Justin Timberlake Debuts New Single ‘Selfish’ During Homecoming Show in Memphis, Releases ‘Everything I Thought It Was’ Album Trailer

Justin Timberlake season is upon us.

During his hometown performance at Memphis, Tenn.’s Orpheum Theater on January 19, the pop star gave fans what they’ve been waiting for: the debut of his new single “Selfish,” reportedly off his anticipated sixth album, as well as a disco-inflected snippet of another song from the project.

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And just after the concert concluded, he posted a trailer for the album itself, entitled “Everything I Thought It Was” and featuring narration from actor Benicio Del Toro.

Just an hour before the doors opened at the Orpheum, Timberlake uploaded a 30-second snippet of “Selfish” to TikTok and Instagram, signaling that the song’s arrival may be imminent. And midway through his first-ever performance at the venue, he joined his Tennessee Kids band to debut the song in full: “If I get jealous, I can’t help it / I want every bit of you, guess I’m selfish,” he sings.

Attendees got just a small taste of another album cut where he sings, “All I need is my moment” atop a disco-inflected instrumental, a notable vibe shift from the more laidback feel of “Selfish.”

What a wild ride it’s been for Timberlake devotees lately. After fans speculated over the past few weeks that he was gearing up for a new era (i.e. Instagram wiped, profile pics updated), the pop star announced last week that he’d be performing for “One Night Only.” Tickets for the event were hard to come by. Timberlake’s team reached out to TikTok users who had recently posted about wanting to attend the gig, while a lottery allowed for others to snatch some up.

And in the lead-up to the concert, the rumor mill kicked into full gear. About a week into 2024, the NFL aired a TV spot that featured a snippet of a Timberlake song titled “Sanctified,” which some presumed to be part of the singer’s curation deal with ESPN and the NFL. Then, a day before his hometown show, he was announced as a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Jan. 25. Cut to the day of the Orpheum performance, and he was revealed as the musical guest on the Jan. 27 episode.

Though Timberlake’s sixth album could very well arrive at a moment’s notice, he hasn’t been entirely absent from music as of late. He reunited with his *NSYNC brethren for the single “Better Place” off the soundtrack for “Trolls Band Together” late last year, and polished off 2023 with a performance at the opening of the Fontainebleau Las Vegas in mid-December.

Those in attendance at the Orpheum got a Timberlake set that wasn’t entirely dissimilar to the one he lined up for Vegas. The standard inclusions were there—”SexyBack” as an opener, “My Love,” “Suit & Tie” into his chorus from his Jay-Z duet, “Holy Grail”—but he mixed it up a bit with some unexpected cuts. He snuck “Pusher Love Girl” into the set, and paid homage to his Memphis roots with a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” which he last performed live during the Grammy Awards in 2009.

During the performance, he also tipped his hat to his *NSYNC roots, shouting out fellow member Chris Kirkpatrick, who was in attendance with his wife. As Timberlake came down from the stage and snaked through the crowd, the DJ on hand played mashups of songs from the *NSYNC oeuvre, like “Gone” with Tyla’s “Water” and “Girlfriend” with Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love You (Give It 2 Me).” He also slipped in a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” into “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and of course led the crowd to a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for his mother, who was in attendance and whose birthday was the following day.

As for the album? Who knows when it’s coming. But his frequent collaborator Timbaland told Variety last year that the album had been completed, with a more upbeat vibe to it than his last album, “Man of the Woods.” “It’s fun Justin — it’s like ‘FutureSex /LoveSounds’ but nothing too heavy, just giving you what you’d expect from us: not overthought, the lyrics are not so deep, it’s bob-your-head, dance-to-it music,” he said. “Music is a young sport, and you have to keep it fun — fun and young. We’ve both seen a lot of life, but you can’t overthink it because of that, you have to bring out the 13-year-old, 18-year-old again, you know? If not, you can get into the old-fogey stage real quick. (Laughter) That’s just the world we live in.”

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