Hopes Ride High on Justin's Solo CD
The album goes on sale Nov. 5, while its single, "Like I Love You" (which marks the 'N Sync lead singer's debut solo effort), is in stores now.
There may be plenty of pressure on Timberlake, 21, to succeed, but early indicators are that the record label and the young singer have a major hit on their hands. Tony Nova, an executive with the trade publication Radio and Records, says "Like I Love You" is No. 8 on Radio and Records' national pop charts.
Last week, the hip-hop-flavored track followed behind such chart-toppers as "Lose Yourself," by Eminem; "Game of Love" by Santana, featuring Michelle Branch; "A Moment Like This," by Kelly Clarkson; "Sk8er Boi," by Avril Lavigne; "Family Portrait," by Pink; "Underneath It All," by No Doubt and "Hey Ma," by Cam'Ron.
But Timberlake, Nova told The Times, "was the artist to receive the most increased airplay last week. He has proven now that he can go out and do it on his own."
And while the music industry continues to wring its hands over the future of teen-pop stars like Timberlake and his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, radio programmers say the name alone is getting him plenty of attention. His debut solo performance at August's MTV Video Music Awards was one of the most anticipated events of the night.
"The audience reaction just on the basis of him being Justin Timberlake has been strong from the get-go," Tom Poleman, program director for New York's WHTZ-FM, tells the Times.