One of the biggest boy bands of the 1990s and early 2000s, NSYNC sold millions of albums, won numerous awards, and had legions of fans around the world. But the band’s most significant impact was when one of its members came out as gay in 2006, a move that revolutionized pop culture and had a profound effect on the LGBTQ community.
The group was formed in Orlando, Florida, in 1995 and launched to worldwide fame in 1997 with the release of their self-titled debut album in Europe. The American version of the album was released a year later with a single called I Want You Back. Initially, the band had no name, but it was given the moniker NSYNC after Justin Timberlake’s mother commented on how “in sync” the group’s singing voices were.
During their peak success, the band also appeared at the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games and recorded or performed with artists like Elton John, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Aerosmith, Mary J. Blige, and country music star Nelly. After their hiatus in 2002, the group went on to release a series of successful comeback albums and even earned a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Despite their immense success, the band experienced some hardships. In 2005, bassist Jason Galasso left NSYNC after being accused of stalking and bullying his ex-girlfriend, singer-actress Danielle Fishel. After Galasso’s departure, the group was forced to rethink their direction and ultimately rename themselves The Boys of NSYNC.