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Larry King Live

'N Sync Discusses Their Rise to Stardom

Aired January 9, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, they are huge! And they are here! Who is going to be talking to these guys? It's going to be me! And who is going to be phoning in questions? It is going to be you! 'N Sync for the hour -- next on LARRY KING LIVE!

Only program in the world that will give you President Carter one night and 'N Sync the next. But they're here, all five of them: 'N Sync, the hottest group in the world. Let's meet them individually. We're going to have a lot of fun tonight -- include phone calls.

They are Justin Timberlake. He is the youngest member at age 20, and was member of the Mickey Mouse Club. J.C. Chasez, 24 years old, from Bowie, Maryland was also a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. My man, Joey Fatone, born in Brooklyn one block from where I was born: He will be 24 on January 28. And he wants to be Superman. Chris Kirkpatrick is the oldest member of the group. At 29, Chris was born in Clarion, Pennsylvania. And the last member of the group is Lance Bass, who is only 21. Lance was born in Clinton, Mississippi, once wanted to be a space engineer, wanted to work for NASA. And look where he wound up.

How did this -- how did this -- we will start, I guess with -- you are the oldest, Chris, so I'll start with you. How did this group come together?

CHRIS KIRKPATRICK, 'N SYNC: Well, you know, it is a lot of hard work. We started about six years ago. We used to do a lot of acappella singing together. We were friends. I worked with him at Universal Studios in Florida. And those two worked together, like you said, on the Mickey Mouse Club. And...

KING: Lance?

KIRKPATRICK: We don't know Lance.

LANCE BASS, 'N SYNC: I don't know where I fit in.


KIRKPATRICK: He just keeps following us everywhere.

KING: You worked together, like doing what?

KIRKPATRICK: We actually -- I sang at a '50s doo-wop thing. And he was dress upped as a monster.


KING: So, how, J.C, did the five of you come together to be a group?

J.C. CHASEZ, 'N SYNC: Well, it is a weird story. But, basically, how it runs is, each person knew somebody else in the band, you know, whether they were working or just friends. Chris was the one who initially came up with the idea to start a group. And he approached Justin because they were friends and they had met in different places, you know, passing each other, whether it be in auditions for commercials or whatever in Florida.

Justin and I, of course, were doing the Mickey Mouse Club. And after that ended, him and I started working on songs together. And then when Chris came with the idea, he approached Justin. Justin called me up. The three of us were singing together. Are you still with us?

KING: I'm with you. Still haven't found out about Lance.


CHASEZ: Lance is coming in. Don't worry. I'm going to get there. Now, after the three of us were together, Joey, believe it or not, was one of my first friends when I moved to Florida to do the Mickey Mouse Club. So him and I were friends. And Chris knew him from work. And so we both knew he could sing. And the three of us got together, we were out one night and ran into him, and said: "You know, we've started a group. Why don't you join the group, man?"

KING: And he said yes?

CHASEZ: He said of course.

JOEY FATONE, 'N SYNC: I said: "Sure. How much money you giving me?"

KING: Was it named 'N Sync then?

CHASEZ: No, not yet.

FATONE: Nothing.


KING: Now, how does Lance get in?

CHASEZ: And then, when the four came together, we were singing. And we would try and gig and everything like that. And it just -- the sound wasn't quite right yet.

KING: You needed one more.

CHASEZ: And we needed a bass. Therefore... JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, 'N SYNC: We did not have a true bass voice in all four of us. And we initially wanted to do this group because we wanted to be one of those groups who sings acappella But that's -- we wanted that to be our niche. And so my vocal coach, we got in contact with him. I took from him from when I was about 8 years old until about 11 years old. And we got in touch with him. And he gave us Lance's name. And he said: "But his mother will never let him do it." So...

KING: But she did.

TIMBERLAKE: So we had to convince mom.

BASS: Thanks, Mom.

KING: And then you became 'N Sync. Did someone name you 'N Sync? Or you named yourself?

TIMBERLAKE: My mother came up with the name. The first time...


TIMBERLAKE: The first time we sang together, she goes: "Man, you guys sound really in sync." And we were like ding, ding, ding.

KING: Did you have a hit right away?


KIRKPATRICK: We had a lot of hard work and a little house that three of us lived in, and actually Lance came down and lived in for a while.

KING: In Orlando?

KIRKPATRICK: In Orlando. And Joey came over and stayed.

KING: That is where you live. You guys live in Orlando.

KIRKPATRICK: And we practiced there. We did everything we possibly could. I mean, we worked so hard just trying to get anything, trying to get somebody to notice us and trying to get a deal somewhere.

KING: What made it for you? Was there a break?

TIMBERLAKE: About a half-a-year after we were together, we hooked up with our manager, Johnny Wright, and he led us to a record company. And, you know, that was the beginning.

KING: And was that record a hit?

CHASEZ: It wasn't a hit here, we spent little over a year in Europe touring and busting our butts trying to get noticed over there. We signed to a German label because they were the only people that would pay any attention to us, really. And after spending a little over a year there, we came back to the United States, kind of exhausted, and one guy from RCA came to a show that we did in...


CHASEZ: Budapest. A guy...

KIRKPATRICK: Vince DiGeorgio (ph) from -- an A&R guy from RCA Records came to show in Budapest saw us said these guys have got something.

KING: What was you first hit record?

TIMBERLAKE: "I Want You Back" in Germany.

CHASEZ: Yes, first single. It was " I Want You Back." It was weird.

TIMBERLAKE: I want you back in Germany.

