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N Sync
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Like the Backstreet Boys before them, the teenage male vocal group *NSYNC emerged from Orlando, FL; though formed in 1996, their roots trace back much earlier to singers J.C. Chasez and Justin Timberlake, who together previously co-starred on the Disney Channel's The Mickey Mouse Club before later relocating to Nashville, where they worked on solo projects with the same vocal coach and songwriters. Timberlake soon returned to Orlando, where he befriended Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone; with Chasez, the four agreed to form a band, and with the addition of bass James Lance Bass, *NSYNC was complete. Hooking up with a series of producers including Denniz Pop, the group recorded its self-titled debut LP, initially released on BMG Ariola Munich; *NSYNC soon became an overnight success throughout much of Europe, with the singles "I Want You Back" and "Tearing Up My Heart" both becoming major hits. The album was released in the U.S. in the spring of 1998, and -- accompanied by a tour of the nation's roller rinks -- it became an American hit as well; Home for Christmas followed later that same year, and in the spring of 2000, the group broke sales records with No Strings Attached, which sold close to 2.5 million copies in its first week of release. The kitschy-pop third album, Celebrity, appeared in summer 2001. Jason Ankeny

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