08/11/2004 at 02:00 PM EDT
It was just last month that the five members of 'N Sync – Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone – sang the national anthem at a charity event in Miami. There was even talk that the guys would gather in the studio soon to begin work on their long-awaited new album, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue.
That was then. "The meeting in Miami was to set a target date (to start recording)," says a source close to the group, "and then (Justin) drops the bomb on them."
The bomb: According to the insider, Timberlake told his bandmates that he wasn't interested in being a part of the next 'N Sync album.
"Justin said he's not in the mood and doesn't think it will work," says the source. "He doesn't want any part of it."
Meanwhile, according to one source, Timberlake has already started writing for a future album, a follow-up to his solo debut, "Justified," which sold an impressive 3 million copies.
And the future of 'N Sync? "(The others) are undecided right now," says the source. "They aren't really talking to (Justin). They haven't taken it so well." Another insider says the boys feel that Justin "strung them along until he was sure his solo career would work."
A rep for Timberlake says the singer will not comment on reports from unnamed sources. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Jive, 'N Sync's label, simply says, "There's no album scheduled for this year from either 'N Sync, Justin Timberlake or JC Chasez. The group is still together."