FATONE: It was weird because it was like -- it was kind of rushing to it. It was like the minute we got there we didn't even a song or anything. We went up. We did a couple photo shoots for some magazines we sang acappella at some open air festival that they had.

BASS: We release released that song, "I Want You Back," before we even had half the album -- our first album.


CHASEZ: It was like 28 days after we signed the record deal so it was like, a record.

KING: What a thing it must have been, huh?


CHASEZ: It was cool.

TIMBERLAKE: It was pretty wild.

KIRKPATRICK: You know what was really strange is the fact that when we release we started to get so big over in Europe so quick, that we would get on a plane in Orlando, and fly over to Europe and get off the plane there would be like thousands of girls just waiting or just, you know, kids just waiting for to us get off the plane. We'd get off it was all this, you know, we were celebrities. We'd get back on plane come home.

KING: Nobody.

KIRKPATRICK: Our parents would be picking us up from the airport.


KING: Boy, that's got to be -- that's a weird feeling. We'll pick up on career of 'N Sync as we move ahead on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. They won the American Music Award Internet Fans Artist of the Year Award last night. They're with us for the full hour. We'll include your phone calls. We're going to have a lot of fun, learn a lot, too. Don't go away.




KING: We're back with 'N Sync. Why are you called a band since you don't play instruments?

KIRKPATRICK: It's all about the special effects.

KING: You mean I imagine the instrument?

BASS: We're definitely a vocal group first.

KING: Yes, but you're called a band: band of the year, band of the hour.

TIMBERLAKE: I don't know. We called ourselves -- we call ourselves a vocal group.

KING: A vocal group. And the dancing? Were all of you good dancers?


Lance, you had to learn?

BASS: No. I had to learn.

KING: Was it hard?

BASS: It was. I mean, but we -- we would dance every day...


BASS: Yes, hours a day we had this warehouse that was like a 110 degrees in Orlando, and the year before we had a record deal, we would just, you know, work every day, you know, just sweating and...

TIMBERLAKE: I think the whole dancing thing came into play when we decided to do a video demo to send out to record companies. We said, well, we just can't stand on the stage, and saying we should give them a show. So, that's where the choreography came in, and we got some choreographers that JC and I had worked with on the Mickey Mouse Club.

KING: So you are choreographed, right?

KIRKPATRICK: Well, we play instruments, too, though. I mean, you know, when we do a lot of the writing for the album, we do it, you know, on the keyboards, on the guitar. I actually have worked on turntables and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and a lot of different things that we all incorporate, we have incorporated into our shows. And it's just that in the show, we don't pick up...

KING: But when we think band, we think...


OK, Joey, you're huge hits overseas, you come home and nobody knows you. How did they finally know you here?

FATONE: Wow. Well, when we -- after we were with RCA for a while -- we were in Germany -- and then we went over to RCA in the States, because in Germany we were with Munich BMG. So when we did that, put out a video, and we actually had a redo "I Want You Back" because it was so old and we were so, you know, doing stuff in Germany (UNINTELLIGIBLE) over there.

And it was like slowly people started to just be like, "Oh, OK, that's 'N Sync, it's great," and it slowly started building up...

KING: There was no boom?

FATONE: Well, the Disney Channel. We did a show on a Disney special.

TIMBERLAKE: We also got a big a boost from radio, too. We got some good radio...

KING: They played a lot...

TIMBERLAKE: ... airtime for the first single.

KING: What was the biggest hit initially at the start?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing was...

KIRKPATRICK: "Tearin' Up My Heart" was -- it hit big. But like we said, it was definitely the Disney special.

KING: And what was it like for you, frankly -- let's go around. What was it like for you, Lance, to be suddenly phenomenal?

BASS: I don't know. I mean, we -- to us, it's been the same, you know, from day one. I mean, things have changed as it's gotten bigger, but I think, you know, since we've stayed the same and we surround ourselves with such great people, and you know, such great -- we come from such great families that...

KING: You're all close to mothers and everything...

BASS: Yes, you know, we're very...

KING: But how about, JC...


KING: JC -- your mom is here. How about adoration, dealing with that? I mean, all these girls?

CHASEZ: Well, I mean, we appreciate it, I mean, because we know what it's like to not have it, and we're thankful for it, that's for sure.

KING: Look at this. Look at this

CHASEZ: Holy-moley.

KING: Why do you think you bring this out?

CHASEZ: Well, I think the one thing that's great that we bring is we bring a good time with us. It's like when people want to go somewhere, forget about everything that they're doing in their every day lives or whatever, when they come to a concert, we give them a solid two hours of take your mind off of everything. Don't worry about whatever problems you had earlier that day, come to the show, scream your head off, get rid of every piece of energy that you have in your body, go home and sleep great.

KING: And why, Justin, girls?


KING: Why so many girls, do you think?



KING: Good way to look at it, Justin. I mean, why does -- it is a kind of a phenomena, isn't it?

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, I don't think -- that's something I really wouldn't know how to analyze.

KING: Do you enjoy it?

TIMBERLAKE: Of course. You wouldn't enjoy like millions of girls screaming "Larry, Larry, Larry"?


You're onto something there.

KING: Yes, the nursing home!


What do you enjoy most about it, Joey?

FATONE: Traveling, I think, for me. I mean...

KING: You like traveling?

FATONE: I like traveling, love traveling. I think, for all of us, I think it's everything, from the creative of recording to the creative of bringing the videos, things doing on stage, touring, choreography, doing the promotion, you know, everything.

KING: Are you really all good friends?

