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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 10 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 02
Justin Timberlake's support for LGBT community, Gay marriage runs deep
Arts & Entertainment
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Justin Timberlake's support for LGBT community, Gay marriage runs deep

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Justin Timberlake
January 17
Key Arena


Be honest. Did you have any idea Justin Timberlake would break away from supergroup N'Sync to become an international star, in both music and film? Well, I did. Probably not the film part, but there was something about the Memphis-born performer that truly separated him from the other guys in the boy band, that enjoyed a successful six-year run from the mid-90s through the early 2000s with multiple chart-topping hits, major TV appearances, award nominations and multi-platinum selling albums. But that was only the beginning for Timberlake.

In 2002, the release of his debut CD Justified officially launched his solo career with a string of smash singles, including 'Like I Love You,' 'Rock Your Body' and 'Cry Me a River,' which earned JT (as he's also referred to) his first of two Grammy Awards for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance; Justified scooped up the gramophone for Best Pop Vocal that same year. Though he was dealt a blow in 2004, an accomplice in the 'Nipple-gate' controversy surrounding Janet Jackson's Super Bowl appearance, he eventually re-emerged, two years later, with FutureSex/LoveSounds, which repositioned him atop the music world. Acting roles in Alpha Dog, Friends with Benefits and David Fincher's Oscar-nominated The Social Network, plus a musical collaboration with Madonna, boosted his profile to megastar status.

Fast-forward to 2013 and the much anticipated arrival of The 20/20 Experience, the singer-songwriter's third studio recording, which didn't disappoint. 'Suit & Tie' (featuring Jay Z) was the leadoff hit from the album, but it was the follow-up single, 'Mirrors,' that was embraced universally and returned Timberlake to his pop reign. Sold out shows in London, Dublin, Toronto and throughout the U.S. gave fans, informally known as 'The Tennessee Kids,' the opportunity to hear songs from JT's catalog, everything from 'Señorita' to his latest cuts, 'Tunnel Vision' and 'Pusher Love Girl.'

In 2011, Timberlake publicly voiced his enthusiasm for the passage of Gay marriage in New York state during an interview with The Advocate, stating 'I'm proud that New York has balls to stand up for what's right.' In a press junket interview around the same time to promote Friends with Benefits, co-starring Woody Harrelson as a Gay bestie, he spoke about his LGBT allies. 'I have a lot of guy friends that are straight and Gay', he mentioned at a media event, 'and you know, I get along with them the same way, and I wanted that to come from an honest place from my own friendships with men who have a different sexual preference than I do.' Timberlake actually worked with writer-director Will Gluck to create a non-hetero character that defied stereotypes.

And, in 2012, when President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage during a State of the Union address, JT was one celebrity who backed him up on Twitter with the words, 'True leadership is when you are willing to risk your power and voice so that ALL of ours can be heard.'

When Timberlake lands at Key Arena this weekend, it will be his first solo appearance in Seattle. He's previously performed at the Tacoma Dome and White River Amphitheater, either as a solo act or with Christina Aguilera. He last appeared in concert in the Emerald City 15 years ago on N'Sync's 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now Tour.' Needless to say, we've waited a long, long time to welcome Timberlake back to Seattle. His set list should represent his work as a solo artist, but don't expect any of his N'Sync material to be included - he rarely, if ever, performs it anymore.

At press time, there were no tickets available for the Key Arena concert. Yes, it's sold out! However, tickets routinely become available in the days leading up to the show, so visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.LiveNation.com this week for any possibilities. Also, no opening act has thus far been confirmed for the January 17 performance. Seattle Gay News is hoping to attend the Justin Timberlake concert, so look for a possible review in our January 24 issue.

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