself. I’m lucky to be here."
“We’re all just lucky to be in the business still after this many years and having the opportunity to go on tour,” Timmons adds.
Follow Lindsey DiMattina on Twitter @LDimat
[Photo Credit: Dan Jackman/Wenn]
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You know how people always say if their life was going to be made into a movie, they would want such-and-such celeb to play them?
Well, unfortunately for Carly Rae Jepsen — the singer behind the infectious song, "Call Me Maybe" — in a new music video the role of her is being played by a dog. Yep, a cuddly canine.
In a new online parody of the Canadian singer's hit song, a corgi (playing Jepsen) barks in sync with the song. But instead of getting turned down by a hot guy with a six-pack stomach, the four-legged fellow is rejected by a cat. Awkward!
Check out the hilarious video below, as well as the four craziest covers of "Call Me Maybe".
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Photo Credit: WENN.com