"N Sync represents the late 1990s variant of the bubblegum supergroup. Like their antecedents—the Monkees, the Partridge Family, the New Kids on the Block, the Spice Girls, and the Backstreet Boys—‘N Sync has combined slick record production values with intensive multi-media marketing and promotion.
Two members of the group—JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake—worked together on the Disney Channel’s The Mickey Mouse Club. Both temporarily relocated to Nashville, where they pursued solo careers while sharing the same vocal coach and songwriters. When things failed to click, Timberlake hooked up with Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick back in Orlando; they contacted Chasez, who agreed to join the proposed band in 1996. James Lance Bass was recruited later to fill out the lineup.
Their debut album, ‘N Sync, originally released in Germany on BMG Ariola Munich, became hugely popular across Europe, largely on the strength of two hit singles, "I Want You Back: (RCA 65348; 1997) and "Tearing Up My Heart" (RCA; 1997). Released in the U.S. on RCA (#67613) in spring 1998, and promoted by a nationwide tour of roller rinks, the LP duplicated its overseas success. Intended to capitalize on their career momentum, Home for Christmas (RCA; 1998) was issued later that same year. The third album, No Strings Attached (Jive 41702), parlayed a buoyant pop sound to exceed even the most optimistic expectations, selling almost two-and-a-half million copies during its first week of release in spring 2000 and lingering for months in the Top Ten pop charts. A DVD concert (also available in the videotape configuration), Live at Madison Square Garden (Jive 41739), was issued in December 2000. The next LP, Celebrity (Jive 41758; 2001) reinforce their hold on Adult Contemporary, dance, and Top Forty playlists.
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