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tv   The Justin Timberlake Experience  CNN  November 25, 2013 1:30am-2:01am PST

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>> reporter: long before the billions of fans and megastardom, there was 9-year-old justin timberlake. a small town boy with big-time dreams. ♪ please don't go girl >> people in the music industry always thought about this thing or that thing or whatever but he always had that thing. always. >> reporter: best friend grew up with justin in millington, tennessee, just outside of memphis. ♪ >> memphis is a very, very musical town. everything resolves around music. from the time we were little kids you go to dinner and the bar next door has a band playing. so i feel like it just brings it out in you, you know? >> reporter: whether it was singing a gospel duet in this rare early video.
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♪ ♪ amazing >> reporter: or during a charity event channeling one of memphis own, the king of rock 'n' roll. ♪ i've been so lonely baby >> reporter: the grandson of a preacher and son of a choir director never passed up a chance to perform. bob westbrook gave justin his first singing lessons when he was 8. what did he have? what was that star quality? >> just his mannerism and his charisma, the hair. the hope of natural stage feel. well, you see what he's got now? >> reporter: when justin was just 11, his talents landed him on "star search" the nationally
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televised television show. back then, justin just went by his first and middle name. >> from millington, tennessee, welcome justin randall. ♪ called my doctor on the telephone ♪ ♪ tell me doctor something is wrong ♪ >> reporter: the young boy in a ten-gallon hat looked comfortable. ♪ >> four stars. >> reporter: but in the end. >> our challenger justin randall receives three and a quarter stars. >> reporter: his performance failed to win. speaking to "larry king live "in 2001, justin talked about his loss. >> did you win? >> no.
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>> you lose on "star search"? >> of course. there you go. >> reporter: with his mother's unwavering support, justin continued to search his dreams. >> lynn was very much a loving mother and wanted justin to have every opportunity that -- that -- that he could and to take his talent wherever he wanted to take it. >> reporter: shortly after losing "star search" justin heard about an open casting call for the disney tv show "the mickey mouse club." >> so i went and i auditioned. i thought if i would have won on "star search" -- it's really funny how stuff works out. >> reporter: i imagine that would have been a huge deal when he landed that. >> it was a huge deal. >> reporter: a huge deal because now justin would be singing, dancing, and acting as part of a who's who of teenage heart
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throbs. and one sparkling mousketeer who caught justin's eye. ♪ baby when i look at you >> reporter: britney spears. chuck tutored justin and the other child stars on the show. these are your kids. >> yes. >> reporter: show me. >> we start down here with christina aguilera and already showing a bare midriff is britney and then justin. >> with his arm around britney. ♪ now is the time to say good-bye ♪ >> reporter: two years after starting the show, the spotlight vanished when "the mickey miscellaneous club" was canceled and justin had to return to his sleepy hometown in tennessee. >> you know, for him, it was tough. he would step out and go and
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experience new culture and the new fashion trends, you know, things like that, the new hairstyles. where we grew up, people, they are not open to change. you know? they don't like change. >> reporter: i couldn't imagine people picking on justin. kids picking on him. >> you're a boy and you live in the south, it's tough. it's tough to be a boy in the south. but it also, i think, prepared him for what was to come in the future with having tough skin. >> i grew up in a small town and i definitely felt like i was an individual always. >> reporter: coming up, justin leaves his hometown after receiving a phone call that would change his life forever. >> when i heard him sing, i mean, you know, it was just unbelievable.
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♪ >> reporter: a short time after 14-year-old justin timberlake hung up his mouse ears he got a phone call that would propel him back into the spotlight. chris kirkpatrick was putting together another boy band. an agent sent chris a tape. >> i started listening and i was like, wow, this kid can sing. i looked at the head shot. i thought, justin timberlake. i thought what does that sound familiar? he was on the mickey mouse club and all of these things. i was like this guy would want to be in my band? >> reporter: was there any he is really young.
