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Justin Timberlake: Entertainer of the decade

The singer’s infamous ”Saturday Night Live” sketch helped him take his career out of the box

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He began the decade as ”just” a member of a hugely successful boy band — *NSYNC moved 2.4 million copies of No Strings Attached in a single week in 2000 — and ends it as one of the most versatile and beloved entertainers in the world (as well as a droll hoot in person). ”I take my work very seriously,” says the singer-actor, 28. ”I just don’t take myself seriously at all.” Few A-listers would have had the comedy cojones to put their ”D— in a Box,” as Timberlake famously did while hosting Saturday Night Live — and surely none would have been as hilarious doing it. But his pop-star day job is no joke to him, as evidenced by his two solo albums, 2002’s Justified and 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, the latter of which featured the groovesomely lubricious ”SexyBack.” It’s almost enough to forgive his mid-’90s espousal of the trucker hat. ”Yes, I think Ashton Kutcher and I should apologize to the American public.”


Justin Looks Back

Game-changing moment
”’SexyBack’ was the point when people stopped asking me when *NSYNC were going to reunite and started asking what I was going to do next.”

Best decision
”To put my d— in a box. I’m kidding.”

One regret
”I wish I had supported Janet more [during the 2004 ‘wardrobe malfunction’ Super Bowl controversy]. I’m not sorry I apologized, but I wish I had been there more for Janet.”