Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

Before he married Jessica Biel, before he won Grammys, before he starred in feature films like “Friends with Benefits,” “The Social Network,” and “In Time,” former Mouseketeer, Justin Timberlake, was just another pretty face in the popular boy band *NSync.

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I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this, but back in the day, I saw three live *NSync concerts. The first fever pitch performance was at the Pontiac Silverdome on July 31, 1999. Does anyone remember this show? It felt like 115 degrees while I stood in line with about 225 crazed hormonal teenage girls and their moms/sisters/aunts/grandmas/BFFs for a meet and greet with the band.

Before the show, we were escorted into an air-conditioned room at the top of the stadium. When it was our turn to enter, we may have been standing near the pop idols, but it was such an assembly line of fans, we didn’t really get time to “meet” Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, or Joey Fatone.

We brought memorabilia like CDs, posters, and pictures to be autographed. The superstars barely looked up as they signed their names to our items. We weren’t allowed to get pictures posing with individual band members. It was all a quick blur.


Vicki “meets” Justin Timberlake at the Pontiac Silverdome in ’99 (credit: Vicki B.)

My ex, his 13-year-old sister, and her friend had seats in the front row. All the girls around them, in their screechy loud girly voices, were shouting for the *NSync heartthrob they loved the most. “JC!” “Justin!” the girls hollered. My ex said he felt bad because no one was yelling for Lance. So he started bellowing “Lance!” He said he’s pretty sure Lance heard his deep voice since they were so close to the stage.

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My co-workers and I had VIP seats on a platform by the stage. There was a couch and a Barcalounger. The stadium was electric with excitement over the high voltage singing and dancing sensations. JT later said in an interview that Detroit fans and the concert at the Silverdome were his favorite of the tour. In the summer of ’99, he was 18 years old and dating Britney Spears.

Our Little Baby’s All Grown Up

Have 14 years already passed? Now Justin is 32, married, with a string of solo albums, hits, movies, and awards under his belt. He still has the same pretty face he did in *NSync, only his talent has soared to new heights. He’s a triple threat: singer, dancer, actor. Oh, and don’t forget to add executive producer to his growing resume of skills.

The CW is celebrating Justin Timberlake’s latest album release during a one-hour special, featuring both concert and interview footage from an upcoming performance of “The 20/20 Experience.” Justin will discuss the story behind the making of his new album and perform with his band, including an exclusive eight-minute world premiere of his new music video.

I’ll join in, screaming “Justin!” in my loudest girly voice.

“Target Presents the iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Justin Timberlake” airs on CW50 on Tuesday, March 19 from 8-9p. The special will encore on Friday, March 22 from 8-9p.

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