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When you've been working in the music industry for almost two thirds of your life, like Justin Timberlake has, a little bit of arrogance comes with the territory. It's healthy, really, and completely warranted. Watching his near twenty-minute performance at this year's VMAs was a wake-up call to his longevity and inarguable talent. JT's discography is imitable; his attractiveness is universal. He's the kind of pop star who gets better with time.
Of course, his brand-new T Magazine cover story is a testament to all of this. Michael Hirschorn's interview reads like the beginning of a memoir that, if it's not already in the works, needs to happen. “You get to this point, which I’ve done in the last five or six years," Timberlake explains, "where you become less worried about success and failure." Thankfully, it's a point we're seeing a lot of the pop stars who've transcended from early-aught fame into solo careers reach (we're lookin' at you, Beyoncé). Like Bey, Timberlake has grown to such a level that he doesn't need to churn out single after single to stay fresh. He can disappear for seven years, only to return to an audience that's not only ready for him, but grown in dedication. “To answer the question ‘Why?’ for the first time in my career, is: because I wanted to," he says in response to his latest two-part 20/20 Experience LPs.
The full story is worth the read; it's one of the more robustly honest looks into the mind of today's most recognizable influencers. And, with the help of the Hedi Slimane-lensed photo shoot, Timberlake's enduring appeal is carved into a bright, glossy stone. (T Magazine)