*NSYNC Addresses 'It's Gonna Be Me' Meme and Pronunciation: 'It Was a Specific Note'

“I did it the way that was requested and that’s what made the record," Justin Timberlake explained on 'Hot Ones'

*NSYNC see the memes every year and would like to clear the air.

The recently reunited pop group appeared on Hot Ones and clarified why band member Justin Timberlake sings “me” in a way that sounds like “may” on their 2000 hit “It’s Gonna Be Me,” which fans frequently post memes of at the end of every April.

Host Sean Evans asked the group featuring Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Lance Bass if the "SexyBack" singer, 42, was directed by the acclaimed Swedish songwriters behind the song — Max Martin, Andreas Carlsson, and Rami Yacoub — “to say it more like, ‘may,’ like a meaner ‘me’” while recording the track.

<p>John Shearer/Getty</p> Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of *NSYNC

John Shearer/Getty

Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of *NSYNC

Related: A Timeline of *NSYNC's Recent Reunion: From VMAs to the ‘Trolls’ Soundtrack

The "Can't Stop the Feeling!" artist told the Hot Ones host, “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. It’s may. May!”

Chasez, 47, then jumped in to explain that it came down to differences in pronunciation. “You have to remember their Swedish accents,” he clarified.

“They had done a demo of it and they were like, ‘It’s like this,’” Chasez said, while mimicking a Swedish accent.

Timberlake continued to explain why that actually benefited the “Bye Bye Bye” band and other pop superstars at the time who worked with the iconic songwriting team. He said, “You know what’s funny, specifically to Max Martin, the parts of their English that were broken actually made them catchier songwriters because they put words in a way that almost didn’t make sense, but when you sang them, they were more memorable.”

<p>Tim Roney/Getty</p> *NSYNC

Tim Roney/Getty


Related: 8 of *NSYNC's Most Memorable Reunions

The “Mirrors” musician then reiterated what happened in the studio with the lyric. “Yes, it was a specific note that I got and I was like, ‘This guy is crazy,’” he said. “I did it the way that was requested, and that’s what made the record.”

He also joked, “I knew one day they were going to invent this thing called memes.”

*NSYNC recently reunited at the 2023 MTV VMAs where they presented the award for best pop video to Taylor Swift.

After the pop quintet began teasing their reunion on social media, it was confirmed that they would be releasing their first song together in over two decades. The release of the Trolls Band Together trailer revealed the "Tearin’ Up My Heart" group worked on the song “Better Place” for the soundtrack.

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Related: Meet the Kids of *NSYNC's Bandmates

While the trailer just featured clips of the new track, it will officially drop on Sept. 29.

The band also recently shared a video on Instagram about what it was like getting back in the studio to work on the upcoming single.

"So many stars aligned," Timberlake is captured saying in the video, speaking to his bandmates. "That's why I hit y'all, I was like, 'Hey, something came up.' If we do this song, it's a love letter to our fans. I would be honored to have the group on this song."

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