From 2008 through 2012, Timberlake focused on his acting career, effectively putting his music career on hiatus; he held starring roles in the films The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits, and In Time.Timberlake resumed his music career in 2013 with his third and fourth albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, exploring neo soul styles, partly inspired by the expansive song structures of 1960s and 1970s rock.Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 20.
Their second album No Strings Attached (2000) sold 2.4 million copies in the first week, and included a No. NSYNC's third album Celebrity (2001) was also financially successful.
The former became the best-selling album of the year in the US with the largest sales week, and spawned the top-three singles "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors", while the latter produced the top-ten song "Not a Bad Thing".
For his live performances, including the eponymous concert tour for the albums, he began performing with his band The Tennessee Kids, composed by instrumentalists and dancers.
Timberlake originally wrote the single "Gone" around 2001 for Michael Jackson, but he turned the song down, and was instead recorded by NSYNC. Timberlake declared in a later interview that the first time he felt confident to go solo happened after that conversation: [He] called me on the phone and said that he wanted to cut the record ("Gone"), but he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I. And he was very absolute about the fact that he wanted it to be a duet between himself and I..
[That was] the first time I ever really felt the confidence to do it.