KIRKPATRICK: We're like best friends.

KING: You hang out together?

KIRKPATRICK: We started out as best friends, and you know, I think it shows -- it shows in everything we do. From when we're on stage, when we're clowning around, we do like so many shows that each show is so different because of the interaction amongst each other. And we'll goof around with each other. We do little things to each other on stage that a lot of people that come to a lot of the different shows go, oh, that's funny, or I know he's messing with him there. And it's just, I think, when we start as friends and we've grown as a group...

KING: Because some groups, you know, historically haven't liked each other.

TIMBERLAKE: Well, the chemistry we have is unreal. I can't tell you, you know even with this tour last summer, I could just look at Chris and it could say 10 things at the same time, and he would know exactly what I meant just by looking at him, because we've been together, you know, even before everything took off, we were together, some of us working 9:00 to 5:00. But every day, singing, and you know, trying to get our act together. So...

KING: This ties with the family. JC, did you always have your mother's approval?

CHASEZ: Actually, my mom -- my family's been an amazing support for me. Really, my mom brought it to my attention the whole show business thing in the first place.

KING: She did -- she wanted you to do it.

CHASEZ: I was doing -- yes, I was doing like talent shows and stuff like that for fun with friends back home, but she was the one who said, you know...

KING: Did you do like "Star Search" or something?

CHASEZ: ... if you really want to try it...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he did "Star Search."

TIMBERLAKE: I did "Star Search," yes.

KING: Did you win?

TIMBERLAKE: No. Lost the first round.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw Ed McMahon last night, too. We were going to get him.

KING: First round?

TIMBERLAKE: He owes me $10 million. If you're out there...

KING: You'll never make it...

TIMBERLAKE: ... it never showed up.

KING: If you lose on "Star Search," you'll never make it.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, of course, there you go.

KING: Your mother very -- well, your mother's here with you, right?

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, she's always been very supportive. She always -- she always did. And I think with all of our parents, they always said, you know, if it's not fun, don't do it.

KING: Lance?

BASS: My family's been there, you know, throughout the whole thing. It was hard for me, because I had to leave, you know, my high school, going from Mississippi, and I had to leave them for a few months just to, you know, go do this group. So it was very hard on them and...

KING: They didn't say to you what are you doing here with some pop group? What are you doing with your hair?

BASS: Well, you know, they -- they were just nice support. You know, we would talk about it, and you know, it was a very hard thing.

I mean, I could imagine if, you know, if my kids, you know, would do that, I don't know what I sound like. Are you crazy? But they were very supportive.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, me and Lance came from some small towns. I think Chris did, too.

KING: I'll get to Chris in a minute. Joey, you're from Bensonhurst.


KING: In fact, Joey grew up -- I grew up at 2136 83rd Street. Joey grew up at 2140 84th Street, one block away.

FATONE: That's right.

KING: So we know the neighborhood.


KING: Do your parents... FATONE: Oh, yes. My dad used to sing in a group, old '50s group kind of -- '50s and '60s -- called the Orions. So, that's how we got influenced by listening to '50s duop. And he was always supportive, always trying to do something creative.

KING: So they encouraged you?

FATONE: Oh, yes.

KING: And Chris, your mom?

KIRKPATRICK: My mom's been real supportive. She's been -- you know, we grew up kind of very underprivileged, so...

KING: She was very young when you were born?

KIRKPATRICK: She was 16, yes. She had me when I was 16.

KING: Did you know your father?

KIRKPATRICK: Yes, I know him.

KING: But they're not together?

KIRKPATRICK: No, they're not together now. But yes, she's always been -- I mean, she's basically been the backbone in the family. You know, she had to raise me and my four sisters younger than me. So you know, growing up, she was always like just do -- do what makes you happy, like Justin said.

KING: Do all your parents go watch you work?



KING: A lot?

TIMBERLAKE: They enjoy it.

KING: They enjoy it?

BASS: Chris wanted to bring them out on the road. They get tired a lot. I know -- like when we bring our friends and family on the road, they're like "How do you do this?" You know, they spend like three days and they have to go take a week off.

KING: Over the weekend, they won the People's Choice Award for favorite group or band. They are 'N Sync. They're our guests for the full hour. We'll be including your phone calls. More after this.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LIVE WITH REGIS") ANNOUNCER: Now here are Regis Philbin and the hottest group around, 'N Sync.


KING: Nice shot there of six millionaires. Our...


'N Sync is the band. OK, let's get into some -- I was on your Web site today. I had my own Web site today and I was on your Web site. OK, most of the people wanted me -- the first thing to ask you -- so I've got to ask it. Normally, we don't care about things like this.

TIMBERLAKE: Go for it. I know what you're going to ask.

KING: Yes, OK. What about her?


Britney Spears -- Britney Spears and you. Give us the -- this is LARRY KING LIVE. We don't fool around.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, she's a wonderful, wonderful person, and I'm very lucky, you know, to have somebody on the other side of the spectrum who understands all these things that I go through.

KING: There she is. Is she your girlfriend?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's pretty hot, too.

TIMBERLAKE: We are dating.

KING: Are you serious?


KING: Might some day you two...-

TIMBERLAKE: That I don't know.

KING: I mean, you're young.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, that is not -- I don't.

KING: She's young. I mean, have you talk about some day we'll be engaged?



KING: But you do love each other at this point? TIMBERLAKE: Yes, I do love her. I have -- she's the -- she's the kind of person that I have a deep, deep love for and, you know, even if things were -- weren't to work out, you know, in the long run I would always...

