N*SYNC reunites at Justin Timberlake's solo show in L.A.

NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Justin Timberlake smile and crouch by a Walk of Fame star
Chris Kirkpatrick, left, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Justin Timberlake attend a ceremony honoring N*SYNC with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Justin Timberlake's solo career has been a decades-long quest to transcend his boy-band beginnings in N*SYNC. On Wednesday night in L.A., he returned to them.

During a small, free underplay at the Wiltern to promote his new solo album, "Everything I Thought It Was," Timberlake fully embraced Y2K nostalgia and brought out the entirety of his old band — Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick — to perform several of their hits, starting with "Gone" and running through "It's Gonna Be Me," "Girlfriend" and "Bye Bye Bye."

Timberlake, 43, hadn't performed with the full group since a 2013 VMAs appearance. In 2019, N*SYNC, minus Timberlake, joined Ariana Grande onstage at Coachella.

Timberlake welcomed the vintage goodwill, posting a photo of five empty stools onstage at the Wiltern after the show. His new solo single "Paradise" is more or less an N*SYNC reunion track, featuring all his former bandmates, and the quintet performed it Wednesday night. (They reunited in studio last year for the single "Better Place" for the animated movie "Trolls: Band Together").

Timberlake hasn't released a new album since 2018's rootsy "Man of the Woods," which met with a lukewarm reception.

The de facto reunion comes as Timberlake looks to shed some recent criticism. He came under public scrutiny after his ex Britney Spears wrote in her recent memoir that Timblerlake pressured her to have an abortion at their height of their teen-pop fame. After several documentaries reexamined how pop culture treated women during the 1990s and 2000s, some criticized Timberlake anew for his handling of the infamous incident with Janet Jackson at the 2004 Super Bowl.

There may be more N*SYNC collaborations to come: Timberlake told Kelly Clarkson in a recent TV interview, "There may be a little something in the future. ... It’s kind of crazy, like, there’s so much that just picks up right where it left off as far as the chemistry."

Timberlake kicks off his solo tour April 29 in Vancouver.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.