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was there any thought about that? >> there was, there was. ♪ >> reporter: but when i heard him sing, you know, it was just unbelievable. his voice was just -- especially at that age, it was so mature and he had so much control over it. this kid is so unbelievable like i'm going to at least try. i'm going to make a phone call, awkward phone call and see if i can get this to work. >> reporter: it did work. the group which would include exmousketeer lance bass called themselves 'n sync. >> reporter: she recorded their music in a secret hideaway nearby. it's like we are in a fun house. >> reporter: that is kind of
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what it was. it's got every luxury you can imagine. >> reporter: life for justin in the house? >> he had already done "the mickey mouse club," the difference was during the day time if we didn't have anything to do, justin had to be in the dining room with his tutor taking classes and doing school. >> reporter: six hours a day, huh? >> yeah. he would outwork anybody. >> driven. driven. driven always. but he's one of the hardest working person i know. >> i like to rehearse. i like to know where every spot on the stage is going to be. i like to know where the camera frames are going to be and i think it always comes out the better because of it. >> reporter: and the hard work would eventually pay off. after two years of relentless touring overseas, justin and 'n sync hit it big. >> reporter: the guys in orlando
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were ready and the call was made to disney, hey, we can fill that spot, they rose to the occasion and they went and did it. that was a big moment for us. ♪ >> reporter: 'n sync became the big heartthrobs. >> we had a good time. >> reporter: but behind the success, distrust was brewing. between n sink and lou perlman. >> when you're getting up at 5:00 in the morning and going to radio and spending 24 hours on the job and somewhere else at is going to the steak houses and making 75% of the money, all of a sudden, it's like, wait, something's got to change. >> we are generating so much revenue and all of the stuff, where is all of that money. >> reporter: perlman had taken
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'n sync to the top of the chart but perlman sued threatening to take the band's name and block them from performing. 'n sync countersued. >> reporter: if we separated we would lose johnny wright and our connections and lose our record label and lose all of these things and end up back at square one singing, you know, at the downtown high school. >> reporter: in the end, lawsuits were settled out of court. >> right now it's basically about the fans and our music and we're so proud that all of our fans came out here to support us. >> joo signed to a new record label, justin and 'n sync went to another record label, no strings attached. ♪ bye-bye ♪ you may hate me
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but no doubt bye-bye bye ♪ >> that is really cool. >> reporter: first week along, no strings attached sold 2.4 million copies and making it the fastest selling album of all time. despite the growing frenzy, the growing bank account and the growing admiration of millions of fans. >> how much do you like 'n sync? >> a lot. >> reporter: those close to justin say his feet never left the ground. >> you know, when people get this big in this business, sometimes they get a big head and their entourage start to grow and they are not approachable. justin was not like that.
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>> i always felt like i was like mowsart's older brother. he's so good at what he does and he's so -- you know, he hits on every cylinder all the time. >> it's kind of like you're describing a -- >> reporter: exactly. that's exactly what he is. he is a salvant. >> reporter: it wasn't justin's only talent in the spotlight, so was his love life. >> britney spears and you. this is "larry king live." >> we are dating. >> reporter: from the moment they confirmed their relationship to the moment it ended britney and justin were a tabloid dream. despite it all, justin remained focused on the music. taking the lead in crafting the group's third album "celebrity." ♪ >> reporter: which included a lead single that seemed to take aim at 'n sync's detractors who labeled their music pop.
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♪ sick and tired of hearing these people talk about what is the deal with this pop life sfots ♪ ♪ >> reporter: as a member of 'n sync he made liking a boy band cool. coming up from boy to man. justin sets out on a solo career and find himself at the center of controversy. >> it was definitely a big emotional roller coaster. old of his insurance agent. maxwell is not. he's on geico.com setting up an appointment with an adjuster. ted is now on hold with his insurance company. maxwell is not and just confirmed a 5:30 time for tuesday. ted, is still waiting. yes! maxwell is out and about... with ted's now ex-girlfriend. wheeeee! whoo! later ted!
