Ice House

How Much Does Justin Timberlake Love Houston? Let Us Count the Ways

A 20-years-and-counting relationship

By Timothy Malcolm December 31, 2018 Published in the January 2019 issue of Houstonia Magazine

In April 1999 *NSYNC made its first appearance in Houston, at Compaq Center—now Lakewood Church. Justin Timberlake, deep into his Britney era, took the stage in an electric-blue track jacket and Adidas pants. JT, of course, went on to make better fashion decisions and move past those boy-band days, becoming a full-fledged pop icon in his own right. This month, as he returns to town on the fourth leg of his Man of the Woods Tour, we find ourselves looking back at his best Bayou City moments. Here are our five favorites:

July 6, 2001

NSYNC’s PopOdyssey Tour took over the Astrodome, and what a night it was. Timberlake and Co. sang all the hits, plus “Space Cowboy,” for 44,116 fans. Who opened? Eleven-year-old Lil’ Romeo.

Feb. 1, 2004

NRG Stadium: Home of Nipplegate. It’s been 15 years since Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast during halftime at Super Bowl XXXVIII, a moment that angered the FCC and also, by the way, inspired a young tech nerd to launch YouTube. Now, why didn’t we think of that?

March 4, 2007

A very millennial Toyota Center crowd converged for the FutureSex/LoveShow Tour, as Timberlake sang solo hits like “SexyBack,” “Señorita,” and “Cry Me a River.” This time he brought a better opener: Pink.

Dec. 5, 2013

Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience World Tour stopped at Toyota, where he sang covers of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” for the sold-out crowd. He returned a year later, on the final leg of the mammoth tour.

May 24, 2018

Few people enjoyed the Rockets’ playoff run more than Timberlake, who hammed it up courtside with JJ Watt during game five against the Warriors, cheering Clutch City to victory. The next night, the duo reunited on stage at JT’s concert at Toyota Center, where they did shots and bro-hugged. Awww

Timberlake performs in Houston at the Toyota Center on January 22. 

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