It's September, but on Hot Ones, it's gonna be May.
On the hot wing interview series hosted by Sean Evans, all five members of NSYNC — Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Justin Timberlake — reflected on their careers, including their widely-memed single "It's Gonna Be Me."
Evans asked the singers, "Fact or fiction: the hook on 'It's Gonna Be Me' has that 'May' punctuation because Justin got a note from a producer that was 'yeah, I need you to say it more like, 'may,' like a meaner 'me'" in the recording booth.
Timberlake responded, "I don't remember if the specifics were 'a meaner me,' but I sang, 'It's gonna be me,' and he was like, 'No, no, no, no, no. It's may. May!"
The final word of the title has been subject to intense scrutiny since its release, as Timberlake's pronunciation sounds more like the word "May," leading to an annual tradition of posting clips and GIFs from the song on April 30.
"You have to remember their Swedish accents," Chasez explained, as songwriters Max Martin, Rami Yacoub, and Andreas Carlsson are all from Sweden. "They had done a demo of it and they were like, 'It's like this,'" while imitating their accents.
"You know what's funny, specifically to Max Martin, the parts of their English that were broken actually made them catchier songwriters because they would put words in a way that almost didn't make sense, but when you sang them, they were more memorable," Timberlake said.
"And yes, it was a specific note that I got, and I was just like 'this guy's crazy,'" Timberlake explained. "I did the way that he requested, and that's what made the record."
Kirkpatrick jumped in to joke, "this is gonna be so meme-worthy."
Bob Berg/Getty NSYNC
Martin also cowrote "Tearin' Up My Heart," "I Want You Back," "I'll Never Stop," and "Tell Me, Tell Me...Baby" for the group, while Carlsson has writing credits on "Just Don't Tell Me That," "That Girl (Will Never Be Mine)," and "Bye Bye Bye."
Timberlake later worked with Martin on the Trolls soundtrack in 2016, including the hit single "Can't Stop the Feeling!"
Last week, the group announced that it was reuniting for their first new music together in 20 years for the Trolls Band Together. Their song "Better Place" will release on Sept. 29. They also appeared on stage together at the VMAs earlier this month, but did not perform.
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