It was known to many that Justin Timberlake was formerly the leader of boyband NSYNC. I am a fan of NSYNC so when he released his solo album, I’m also a fan of Justin Timberlake. Since I love R&B especially that time when he debuted solo, I preferred his music even more than in NSYNC. Justin succeeded as solo artist, hence, his group never had a comeback album.
His debut LP “Justified” contained more of danceable and R&B tunes that was far from the kind of music he did with NSYNC (though “Celebrity” had R&B songs in it). He had matured from his music to his image. During his debut, it was believed that Justin and Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter is up for competition when they had released their first single at the same season. Nick Carter, though, had moderate success after failure to hit top 10.
Despite the success, many NSYNC fans hoped for a reunion album. I even though it myself. But nothing was heard and even a new album from Justin took almost 4 years after “Justified” was released on 2002. That time when Justin Timberlake gained more success and fans had moved on that new NSYNC material will not come to fruition in the near future.
Despite his continuous success, Justin never released a solo record for several years. He focused in doing movies, business and producing records and he even stated on social media that he won’t be releasing new music. More than six years after his second album’s release, he finally released new record he entitled “20/20 Experience”. Shortly after the album’s release, he announced he will be releasing volume 2 of that record. The first volume has proven his power in selling records. The volume 2, despite topping the charts, became his lowest seller. It does not affect his status though as he was already considered an icon.
It’s been two years since his last album’s release. Will fans wait for more year to hear new record from him? Surely, fans are excited to hear from him. Since there’s no news coming from him, all fans will do is wait.
Six months ago, a news broke the hearts of many Directioners (One Direction fans) when its member Zayn Malik announced that he will be officially leaving One Direction, he reasoned he wants private and normal life away from the limelight. However, just few weeks ago, he revealed the real reason why he left One Direction. He had signed contracts with RCA Records for his solo album. Yes, going solo is his real reason why he left the group which upset many Directioners.
Now, the question is, will he be able to make it big like any other successful artists who were originally from the group? Many members of successful groups did not succeed going solo. Only few of them became real icons. Let’s consider, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys. His debut album had decent sales but never brought him to the heights. Another example is the members of the Spice Girls which all of them did their solo projects. They were successful in their native UK and some parts of Europe, but never spread to the entire world. Their solo fan bases are limited. Melanie C and Geri Halliwell became biggest selling members of the group though who had real solo number 1 hits.
Among those former group members who became successful on their own were Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, which these three became pop icons. Michael Jackson became one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Beyonce and Justin Timberlake were two artists from a group and now pop icons of this generation. Beyonce who scored 5 consecutive number 1 albums was formerly from successful girl group Destiny’s Child, while Justin Timberlake was from boyband NSYNC.
There are factors though that can contribute to an artist’s success. During the time of Michael Jackson, technology is still miles away from what we have now and competition wasn’t that tight. During Beyonce and Justin Tinberlake’s debut years, there’s no social media. But today, there are many ways to advertise or promote one’s music. Social media, other platforms of selling music. It depends on an artist’s activity.
As a former member of One Direction, Zayn Malik has been active in social media and interacts with their fans. With right music and promotion, he can be among those successful solo stars who carved their name in the music industry.