Family & Companions
The eldest member of *NSYNC and the man who got it all started, dark-haired performer Chris Kirkpatrick made up for his relatively advanced age with an abundance of childlike exuberance; clearly no one would ever accuse him of being the band's most mature member. Encouraged to form a vocal group that would fuse dancing and singing talents into a powerhouse of entertainment, Kirkpatrick called upon known singer and dancer Joey Fatone, a Brooklyn import who had made a name in Orlando while making a living as a performer at Universal Studios theme park. Joining in the fold were talented singers and dancers J.C. Chasez and Justin Timberlake, young veterans of the 1990s Disney Channel series "The Mickey Mouse Club." Though Kirkpatrick was in college and Timberlake wasn't through puberty, the four found a sound that was solidified with the discovery of basso profundo Lance Bass, who rounded out their impressive harmony.
Repped by famed boy band agent Lou Pearlman, the quintet headed to Europe to hone their skills, and were soon big hits overseas. In 1998, *NSYNC's international fame began its domestic leg when the group released its self-titled debut album, a candy coated collection of new classics like "I Want You Back" and "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" as well as sweet retreads of soft rock staples "Sailing" and "Everything I Own." The fivesome's public appearances, highly watchable videos and famed outrageous stage show helped generate a great deal of interest around the band that translated into solid sales of their follow-up, a holiday album. Unfortunately, internal management problems and a lengthy legal dispute over an early contract led the group to push back its much-anticipated third album, killing any built-up momentum.
Now signed to Jive Records and cut loose from a stifling old deal, *NSYNC was set to release the aptly titled "No Strings Attached" and embarked on a media saturating promotional tour to make up for the time and excitement lost. When the album was released in March of 2000, it set a new sales record at 2.4 million units. More than doubling the previous record set by the Backstreet Boys with 1999's "Millennium," "No Strings Attached" was a hit of monumental proportions, and singles like "Bye Bye Bye," "It's Gonna Be Me" and the Richard Marx-penned new wedding favorite "This I Promise You" kept it on the charts right up until the next release, 2001's "Celebrity." The title's ironic feel and the defensive lyrical tone and edgy musical style of the leadoff single "Pop" made it clear that *NSYNC was not content with their status as leader of the boy band brigade. While the group's young and loyal fans, boy-next-door good looks, choreographed moves and carefully planned out clothing choices put them in that category, *NSYNC's remarkable stage shows (including increasingly elusive actual live singing) and ambitious endeavors within and outside of the industry set them apart.
An entrepreneur as well as a singer, Kirkpatrick founded FuMan Skeeto, a creative arts company with special focus on clothing design. Where groupmate Lance Bass used his fame to launch the music careers of up and coming performers, Kirkpatrick was concerned with promoting more behind-the-scenes artists, including would-be music producers, graphic designers and other visual artists. With millions of fans longing for a piece of *NSYNC for their very own, FuMan Skeeto's funky casual line of reasonably priced clothing promised to find a wide consumer base.
The singer and businessman's appearances on such programs as "Mad TV" (Fox) and "Politically Incorrect" (ABC) showed that not only did the performer have a sense of humor about himself and his livelihood, but he was able to have an intelligent and well-informed dialogue about current events, certainly something most don't expect from their rock stars. And though he could laugh when *NSYNC jokes were funny, even sporting an *NSUCK hat on an episode of MTV's "TRL," he didn't hesitate to speak up against Eminem's incessant and unprovoked lyrical bullying. Kirkpatrick has appeared in guest roles in television series alongside his bandmates in shows like "Clueless" (UPN) and "Touched By an Angel" (CBS). He made his big screen debut in the large-format concert film "*NSYNC: Bigger Than Live" (2001) and undertook an acting role in the as yet unreleased romance "Jack of All Trades" (lensed 1999), produced by *NSYNC's former manager Lou Pearlman.
Cast (Feature Film)
*NSYNC released the holiday album "Home for Christmas"
Already successful in Europe, *NSYNC released their self-titled American debut album, spawning the hits "I Want You Back", "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" and "Tearing Up My Heart"
Appeared in episodes of "Clueless" (UPN) and "Touched by an Angel" (ABC) with fellow *NSYNC-ers
With *NSYNC, sued to get out of contract with Pearlman; switched to Jive Records, home of Backstreet Boys
*NSYNC releases "No Strings Attached" to record-breaking debut week sales of 2.4 million
Guested on the late-night political round table comedy program "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" (ABC)
Featured in the HBO concert special "*NSYNC Live at Madison Square Garden"
Lent his voice to an episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox) that featured cartoon likenesses of *NSYNC
With *NSYNC, starred in the IMAX concert film "*NSYNC: Bigger Than Live", a chronicle of their "No Strings Attached" tour