Justin Timberlake at 30: From Teen Dream to Leading Man

See how the birthday boy (Jan. 31) ditched the curls to become a singing, acting, designing phenomenon

  • ON HIS OWN
 photo | Justin Timberlake

Credit: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

Updated: Thursday Jan 27, 2011 | 06:00 AM EST By: Cara Lynn Shultz

ON HIS OWN

Dancing in a fedora in front of a massive boom box, Timberlake makes his solo debut at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, singing his first hit, "Like I Love You." His performance earns somewhat unfavorable comparisons to Michael Jackson, but Timberlake takes the criticism in stride. " I had a blast. But I knew I was going to be compared to Michael Jackson. That's a big hat and glove to fill," he tells Teen People. "To say that he doesn't inspire me would be like walking out onstage with a Band-Aid on my face and saying I wasn't trying to look like Nelly."