Justin Timberlake Opens Up About Leaving 'N Sync And Starting His Own Solo Career

4:19 PM EDT 5/13/2014 by Lindsay Cronin, Celebeat Reporter

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Justin Timberlake is reportedly opening up about leaving 'N Sync after several successful years with the band.

In 2002, at the height of the band's success, Timberlake announced he was stepping out as a solo artist with his debut album, Justified, but for Timberlake, the risky career move wasn't something many backed him on.

"I would wake up every morning feeling this more and more of an urge to step out on my own," Timberlake explained during an interview on the season premiere of Oprah's Master Class, according to an E! News report. Although 'N Sync was doing well at the time, Timberlake couldn't fight his desire to "try my own hand as a musician, just by myself."

After starring on the Mickey Mouse Club as a child (alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and JC Chasez), Timberlake went on to become one of five members of the 90's boy band, 'N Sync. In 1997, two years after the group first got together, they released their first album, *NSYNC. By 2001, the band had released two more albums, No Strings Attached and Celebrity. Then, in the spring of 2002, Timberlake and the rest of the band announced plans to take a "temporary hiatus," which eventually turned permanent.

Meanwhile, Timberlake had other plans and even though many advised him to stick with 'N Sync, he was determined to make a name for himself outside the band.

During his new interview, Timberlake recalled his critics asking, "Why wouldn't you ride this out? You're the biggest group in the world. Why would you walk away from this?"

Although branching out on his own was certainly scary, Timberlake can now look back and, after winning two Grammy Awards as a solo artist, know it was the best decision he could have made.

"It's one of the best/worst things that I have ever done," Timberlake said. "It was bittersweet. It was hard to say goodbye to that era, but I felt it changing. I felt music changing. And I felt myself changing."

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