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‘N Sync began tearin’ up our hearts more than two decades ago — and we recently took a walk down memory lane with Joey Fatone, who looked back on the boy band’s early days.
“The first time when we got together and sang together was one of the fondest memories, 'cause it was like, 'Ooh, we got a sound. We got something there,’” Fatone told TODAY. "And as cheesy as it sounds, it was quite magical.”
He also revealed his first impressions of his bandmates.
“I knew JC (Chasez) through Mickey Mouse Club, which was shot in Orlando,” he said. “So, my impression was, ‘Hey, it's cool dude. Let's hang out.’ As for Justin (Timberlake), ‘Too young — I'm not hangin' out with him.’ But for Chris (Kirkpatrick), we worked at Universal as well, so he was older.”
He added, “The only person we really didn't know was Lance (Bass). We were just trying to find out, first of all, if he can sing. ‘OK, he sings good. Let's see if he can dance.’ So we brought him to Pleasure Island in Orlando and brought him around a club just to hang out with all of us to see if we jell together and see if he could have rhythm. And he did, thank goodness.”
Fatone said the ‘N Sync hit fans bring up to him most these days is still "Bye, Bye, Bye.” “When I leave, even when I'm saying ‘Hello,’ or saying ‘Ciao’ or anything for that matter, it's usually, ‘Hey, Bye, Bye, Bye.’ And I'm like, ‘It's not funny anymore.’”
The song Fatone personally loved to perform most was “I Thought She Knew.”
“It was one of the first songs that we really ever sang together as a group,” he said. “So that would be definitely close to the heart, close to the brain."
Some of the hardest choreography to master, Fatone says, was for their 2001 hit “Pop.”
“‘No Strings Attached’ is another one,” he said. “One of our performances on the tour — there were a lot of movements and weird things that it took a while to learn.”
Of the band’s many encounters with diehard fans, there’s one that sticks out for Fatone.
“We were walking into a hotel floor, and one of our security guards is walking down the hall,” he recalled. “And then he's like, ‘Stop for a second.’ I'm like, ‘What? don't hear anything. What are you talking about?’ And down the hall there is a room service table just sitting there. So he walks over to there. He is like, ‘Shhh.’ He opens it up and there are two girls underneath the room service tray. And he's like, ‘Get out. Get out.’ And I'm like, ‘How did you even know or hear that was there?’”
See more of what Fatone had to say — including his reactions to some of his most memorable ‘90s looks! — in the video above. And you can also catch him as host of “Common Knowledge” on Game Show Network.