KING: Do you think of recording with her, you guys?

TIMBERLAKE: That's a good idea.


TIMBERLAKE: What was the question?

KING: Now, Chris. OK, what about you Chris? Dating anyone? You don't want to reveal it?

KIRKPATRICK: I don't mind revealing it, but...

KING: Who is it, Chris?


KING: How do you think she feels...

KIRKPATRICK: Not anymore. I know she's upset now because I'm not...

KING: You just said nobody.

KIRKPATRICK: Well, it is nobody.

KING: You're not dating any more?


KING: I want to get dating when you're big stars -- Joey?

FATONE: Yes, I'm dating someone.

KING: Regular, show business girl or...

FATONE: No, she's a normal, normal woman. Plain Jane.


KING: Does she live in Orlando?

FATONE: Well, she's back and forth, Orlando and L.A., so...



KING: Anyone we know?

CHASEZ: No, wouldn't be anybody you know, but she's great. I love her very much.

KING: So, none of you -- you're the only one -- Lance, you seeing anyone?

BASS: Not right now.

KIRKPATRICK: Lance is dating me.


TIMBERLAKE: "The Enquirer" is watching right now.

KING: I noticed when you mentioned chemistry, he jumped. He said that's interesting. None of you are married. All of you -- so you each of you see steady girls. You don't see anyone else, and you are now playing the field and you are playing the field.

BASS: I date everyone.

KIRKPATRICK: I did have somebody very special.

KING: I know, you said that.

KIRKPATRICK: And she's still very special.

KING: But what happened?

KIRKPATRICK: She's in the army now or something.

KING: She joined army.

KIRKPATRICK: No, I'm just kidding.

KING: Is dating difficult when you're this big?


KIRKPATRICK: Very, that is -- I'm living proof.

TIMBERLAKE: It's already hard enough when you don't have a lot of time to see someone, you know, because, you know, when you're in relationship with someone, you want grow with them and develop something, and not only are we away from people, but every time we start dating somebody there's always rumors and all different kinds of things that circulate about it, and things that are not true...

KING: And no privacy.


KIRKPATRICK: I say from my experience that, you know, I have to do my career, and, you know with us, our careers come first, and, you know, anybody we're with has to take a back seat to that and understand that these are our lives.

KING: How do deal with groupies? There must be groupies out there.


CHASEZ: Yes, follow cars -- you know they'll drive hours, hours, hours following you.

BASS: That's why we traveling with a great security team, though. They keep everybody safe. They keep everybody separated.


KING: So, the stories in the past that rock stars and groupies, that doesn't apply to you guys.

CHASEZ: Well, that's kind of old school anyway. I mean, it happens and -- does -- it's just a different crowd, you know what I mean? It's like, you know, we're not living the crazy, you know, sex, drugs and rock and roll lifestyle. We're living pretty -- we're living lives that our parents can be proud of.

KING: You met Britney on "Mickey Mouse," right? The Mickey Mouseketeers.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, I was 12 and she was 11.


TIMBERLAKE: Thanks, Larry. Appreciate that.

KING: Is that them?

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, that's me in the dress and that's her in the bandana.

FATONE: Look at that stud. You're pretty cute, too.


KING: I might sing with this group later. We will take your calls as well. We'll be right back with 'N Sync. They're up for multiple Grammys, including record of the year for "Bye, Bye, Bye." Don't go away.




KING: Did you ever think frankly about think about -- Joey, you think about it, going away?

FATONE: A little -- once in a while, just to think about, you know, other things as well; just think about what would happen if it didn't happen. You know, what would I be doing now? But, I mean, as time goes on, I think that we're still going to be 'N Sync, hopefully, obviously together as group...

KING: Do you think you're going to have to he evolve?

FATONE: Oh, of course. Definitely. I mean with...

KING: You can't be 15-year-old girls forever.


BASS: From the first album to the second album it was such an involvement, and now, you know, this third album coming up, you know...

KING: When's that coming?

BASS: Hopefully, in June we'd like to release it, but we have to record it first. So, we're in...

KING: Record here?

BASS: In Orlando. Use the next two months.

KING: So, do you think ever about what if it goes away? I mean, let's take like New Kids on Block.


TIMBERLAKE: Well, they had a different kind of story than us.

KING: They were all kids in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn.

TIMBERLAKE: Yes, well, I mean, I've heard...

KING: In Boston, I'm sorry.

TIMBERLAKE: ... about why things the didn't work with them. I think we're really lucky, you know. I think they were a little bit older than their audience. I think we're really lucky a large portion of our audience is the same age as us, and so, hopefully, as we grow; they'll grow with us. You know, all the great groups like the Beatles and the Stones, you know, and Aerosmith. I mean, groups like that, they started with the audience that they had and they grew with them and they stuck with them.

KING: Is money being handled well, JC?

CHASEZ: Oh, yes. We went through a bit of a tiff, but now we've all got it pretty much under control very well. We've brought in some people that we can -- that we know we can trust.


KING: This is -- you make.

CHASEZ: It took a while.

KING: Everything is shared equally? There's no leader of the group; right?

KIRKPATRICK: No, we -- I mean, I think, you know, Justin hit the nail on the head. We've just -- we're very, you know -- we're all very business-minded. We all know, you know, what we're doing with our money now, as JC said, we've been made aware of that very early in our careers. So, you know, as the future holds, we're going to evolve ourselves. We're going to move on to, you know, either behind scenes a little more writing, producing. Since we all love music, you know, we know that's where we're going to be. And not to compare to us any of the groups we were talking about, but, you know, that's kind of what all those groups...