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>> reporter: it was 2002. 'n sync had sold millions of
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albums. and justin timberlake was a bona fide heartthrob. but band mate chris kirkpatrick says life was business. >> this is the compound. we tried to learn our instruments better than the next guy. everybody worked to that goal. >> reporter: it wasn't a crazy house, it was a focused house? >> it wasn't crazy at all. it wasn't like, you know, you would think like, oh, there is girls over all the time. there was this. i mean, it was work. >> reporter: the girls? >> i mean -- well, no. >> reporter: maybe a couple? >> honestly as crazy as it sounds, it wasn't that type of vibe. >> reporter: with his fans, justin had a vibe all his own. >> i think there is and appeal in him. he's been perceived as a relationship guy. justin timberlake's female fans wearing t-shirts saying, mrs. timberlake. i want to be mrs. timberlake. not saying i want to be a
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one-night stand. >> reporter: if he was smooth on stage, he seemed even smoother in the studio. is it fair to say that justin is a perfectionist? >> he is a perfectionist but there's no work involved for it. you know? it's really just boom, boom, done. 16 hours in the garage and one take timberlake. >> he got together with one of his friends and then created the song "gone." >> you're gone. ♪ you're gone gone gone ♪ >> reporter: justin's writing skills were getting noticed by the biggest names in the industry like michael jackson. >> michael's people came and, hey, i think michael wants to record that record. i looked to justin and said, you're not giving that record away." i knew what that record meant to him as a writer to finally get some, you know, respect making a
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statement to say, i'm a writer too. >> we are very, very excited to be here. >> reporter: in 2002, justin launched the solo career that would define his next decade. ♪ >> everybody was kind of figuring out, what are we going to do for the next six months and justin just kind of tapped me and said, i know what i'm going to do. i've had this music inside me quite a while and i will take this time and go make a record. ♪ >> reporter: that was enough to land his solo act at the super bowl halftime show. but when a, quote, wardrobe malfunction" exposed janet jackson's bare breast. >> he is committed to the crime of the century. >> that was a roller coaster. that was coming off performing to the super bowl to, whoa, you have airplanes flying around l.a. convict justin and janet. banners. it was pretty crazy.
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>> it is completely regrettable. >> reporter: a swift apology put justin back on track and his star continued to rise. his career would expand from music to movies, including. >> i'm sean parker. >> reporter: the social network. >> a million dollars is cool. you know what is cool? a billion dollars. >> reporter: two business ventures. for starters, a clothing line called william rast with best friend trace. was he hands -- >> reporter: was he hands on? >> justin, yes. is is buttons, stitching. she was very, very hands on. >> reporter: add to the business ventures, two grammys for the man who brought sexy back. ♪ >> reporter: and even an emmy for this guy on "snl."
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but, best of all. >> i'm ready. >> reporter: justin would likely say finding the real mrs. timberlake. >> he was always into jessica. >> reporter: trace was the best man when justin and jessica beal were married in october. >> it was always a celebrity crush. >> reporter: really? >> absolutely. >> you would hear her order something. wow in the middle of us having a discussion about a hundred-city tour, something sparked in him he felt the need he had to do something special. >> reporter: a new wife. and a new album with his old friend. >> tim will come in and have his headphones on and you plan something and justin sitting there in the corner and he starts picking up on it and dude, do this. it's crazy watching them work. >> him and tim had basically four weeks. the thought pattern we will make a record and by it up for the
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summer and have good music out there and in 20 days, they made 20 songs. >> reporter: the 20/20 experienced release inside two parts featuring a notable collaboration between justin and jay-z. ♪ >> you know, obviously there was a chemistry that happened when they came in the studio together with a suit and tie and lead-off record. ♪ >> by working with jay-z, he is getting an artist who is as well formed as he is and, in a way, it is grown-up approach to singing and rapping together the same song. >> reporter: mtv presented justin timberlake with a michael jackson video award. justin performed a medley of his greatest hits and surprised the crowd with some old friends.
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his farmormer band mates from ' sync. >> i'm not sure how many emmys i've won but i know somewhere around half of them are with the group so i felt like this would be a nice moment to send tribute to those guys and i just wanted to include them in that moment. >> reporter: 2013 was one of the biggest years in justin's career and it seems like his star is only rising. he starred in two movies and earned five nominations at the american music awards and kicked off a world tour. even so, justin doesn't take anything for granted. >> if there is anything that i've learned in my experience, it's to try to like stop and enjoy those moments, because, you know, they are over before you know it. now it's just about enjoying these moments and you can gr moment to moment to moment to moment. is this the bacon and cheese diet?
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this is the creamy chicken corn chowder. i mean, look at it. so indulgent. did i tell you i am on the... [ both ] chicken pot pie diet! me too! [ male announcer ] so indulgent, you'll never believe they're light. 100-calorie progresso light soups.
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. a deadly storm across the country with wind, snow, ice. how will this affect your holiday plans? a deal made with iran but not without a tough road ahead. we are live with the latest goms. >> developments. >> a stunning performance for the patriots! where is john berman when you need him? the game was in a nail biting overtime and we are breaking it all down! >> maybe we should chime in this morning. >>

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