'N Sync's undeniable breakout star, Justin Timberlake, 24, barely missed a beat after having surgery in May to remove benign growths from his vocal cords.
Now in the studio recording the follow-up to his triple-platinum 2002 album Justified, Timberlake – who splits his time between Los Angeles and Memphis – has entered the fashion world with his new clothing line for men and women, William Rast. It's "southern country club meets southern rock," says Timberlake of the collection (available in select Bloomingdale's stores Nov. 1) he designed with pals Trace Ayala and Danny Guez.
Timberlake has also been busy acting: He's got several movies due early next year, including Edison, in which he plays a reporter opposite Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, and Alpha Dog, costarring Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone. And he's currently filming the drama Black Snake Moan with Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci.
And while rumors of a December wedding in Hawaii with girlfriend Cameron Diaz have been shot down, their relationship is still going strong. "It was darling to see that young love happening," says Diaz's In Her Shoes costar Shirley MacLaine.
The only other 'N-Sync-er to release a solo album, 2004's Schizophrenic, Chasez is also back in the studio. The 29-year-old singer is teaming up with heavy-hitting producers including Timbaland and Dallas Austin for the CD, due early next year. And Chasez's ex, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria, could figure into the music: A source says the couple's breakup (they dated on and off in 2004 and this year) inspired some of the songs.
Stlll, says the Winter Park, Fla.-based Chasez, "I wouldn't mind a relationship with the right girl. Every artist needs a muse." And he'd also welcome an 'N Sync reunion. "If I'm 40 and we're still playing shows, and people want to call us a boy band, by all means – drink from the fountain of youth!"
Three years after his plans to hop aboard a Russian spacecraft fizzled, Bass, 26, hasn't given up his rocket-man dreams. "I don't know when or how it will happen, but I know it will happen," says Bass.
In the meantime, Bass, who's based in Beverly Hills, is pursuing more terrestrial interests. He and bandmate Joey Fatone are working on a sitcom, which he describes as "The Odd Couple meets Curb Your Enthusiasm." And acting is where his heart is. "I'm not doing any music unless it has something to do with a movie or TV soundtrack," says Bass (who's in "the first stages of dating someone very special"). "I may get back into music later, but not now."
During his time away from 'N Sync, Kirkpatrick, 34, has put on his producer hat. He's working with National Product, a punk group from Oahu, Hawaii, and Mind Driver, a band from Orlando.
The singer – who owns a six-bedroom home in southwest Orlando – has kept a relatively low profile, though a source says that the single Kirkpatrick is working to get a solo career off the ground.
Fatone, 28, is enjoying family life. "I've been married for a year now," he says about wife Kelly Ann Baldwin, with whom he has a 3-year-old daughter, Brianna. "Things couldn't be better for us. I spend most of my time in Orlando. I get to see Brianna grow up and can be there for the things that happen in her life. That's really important to me."
And besides the sitcom he's working on with Bass, Fatone – who had small roles in 2002's My Big Fat Greek Wedding and 2003's The Cooler – is "going on a lot of auditions. I know there will be roles that I want that I don't get, but right now it's a fun time for me. I'm excited to see what my next move is going to be."