KING: You don't ever see yourselves not being together?


TIMBERLAKE: Even if we weren't sitting here on this show together, we -- I'd probably be calling Chris asking him if he wanted to come over and write.

KING: We'll take a break, come back. We'll be including your phone calls. They're going to do the Super Bowl halftime show in a couple weeks, along with enduring rock-'n'-roll group Aerosmith. In fact, they did spots for Super Bowl today. We'll be right back.



KING: Welcome back. With us tonight in L.A., the chart-busting, Grammy-nominated 'N Sync: Justin Timberlake, the youngest member of the group; J.C Chasez -- he used to be a Mickey Mouse Club-er, along with Justin; Joey Fatone, my man from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn; Chris Kirkpatrick, the oldest member of the group; and Lance Bass, Mississippi-born, the last guy to join 'N Sync.

I have my own Web site today. And I went on it today. And they called in some questions for you. I'm going to ask a couple of them.

"Do you find it hard sometimes to keep your identity and privacy when you're constantly in the media and being watched?"


FATONE: Yes, that's probably the toughest part about our gig.

KING: Do you get a chance to, like, go to a movie?

FATONE: Yes, but -- some people...


FATONE: I went to go see "Traffic."

KING: You went. You stood on line.

FATONE: Stood in line. I got tickets.

TIMBERLAKE: The last movie I saw was "The Family Man." You go. You creep in early. And you sit in the back.

BASS: You've learned to adapt, you know, how to go out with your friends, and, you know, put the hat on. And it's pretty much all right.

KING: "Where do you see yourself" -- to another question -- "Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?



TIMBERLAKE: Definitely not dancing as hard, yes.


KING: Will you all be married with families?

KIRKPATRICK: No thank you.

KING: You don't want to be married?

KIRKPATRICK: No. I'm very happy and lonely single old man -- and bitter.


KING: This keeps you going, doesn't it? You thrive on this.

KIRKPATRICK: It keeps me alive. It keeps me bitter at the whole world.

KING: Are all of you religious?

BASS: I'm very religious.

(CROSSTALK) KIRKPATRICK: Yes, we're all very religious. We've all grown up around religion, I think. You know, I'm Lutheran.

FATONE: I'm Catholic.

KING: Joey's Catholic.

TIMBERLAKE: I wouldn't -- I think the term for me would be more spiritual than religious. I think I...

KIRKPATRICK: What are you, J.C.?

CHASEZ: I'm a Christian -- Mennonite, but...

BASS: Christian. I think God has definitely been a part of our career. I mean that is -- I mean, a huge part of our career.

KING: Do you feel like he is watching over you?

BASS: Definitely. Definitely.

KING: Now the other things: temptations, drugs. This is -- people think -- they hear group, band...


KING: Rock, young, drugs.


CHASEZ: It's true. The difference is, is that we have seen what it can do to people. And we -- I mean, we have wised up and we've watched enough stories on musicians alone to tell us that is not the way to go.

KING: Ever been tempted? Ever been tempted?

KIRKPATRICK: Where are they now?

CHASEZ: People have put it in our face. But we know all definitely better at this point.

FATONE: Not only -- I don't think, not only musicians, but also even peers, friends of mine in high school and stuff like that. That was -- it was always around. And it is just something I never took up and never even thought of.

TIMBERLAKE: I think, you know, when we -- when we make decisions based on our lives, you know, we always say -- and even our careers, the decisions we make on our careers, we always say, you know: Would our parents approve of what we are doing? You know, and if you can say "yes," then, you know, you shouldn't have to think twice about it.

KING: How have you dealt, Chris, with tabloids? You must be the subject of them.

KIRKPATRICK: We get a lot of different. I mean, I haven't been in a lot of the tabloids.

KING: Justin gets the most, right?

KIRKPATRICK: Yes, Justin gets a lot because of Britney. I got a couple because of a few fights that broke out in New York that were true. But they weren't really true. They didn't tell the whole truth.

KING: Does it annoy you when....

KIRKPATRICK: I didn't sit back and laugh. I was a little more involved. But I didn't fight.

KING: Joey, you get bugged. FATONE: I have gotten -- yes, "National Enquirer" and stuff like that.

KIRKPATRICK: And I didn't even know the guy, really.


KING: You just hit him?

KIRKPATRICK: No, I mean, I was just I was just kind of in the melee.

TIMBERLAKE: You'll have to get used to Chris.

KING: I'm slowly


KIRKPATRICK: I'm the artful dodger. I was all over the place just with dodging, not involved in my...

KING: Got to pick a pocket or two? Do you handle it well?

FATONE: Yes. I mean, there was an incident that happened with a woman saying that I had her kid. And it was...

KING: Really?

FATONE: And it was very shocking.

KIRKPATRICK: There were no weapons involved either.

FATONE: No weapons either. Knocked on my front door and told my parents that this was their daughter, like in...

KING: You are in lawsuit, right?

TIMBERLAKE: I -- I don't know.

KING: You don't know if you're being...

TIMBERLAKE: It's -- there -- yes, there is...

KING: Didn't a fan get involved? I read somewhere.

TIMBERLAKE: There is -- I would love to comment on it. I would love to really talk about it. But my lawyers have asked me that it is a pending litigation right now.


KIRKPATRICK: I will talk about it. At least the security guards didn't get involved in the whole thing. They kind of stood back and...

(CROSSTALK) KING: Your fight. Get involved -- I'm talking about other people. Get involved.


