15 Things You Didn’t Know About *NSYNC’s Self-Titled Debut Album
The late '90s were a glorious time for all genres of music, but in the world of pop, the excitement and stakes were greater than ever. 1998 in particular would prove to be a landmark year for pop, with new acts dominating the charts and selling albums in the millions. *NSYNC, a quintet based out of Orlando, Florida, was one of those acts. They seemingly came out of nowhere and created a frenzy with their debut album, 'N Sync.
Comprised of lead singers Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez, as well as backing vocalists Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone, *NSYNC would released the original version of their debut album on May 26, 1997, finding success in a number of regions across Europe. Having cracked the international market, *NSYNC returned stateside to release an updated version of 'N Sync for the U.S. on March 24, 1998. The album introduced the crooners as the newest heartthrobs on the scene.
To mark the 20th anniversary of their landmark release, we're highlighting fifteen little-known facts about *NSYNC's debut album.
Prior to being released in the U.S., *NSYNC's self-titled debut first hit shelves in Germany on May 26, 1997.
'N Sync was certified 10x platinum by the RIAA on January 5, 2000, and has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide to date.
*NSYNC's debut finished 1998 as the fifth best-selling album of the year, behind seismic releases like Titantic soundtrack, Let's Talk About Love (Celine Dion), Backstreet Boys and Come On Over (Shania Twain).
Unlike other singles from *NSYNC's debut, which were released in European markets prior to reaching the U.S., the album's third single, "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You," was released exclusively in North America as a single. It became the group's first Top 10 hit.
The third member of *NSYNC after Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone, Justin Timberlake recommended his friend and fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum JC Chasez to join the group.
'N Sync includes numerous covers of classic songs, like Bread's 1972 track "Everything I Own," Christopher Cross' 1980 single "Sailing" and Boston's 1976 hit, "More Than a Feeling," the latter of which was not included on the U.S. version of the album.
Before being introduced to the market as pop's next big thing, bass singer Jason Galasso was *NSYNC's fifth member. Before the band recorded their first album, Galasso departed from the group due to creative differences, leading Justin Timberlake to bring in Lance Bass, who he had met through his vocal coach.
Prior to penning songs for the likes of Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl"), Maroon 5 ("One More Night"), Taylor Swift ("Blank Space") and The Weeknd ("Can't Feel My Face"), producer and songwriter Max Martin helped *NSYNC score some of their earliest hits, most notably "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "I Want You Back."
The name *NSYNC was created by Justin Timberlake's mother, with one letter representing the last letter of each group member's first name. Being that Lance replaced Jason Galasso, whose "n" accounted for one of the letters in the group's name, Lance was referred to as Lansten in press and in interviews during 'N Sync's international roll out.
Although *NSYNC was formed and based out Orlando, Florida, the quintet traveled to Sweden to record their debut album after being signed to BMG Ariola Munich in 1996.
Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez sang a majority of the lead vocals on 'N Sync, but one song that features someone other than the dynamic duo on lead is the U.S. version of "I Drive Myself Crazy," on which group co-founder Chris Kirkpatrick sings lead.
Being that both *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys were based out of Orlando, competition quickly sparked between the two, with the Backstreet Boys opting to cut ties with manager Johnny Wright after Wright was hired to steer the career of their rivals. Two of *NSYNC's biggest hits from their debut, "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Want You Back" were originally offered to the Backstreet Boys, who declined both songs.
Despite being included on the U.S. version of 'N Sync, "For The Girl Who Has Everything" was released exclusively as a single in Germany, a testament to their popularity and the strength of their brand as a boy band internationally.
According to Billboard, 'N Sync was the 17th most successful album of the decade on the Billboard 200, falling just one spot behind the Backstreet Boys' second U.S. release, Millennium.
In July 1998, after gradually climbing up the Billboard 200, 'N Sync's sales saw a big boost when the group was tapped to perform on the Disney Channel concert special, NSYNC: Live in Concert. 'N Sync, which previously sat at No. 85 on the Billboard 200 chart, skyrocketed to No. 9 on the chart three weeks after it aired on TV, a byproduct of their coming-out party on the national stage.