It’s no longer “Bye, Bye, Bye.”
‘NSYNC band members — Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake — reunited for the first time in 20 months since the five men all gathered in August 2016 for Chasez’s 40th birthday bash.
“I watched this band evolve over the years, and by that I meant I spent 10 minutes reading their Wikipedia page,” DeGeneres joked.
“They actually got their name from a comment Justin Timberlake’s mom made about their singing. She said when they sang they sounded in sync,” she continued, adding, “You’re very, very lucky because if my mother named your band it would have been called, ‘Stop that racket, I’m trying to watch my stories.”
“Of course the band is made up of the cute one, the bad boy, the sensitive one, the sexy one and Joey,” she teased, before adding that in all seriousness, she was “happy that you’re being honored today.”
Daly, who hosted MTV’s Total Request Live during the height of the band’s popularity, had nothing but kind words to say about the band — although like DeGeneres, he still poked fun at the boys just a little bit.
“I was one of the very lucky people who got to hang with these guys when the entire world wanted to hang with them,” the 44-year-old said. “And keep in mind, this was a time when Justin’s perm was the envy of poodles and sheep everywhere, Lance was known for dating actresses not actors, JC discovered the fountain of youth apparently, Chris was rocking cornrows and braids, and of course, I spent most of my time with Joey, because he was 25 years older than the rest of the guys.”
But then Daly got serious, adding: “I’m honored to be here for yet another milestone in the career of ‘NSYNC.”
It’s been 15 years since the blockbuster boy band tore up hearts as teen idols after announcing their hiatus in 2002. (‘NSYNC earned eight Grammy nominations between 1995 and 2002, with sadly no wins.)
When it was finally their time to take to the stage, all five members of ‘NSYNC expressed gratitude to their fans, their family, and to each other.
“This is so surreal. You guys are the best fans in the world,” Timberlake, 37, said, before thanking everybody “who came from far and wide to share this moment with us. Thank you, this really means the world to us.”
“These four guys mean so much to me,” he added before addressing his bandmates. “We’re really a family and the memories that we have and the times that we’ve shared and the families that we’ve built from it…I don’t think I could really put into words how much the four of you mean to me.”
The Man of the Woods singer also gave a special shout out to his mother Lynn Harless and his “beautiful wife” Jessica Biel.
“Mom, thank you so much for being there. And now my beautiful wife, who’s here today, is now the mother of our beautiful son [Silas]. I love you so much,” he said.
Kirkpatrick also gave a shout out to his 6-month-old son Nash.
“Nash, you got some of the best uncles on the planet here. If you ever got any problems, you got them,” he said.
During his speech, Bass opened up about why he chose not to come out while the band was still making music.
“At the time I thought I would never be able to tell anyone because not only was I terrified of the lasting rejection I was certain that would happen, but I didn’t want to jeopardize the career of the guys standing up here — much less the hundreds of amazing people who worked tirelessly to bring ‘NSYNC to the world,” he said.
“I thought if I came out, ‘NSYNC would be over, so I kept my secret and our wildest dreams were coming true. But so many nights onstage I’d see young gay fans singing their hearts out, and I just wanted them to know, ‘I was you.’ I just didn’t have the strength then,” he added, before thanking members of the LGBTQ community for embracing and supporting him.
And as the boys made their way to see the unveiling of their star, Chasez grabbed the microphone to reminds fans that a very important time of the year was coming up.
“By the way in case any of you guys didn’t know, tomorrow it’s gonna be me,” he said, singing the last part, much to the delight of the crowd.
Fittingly, the honorary ceremony coincided with the fan-created holiday, Its Gonna Be May Day.
Following the ceremony, Bass shared a sweet selfie as all the boys tried to cram into a single frame alongside DeGeneres and Daly.
“Well that was fun!!!! This was the calm before the storm. Thank you to my four brothers for this amazing gift. Also, @theellenshow and @carsondaly for your beautiful speeches! And the fans! Holy! Seeing all your faces has made me so happy. Love to all!” he wrote alongside the image.
But despite the friendly occasion, Bass told reporters that the band “have no plans for a reunion right now — we’re just enjoying this day.”
To further celebrate being permanently cemented in Hollywood history, ‘NSYNC previously announced the “Dirty Pop-Up” fan experience, a free event that began on April 28 and concludes May 1, to pay homage to the group’s 20-year history and sell official merchandise from a special capsule collection.
Since disbanding in 2002, ‘NSYNC’s most public appearances include Chris Kirkpatrick’s November 2013 wedding to wife Karly, for which they served as ushers, and their 90-second concert during Timberlake’s MTV VMA Video Vanguard performance in August 2013.
Each singer has built their careers in different ways after parting ways from their boy band roots.
Timberlake, who is scheduled to perform two shows on his Man of the Woods tour at The Forum, has successfully advanced his solo music career.
He dropped his first solo project, Justified, in 2002, which produced hit singles such as “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.” Justified was followed up with 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, which featured singles such as “SexyBack,” “My Love” and “What Goes Around… Comes Around,” and 2013’s The 20/20 Experience (parts 1 and 2). The four EPs earned him a total of 10 Grammys and 38 nominations.
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The 2016 animated comedy Trolls, for which he lent his voice to character Branch and executive produced the film’s soundtrack, earned him a Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
Most recently, Timberlake released his fifth studio album, Man of the Woods, in February that featured chart-topping songs “Filthy” and “Say Something.” In addition, the husband of Jessica Biel headlined this year’s Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, Chasez also launched a solo career when he released his first single, “Blowin’ Me Up (With Her Love),” in 2002, years before his 2004 debut album Schizophrenic. From 2008 to 2012, he was a judge on Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew for seven seasons.
On the other hand, Bass, Fatone and Kirkpatrick have not returned to music after ‘NSYNC.