KING: What about tabloids and you, Justin?

TIMBERLAKE: You just have to take stuff like that with a grain of salt.

KING: How does Britney handle it?

TIMBERLAKE: She -- you know what? The stuff that is said about her, I probably get more upset about than she does. I mean, we -- you know, we have a good attitude about things that are said. And you have just to take those with grain of salt, you know?

KING: That's life.

TIMBERLAKE: You can't live your life being scared that somebody is going to say something about you. I mean...

KING: You can't walk on eggshells.

TIMBERLAKE: We're in the public eye, you know?


CHASEZ: I have no problem with it. If it's a good article, I will say: Man, that was nice. If it's a bad article, I say: That guy has no idea what he is talking about. And I leave it there.

KING: Lance?

BASS: I mean, it is -- I think it's funny. I mean, I laugh at it. I mean, the things that have been written about me is like, I was having an affair with, like, Kathie Lee.

KING: What was funny? You and Kathie Lee?

BASS: You know, and I'm like, OK.

KING: You could be her son.

BASS: Anyone who thought about that, you know, and really thought it was true...

KING: Wait a minute, a tabloid printed that you were having a relationship with...


BASS: That was "National Enquirer."

TIMBERLAKE: So, people, believe everything you read.

KING: Just believe it. What the heck, right?

TIMBERLAKE: I'm just kidding.

KING: We'll be right back with more of 'N Sync. We'll include your phone calls. They topped the record-sales charts in the year 2000. Their second album, "No Strings Attached," sold 10 million. Don't go away.



KING: Here's a special issue of "Teen People," and you will notice on the bottom it says, "The winner is 'N Sync"! The Readers Choice Awards.

Before we take some calls, here's questions from the asked from fans. To Joey: "What's the relationship between you and the wrestler China?"


"There have been lots of rumors. Please clear it up."

FATONE: I'm going to clear it up.

KING: Clear it up.

FATONE: No, we -- actually, when we did -- did the MTV Awards show, she happened to go to the after-party that we were at, and just met her. We hung out. Actually went out to dinner with my parents. They were all in New York: my parents, my brother, a whole bunch of people from a merchandising company.

KING: Did she go to dinner with you?

FATONE: She came to dinner with us, and...

KING: Anything develop? Are you...

FATONE: No, nothing. That's the funny thing. We hung out...

KING: Did you arm wrestle or anything?

FATONE: No, no. A lot of people wanted to arm wrestle her.

It was like we hung out, had a drink, and then -- and then they just wrote a story like, oh, well, they hung out in, you know, in the hotel and then they went upstairs for (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And it was just...

KING: Nothing.

FATONE: Exactly, nothing at all.

KING: And the question for you, Chris -- this is asked by your fans. "Lately, you seem not to be as happy as you used to be. Why?"


KING: Is that true?

KIRKPATRICK: It's the whole separation process.

KING: You broke up with someone.

KIRKPATRICK: You know, it's a long and hard road that you lead, and you lose half your stuff, and...

KING: Is he putting me on now?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you see us laughing, you'll know.

KIRKPATRICK: No, I don't know. I don't know. I...

KING: Are you any less happy than...

KIRKPATRICK: It could be that I broke up, but I think...

KING: It could be. You mean you're not sure?

KIRKPATRICK: I'm missing that thing in my life. I'm missing...

KING: You want a girlfriend. But you don't want marriage, you don't want kids?

KIRKPATRICK: Well, yes, kind of.

KING: But before -- five minutes ago, you said...


KIRKPATRICK: Now I'm confused. Now I don't know what I want. I think...

KING: The pressure of this show.

BASS: Now, he's confused.

KING: Now, he's confused...



BASS: You know what I think?

KING: What do you think?

BASS: People get confused, but it's like, when we started out, we were, you know, so energetic and everything. And -- but now, you know, we -- when we...

KING: Calmed down?

BASS: ... work on a tour and all that, you know, you're so run- down, people have kind of mistaken that for "Oh, you're not enthusiastic anymore." But it's because we just did like an hour-and- 45-minute show and we did all press all day. And we're going back into the hotel.


KIRKPATRICK: I think -- I think it is the breakup.

BASS: OK. It might be the breakup.

KING: He's lonely. The man is obviously depressed. You're doing...

KIRKPATRICK: I'm falling back on football. That's how sad...

KING: You're doing a whole big -- you're doing a whole big stadium tour this summer.


TIMBERLAKE: Hopefully, hopefully.

KING: Big stadiums, right? I mean, you don't fool around.

KIRKPATRICK: No, not at all. We've got -- we've got like 35 shows I think...

KING: You were the last group to play Three Rivers.

KIRKPATRICK: Three Rivers. When (UNINTELLIGIBLE) "Bye-Bye-Bye" to Three Rivers Stadium, that was really cool.

KING: Let's take a call. Nickerson, Nebraska, for 'N Sync. Hello.



CALLER: I was wondering if you guys wear boxers or briefs.

KING: Boxers or briefs, a Clinton question.


Let's go around.

BASS: I wear boxer-briefs.

KING: Boxer-briefs.


BASS: You know what's funny is we were like "We're going on LARRY KING, we're not going to get the boxer-brief question."


KING: Why? Do people ask you?

TIMBERLAKE: And we got it, man.

KING: It never happened on this show.

KIRKPATRICK: I'm actually wearing my underwear on the outside of my pants today...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just can't see...

KIRKPATRICK: And I just decided to sit the whole time, so...

TIMBERLAKE: We're very happy.

KIRKPATRICK: It's really uncomfortable.

KING: You're a lonely man, Chris.


You didn't answer the question. You want to?

KIRKPATRICK: Boxer-briefs.

TIMBERLAKE: I'm boxer-briefs.

KING: Who cares?


KING: Sunstill, Alabama, hello. Huntsville, Alabama, hello.

CALLER: Hi, guys.

Lance, my friend likes you the best, but I like you, JC. My question is, what kind of message are you hoping to impart to the preadolescent and teen demographic to which your music is aimed with songs about, like, girls and cybersex and space cowboys?

KING: What are you saying? What do you think?

CHASEZ: Wait, cybersex and space cowboys. That was weird.

KING: You're role models, do you think?

CHASEZ: To a certain extent, yes. I mean, people definitely watch and see what we're doing and things like that. I'm not really sending out any specific message. I just wrote songs when I had different things in mind. You know, I had the future going on in my head, and you know, you're looking at like -- well, you know the whole millennium bug was in everybody's ear. It was the end of the world, blah-blah-blah, and I thought to myself, you know, last year I said, "You know, what would we do?" And the song, "Space Cowboy," was a song about the human spirit, really, about survival, and how if we -- if it ended here, how we would have to live somewhere else. And hence, you know, NASA and the space station and it all became an idea from that.

The "Digital Getdown" thing, literally, it's probably the safest way you can do anything. You're nowhere near your partner, so it's probably the safest way. And it was just -- it was just an exploration. It was just like...

KING: Do you think you are a model?

TIMBERLAKE: I think -- I think to some yes, we are. But the way we kind of picture our -- sometimes our songs is that it's funny, because an actor can do a movie and go all out and do certain things, but they're just acting. And I think that's the kind of the way we kind of look at our songs, is we kind of get to play a role sometimes.

KING: But people take it seriously?

TIMBERLAKE: Of course, they do, yes.

CHASEZ: We just want to be storytellers. That's what a songwriter is, it's a storyteller.

KING: On that note, what do you think of Eminem? Is he just...

CHASEZ: You know what? I have to admit I have the CD in my car and I play it all the time. I mean, you don't have to believe everything he says, and you know, follow what he does because he hates us. But you know, it's still...

KING: Why do you like him?

KIRKPATRICK: He's talented. He's very talented.


And you can't -- you can't take any of that stuff away from him. When you listen to the album, if you know good music, if you know, you know, he's very lyrically talented and he writes a lot of great stuff. I love it. I sing it in my head or outloud when I'm in my car making fun of myself. And you know, it's just funny to me that he talks about us, because...

KING: He makes fun of you.

KIRKPATRICK: ... you know, here I am, yelling in my car.


CHASEZ: We don't know him -- we don't know him at all, you know, but... KING: Never met him?

CHASEZ: Well, we probably passed by -- we passed by him before, but...

TIMBERLAKE: I guess we're Michael Keaton and he's Jack Nicholson.


KING: Well put. We'll be back with more of 'N Sync. "No Strings Attached" sold a record-breaking, by the way, in its first week, 2.4 million! Don't go away.




KING: Peabody, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Hey, guys. I'm like your biggest fan. My mom loves you, Joey. But my question is, if you could be anyone like living or dead, like famous or not, who would you want to be?

KING: Who would you want to be?

TIMBERLAKE: I want to be like Mike.

KING: Who's Mike?


KING: Ahh, Michael.

I want to be Michael -- that's a lot of people.

Anybody -- oh, Chris, I'm afraid to ask you.


KIRKPATRICK: I'm pondering in my head.



KIRKPATRICK: The little people are talking to me again.

KING: Ponder. All right. You know, what we ought to do as we go to our next break and then we've got only a little while left, we ought to do a song together. You do you an acappella song and you tell me what to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll work you in. KING: Yes, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can do that.

KING: What's the song?

TIMBERLAKE: You want to do like...

KING: Do whatever song. You want to do an old-fashioned song, we'll do...


CHASEZ: What's your favorite song in the whole wide world, ever?

KING (singing): Some day when I'm awfully low, when the world...

CHASEZ: OK, we'll do "It's Going to Be Me."


KING: That's my love song.

(singing): You will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look...

TIMBERLAKE: No, he might take your place, Lance.

KING: All right. Go ahead, guys. Go ahead. Do something acappella.

TIMBERLAKE (singing): Every little thing I do.


KIRKPATRICK: That's high, isn't it?

TIMBERLAKE: No, it's not.

KIRKPATRICK: You're going to kill me over here.


One, two, three.

'N SYNC (singing): Every little thing I do never seems enough for you. You don't want to lose it again, but I'm not like them. Baby, when you finally get to love somebody, guess what?

KING (singing): Guess what...

FATONE: Say, "It's going to be me."

KING: It's gotta be me

FATONE: There you go. KING: I like that. Kind of -- that was big hit; right? It's going to you; it's gotta be me.


KING: That's not the old Sammy Davis song? That was also a good song.

KIRKPATRICK: Yes, it was.

KING: Do you ever sing old songs?

KIRKPATRICK: Yes, actually, we made "Sailing" by Christopher Cross, remember?

KING: Sailing?

KIRKPATRICK: Well, it's not that old, but...

KING: No, I mean, do you -- like an old song?

KIRKPATRICK: Old, old, like...

KING: You know.

KIRKPATRICK: We did "We Can Work It Out" by the Beatles.

TIMBERLAKE: We did "More Than a Feeling."

