Justin Timberlake has had an incredibly successful career in both acting and music. After taking the world by storm with *NSYNC, Timberlake has built himself a great solo track record. He has collaborated with many artists, including most notably Timbaland to produce several top-charting singles. Although his primary focus has been acting in recent years, fans should expect a triumphant return when Timberlake releases his third studio album later this year. Already released is the single 'Suit & Tie' featuring Jay-Z. In honor of Timberlake's 32nd birthday on January 31, AOL Radio takes a look at the top ten Justin Timberlake songs based on listener votes. Enjoy!
'Carry Out' (with Timbaland)
In 2009, Timbaland teamed up with his longtime collaborator Justin Timberlake to co-write and sing on 'Carry Out.' The electo-funk song was released on Timbaland's third album 'Shock Value II' and fit in nicely with Timbaland's R&B and pop sound. Timberlake's iconic voice takes over in this track about comparing food to sex.
'Summer Love' is the fourth single off Timberlake's second studio album 'FutureSex/LoveSounds.' The pop ballad was co-written by Timbaland and resembles N'Sync classics. It became a top-ten hit by the summer of 2007 due to its large pop-dance appeal and lyrics about finding a seasonal lover. Timberlake's vocal range is used quite effectively here, although the song really gains its energy in the instrumentation, which includes keyboards and handclaps.
'Give it to Me' (with Timbaland and Nelly Furtado)
Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Timberlake co-wrote 'Give It To Me' for Timbaland's 2007 album 'Shock Value.' The club anthem is synth-heavy and quite catchy due to the guest vocals of Furtado and Timberlake. The single hit the top spot on the charts and is notable for Timbaland's verse against producer Scott Storch and other critics.
'Rock Your Body'
Perhaps no song established Timberlake as a grown-up, successful solo artist more than 'Rock Your Body,' the third single off his solo debut album 'Justified.' The hit was produced by The Neptunes and featured singer Vanessa Marquez. With a song much more sexual and mature than his other work, Timberlake gained a larger audience with the catchy, disco-like beat. Of course the song is remembered for its performance during the famous 'wardrobe malfunction' of Janet Jackson in the 2004 Super Bowl. The malfunction occurred as Timberlake sang the song's most important lyric: "Better have you naked by the end of this song."
'4 Minutes' (with Madonna and Timbaland)
Madonna released '4 Minutes' in 2008 off her eleventh studio album 'Hard Candy,' which featured vocals from Timbaland and Timberlake. The energetic track contained elements of hip-hop and became a dance anthem. Madonna and Timberlake trade vocals in the song as Timberlake does his best Michael Jackson impression in this single about social awareness. Madonna and Timberlake stand out in the busy track, despite the loud appearance of synth-beats and other instruments produced by Timbaland such as foghorns and cow bells.
'Dead and Gone' (with T.I.)
T.I. And Timberlake teamed up for the second time with their song 'Dead and Gone.' The song was released as the final single from T.I's sixth album 'Paper Trail.' The collaboration was nominated at the 52nd Grammy Awards, where the two performed the song. Timberlake's hook-filled chorus was the key to the song's success, but the lyrics were very personal to T.I. The song is about his close friend Philant Johnson, who was killed in a shooting in 2006.
'What Goes Around Comes Around'
Timberlake's anthem about karma was released on his second album and was co-written with Timbaland. The successful pop song was perhaps a sequel to his 2002 hit 'Cry Me a River,' as he sings again about betrayal and moving on. Yet, Timberlake said the song was about a best friend of his who was cheated on. The platinum single was his third straight number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of the softer, mid-tempo ballads for Timberlake. He sings in the song, "It's breaking my heart to watch you run around, 'Cause I know that you're living a lie."
Timberlake had one of his biggest, upbeat dance tracks with 'SexyBack.' Backed by a strong bass beat and electric chords, the synth-pop hit features Timberlake's distorted voice and Timbaland on backing vocals. Timberlake himself compared the dance number to a combination of David Bowie, David Byrne, and James Brown. The unique beat-box, hip-hop sound gave Timberlake his first number one song in America and established him as one of the industry's most successful solo artists.
'My Love' (Feat. T.I.)
The first time these two worked together was during this tune which also reached number one. Timberlake described the song as a "rock-techno ballad" and the single was built around a slower beat than most of his other material. 'My Love' is completed by a rap verse from T.I. who maintains a moderate beat. The song is also considered a response to 'Cry Me a River' and features Timberlake singing about a humble, commitment to love. Timberlake emotionally sings, "The ring here represents my heart and everything that you've been waiting for."
'Cry Me a River'
The single that started it all and perhaps inspired other songs from Timberlake, was his emotional, angry diatribe about his infamous relationship with Britney Spears. The song is one of Timberlake's most pop-sounding singles and is backed by chants, beat-boxes, and guitars. Timberlake's vocals are very memorable in the hit single, as he openly discusses his broken heart and disappointment in how it ended. Timberlake didn't originally admit to writing the song about Spears, but a woman in the music video greatly resembled her. The single was undoubtedly a stand-out track on the album and won Timberlake a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal in 2004. It's stinging, passionate lyrics remain some of Timberlake's most memorable and most impressive as he tells his ex-lover that it's now her turn "to cry me a river." He adds, "You should've picked honestly/Then you may not have blown it."