Joey Fatone Was 'Blindsided' By Justin Timberlake Leaving *NSYNC For Good!

Even Joey Fatone never saw it coming when Justin Timberlake left *NSYNC for good!

In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment this week, the 46-year-old singer opened up about the rough patch the beloved boy band experienced when JT decided to go solo and release his first album, Justified, in 2002. According to Joey, the group went on a hiatus back then, believing that Justin would drop some music and come back to them. But much to the heartbreak of fans, that is not what happened.

Instead, the 42-year-old actor never returned to *NSYNC! And it wasn’t until two years later, in 2004, when the band members – which also included Lance Bass, JC Chasez, and Chris Kirkpatrick – officially went their separate ways. Looking back at that time in his life, Joey told Yahoo Entertainment that he was “blindsided” by how everything went down, explaining:

“I was not blindsided by the breakup; I was more blindsided as far as him coming out with music and not knowing that he was going to go and do an actual album/tour thing. It was more of, ‘Hey, I’m going to do some music, and then we’ll get back together.’ That’s what that was. And it wasn’t him — it was the record company. If it was him, then I’d understand it.”

He continued:

“When you’re younger, you think it’s that person. But then you look at the whole bigger scheme of things, and you go, ‘Oh, that’s why I wasn’t there for that.’ That’s the business. ‘OK, I get it.’”

Although the band was stuck in limbo because of Justin, Joey refused to put his own career on pause! He went on to pursue other passion projects, including starring on Broadway, acting in movies, and competing in Dancing With the Stars:

“We thought he was just going to go out and just come back after the tour. I was like, ‘OK.’ But then when he went on tour and then things started going, I was like, ‘All right, I’ll go do Broadway.’ That’s when I did Broadway. I started doing Dancing with the Stars. I started hosting TV shows and doing my own thing, and that was what led me. That’s the beautiful part about it: My career and my life led me somewhere else, and I’m good and I’m happy with it.”

Nevertheless, Justin’s abrupt exit stung for Joey and the group. But they seem to be in a good place years later – enough to reunite to drop their first single, Better Place, more than two decades later! Joey said of the single:

“Justin came up to us about the idea and… it only fit right for us to do this together as a group. I think the message, the meaning, everything just all around, came to him.”

Obvi, fans have been freaking out over the song, to the point where they’re hopeful to either get a live performance of it, more music from the band, or a tour. OK, they really want all of the above! Lolz! But we bet they’ll take whatever they can get after years of thinking an *NSYNC reunion would never happen!

But what does Joey have to say about *NSYNC’s future? Will we get more tracks from them? He’s remaining hopeful that the group will move forward together:

“You never know. I can actually say, ‘You know what? That’s a possibility — 2025, that’s a possibility.’ But, there’s four of the guys I have to talk to about that.”

Keep your fingers crossed, *NSYNC fans! But if they do get back together for more music, here’s hoping Justin doesn’t later blindside them and dip out again! Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know!

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