CHASEZ: "More Than a Feeling," Boston.

KIRKPATRICK: We used to sing a lot of Joey Benson (ph) songs.

TIMBERLAKE: We did "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

CHAVEZ: Stevie Wonder.

KING (singing): In the still of the night -- let's do that -- while the world is in slumber.

KIRKPATRICK: That's a different one.


KING: That ain't the same song.

TIMBERLAKE: No, they changed it.

BASS (singing): In the still of the night I held you -- don't remember that?

KING: No, in the still of the night -- you're wrong. You're wrong. We'll be back with our remaining moments...

FATONE: Trying to figure it out. KING: ... with 'N Sync. Billboard, by the way -- first, self titled 'N Sync album sold over 10 million units and billboard reports their 2000 tour sold one million tickets the first day the tickets went on sale. As we break, what's the song we could sing for break?

TIMBERLAKE: "Oh, Holy Night."


KING: Let's do a Christmas song. Not "Oh, Holy Night." Let's do "Jingle Bells." Can you do "Jingle Bells."

TIMBERLAKE: Can you -- you can do "Jingle Bells."

KING: One, two, three...

KING AND 'N SYNC (singing): Dashing through the snow in a one- horse open sleigh, o'er the hills we go, laughing all the way ha-ha- ha; bells on bob tail ring making spirits bright, what fun to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight.

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way; oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.



KING: Why were you knocking at the piece of video?

FATONE: Because that was Chris's girlfriend.

KING: Oh, my gosh. I see why you are depressed.

KIRKPATRICK: That's what I'm talking about.

KING: Did you guys.


KING: Did you guys vote in Florida?

BASS: Yes, absentee.

KING: Absentee -- did you punch your chad?

BASS: We didn't have a chads. We just had write in.

KING: Write in.


KIRKPATRICK: You know what, I got in trouble at the club in New York for punching Chad.

KING: That was the guy's name. You all voted absentee. OK, I'm not going to ask you who you voted for, but what did you make of what Florida went through.

TIMBERLAKE: It was funny, we were the laughing -- every other country was probably laughing at us; weren't they?

KING: And you have a clothing line?


KING: What kind of clothes?

KIRKPATRICK: It's called FuMan Skeeto and it's very like hip-hop gear.

KING: Sold where?

KIRKPATRICK: Nordstrom's, Bloomingdale's.

KING: Are you wearing an example of your clothing?

KIRKPATRICK: I am, but I can't show you on TV. It's actually the...

KING: It's underwear?

KIRKPATRICK: No, but that would be pretty funny. No, it's -- we sell women's clothes, a lot of...

KING: Oh! Do you cross dress?


KING: What's the name of it again?


KING: FuMan Skeeto. Let's take a call -- Norman, Oklahoma, the football-champion city in America, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry and 'N Sync.

N' SYNC: Hi!

CALLER: I would like to know how your friends and family feel about your success.

KING: How does the family feel?

FATONE: They're very proud, very proud.


KING: What about friends, guys you grew up with? They love you, don't they?


KING: ... never forgets.

FATONE: Never, never, never, never.

BASS: At first, the friends were like, you know, they loved it. They were like: Oh, yes, I know Lance from back home. Now they deny it, like, because they have stalkers, you know, that find them on the Internet.

KING: You're kidding: Your friends get stalked? Do you get stalked?


CHASEZ: Because they get hit up. Like, if we are playing a show or whatever, they are going to get a thousand phone calls asking for tickets and things like that. And that is what they don't want to have to deal with.


KING: Do you get stalked?


KING: You do? All right, where does tour start, guys?

KIRKPATRICK: Well, the tour starts as soon as we finish the album.

BASS: Yes. I think it starts in Miami. It starts in Miami, like, end of May.

KING: At the big ballpark.

BASS: I guess, the big stadium there -- the ballpark.

KING: Do you ever get nervous before you go on?

FATONE: Not when we are into the show. Like, when we first do a first, you know...


FATONE: You know, go through the rehearsals and do the first show.

CHASEZ: I would say the first two weeks, we're pretty nervous.

KIRKPATRICK: We get nervous when we do award shows, because, a lot of times, we do the award shows. We have a special number just for that. And we have had like two days because our schedule is so hectic to go over that and rehearse it.

KING: Do you ever do one-nighters?

CHASEZ: What do you mean? KING: Work one night here, another night there.

CHASEZ: Oh, yes. We do six shows a week when we go on tour.

KING: Do you ever forget what city you are in?


BASS: The best story is Joey, when we were in France, or....

FATONE: No, we were in Liechtenstein.

BASS: Was it Liechtenstein?

FATONE: And I said, "It's good to be back here in Germany," which Liechtenstein is a totally different other country.


KING: It was like that ad: Want to be somewhere else?

FATONE: Want to get away? Oh, yes, want to get away.

KING: Guys, this has been great.


KING: A real treat. And I thank you very much.

Justin Timberlake, J.C. Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass: They are 'N Sync.

Hey, by the way, check out my new site and send me an e-mail. I want to hear from you: I love saying that: "slash-larryking."

Tonight, "CNN TONIGHT" is anchored by my man, Bill Hemmer -- tomorrow night Dan Rather, and Thursday night Jack Hanna and the animals. No, I don't think that means 'N Sync's coming back! But Chris might well be here!


KING: Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned more on CNN with Bill Hemmer. I'm Larry King. For the whole gang of 'N Sync, let's do an acappella good night.

N' SYNC (singing): Good night.

KING: Well, that worked. Bye.




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