When it was announced that Justin Timberlake would be receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend, rumors started flying that his *Nsync band mates would join him for a reunion performance at the VMAs. While several members have cryptically addressed this rumor — most recently Lance Bass on his Sirius XM show “Dirty Pop With Lance Bass” — *Nsync fans everywhere are collectively holding our breath to see what happens this weekend.
Yours truly drove all over the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area during my teens and saw twelve *Nsync shows, so I’m crossing my fingers for this performance. While I wait, I revisited the top five music videos the swoon-worthy band created during their heyday.
5. “I Want You Back”
The year was 1998 and the world was introduced to *Nsync via this music video. All the boy-band cliches are in full force here: choreographed dancing, themed outfits, and clear personality distinctions through nineties accessories (Justin Timberlake’s earring! Chris Kirkpatrick’s dreads! J.C. Chasez’s Oakleys!) *Nsync danced their way into my heart with those oversized track jackets, and along with millions of other girls, I fell in love with them through the black and white montages.
“Pop” was the debut track off *Nsync’s final album, Celebrity, and the song features the men demanding respect for creating pop music. The dance track spawned a music video that is best described as a bright, over-the-top sensory overload. Where is this colorful disco coming from and who invited the BMX guys? Why is Kirkpatrick the DJ? Where is that giant neon POP sign nowadays? The video features the required dance break (I learned every move and would perform it while waiting to get into *Nsync concerts. It’s a wonder I had friends…), and Timberlake showed off his beat boxing skills at the end, a talent he later incorporated into performances on tour.
3. “Drive Myself Crazy”
The music video for “Drive Myself Crazy” took itself quite literally — all five members of the group are committed to a mental asylum, driven crazy for “wanting you the way that I do.” Flashbacks reveal how each guy had their heart broken and what made them go nuts (favorite moment: platinum-haired Justin Timberlake attempts to give a necklace to a girl on the bleachers and gets rejected). The members of *Nsync overact their way, straightjackets included, into the most wonderfully cheesy video to take place in a looney bin.
Any girl who does not melt during this video is made of stone. Sure, “Gone” is repetitious and the feelings are as old as love songs themselves, but *Nsync got creative with the theme of this video and the opening strings always make me giddy. This Timberlake-centered video (foreshadowing?) has the rest of *Nsync passionately singing backup and shows Timberlake’s transformation from a boy to a man. He clearly got some workouts in since the band formed, and his tattooed muscles makes that black tank look good. Timberlake’s sad puppy dog eyes get me every time, though, so ladies, watch this one with tissues.
1. “Bye Bye Bye”
What is there not to love about *Nsync’s music video for their single “Bye Bye Bye” off the appropriately titled No Strings Attached? Edging out their other doll-based video “It’s Gonna Be Me,” this video celebrates every aspect of over-the-top, themed music videos as the members are puppets in a beautiful girl’s twisted performance. Chasez spins out in a car chase, Chris Kirkpatrick runs atop a rain, and Timberlake’s adorable smirk during his getaway scene made girls swoon across the world. The puppet theme of this video takes it to another level and made it easy for *Nsync to market collectable marionettes in the likeness of each member, all five of which are in my closet. No shame.
For more information on *Nsync: