Put on your suit and tie: It’s Justin Timberlake’s 32nd birthday today, and fans have plenty of reason to celebrate the new year in the life of JT. After over six long years of dealing with Justin The Actor, Justin the Designer and Justin the Saturday Night Live star (ok – that one was pretty nice), Justin’s finally back to putting on the fedora fans like best: Justin the Musician.
Timberlake had a pretty quiet year last year, save for getting married (and selling some truly hilarious wedding pics to People), but it seems that 32 is going to be the public resurgence we’ve been waiting for from America’s favorite former boy bander. With the release of his first new album in nearly seven years – not to mention a just-announced Grammy performance – it looks like 2013 will be the year that Timberlake finally brings sexy music back.
In honor of his return to tunes, check out some iconic musical moments from his past – from Mickey Mouse Club to an honorary member of Lonely Island.
1. The Mickey Mouse Years: Going through Mickey Mouse Club footage on YouTube is a treasure trove of truly hilarious footage. But this vid — featuring Britney Spears solos and Timberlake rapping — is one of the best. Bonus: Skip right ahead to 1:35 for maximum enjoyment.
2. A little boy band called *N SYNC: Obviously the videos for “Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me,” and everything else are amazing. But it was knowing all the lyrics to “It Makes Me Ill” — track five off No Strings Attached — that really separated the superfans. Bonus: Doctor uniforms happened at the concert!
3. Going Solo: Justin goes solo and never looks back. This public goodbye to Britney Spears could also double as his goodbye from the boy band years. No matter how much teen girls (and twenty-somethings) cry, the Justified star is moving on and leaving five-part choreographed dance behind. Bonus: Crying in the rain! Feelings!
4.That time he brought sexy back. Predictable highlight? Sure. But that song rocketed JT to a whole new level of fame as a solo artist. The whole FutureSex/LoveSounds album is great — and the main reason why fans are clamoring for a return — but it was the lead single that was the high point. Bonus: Remember how nuts that whole video was?
5. A Saturday Night Live star is born: While this clip is technically from his third time hosting, this digital short perfectly encapsulates his all-in, anything goes spirit that’s made him such a successful host. Bonus: Those outfits! That hair! Susan Sarandon! Warning: NSFW language.
6. “History of Rap” with Jimmy Fallon: When he wasn’t officially making music, Timberlake had to get his creative energy out somewhere in between movies, and happily, that meant swinging by Fallon a couple of times to perform a montage of rap’s greatest hits. Bonus: Some helpful YouTuber combined the appearances into one glorious ten-minute video.
7. That time he couldn’t help singing: For his most recent SNL hosting duty (May 2011) he was not also the musical guest. But you don’t put Justin on a stage and not have him sing. Bonus: Happily, the tune is a goofy send up of all the things people love about a great JT track: The sexy breathing! The high falsetto!
8. The Return: “Suit and Tie”: Following an over-the-top countdown announcement video, Timberlake released his Jay-Z assisted new single. Bonus: At the end of the video, writing on a whiteboard clues us in that a full album of new songs drops March 19. He is returning.