Getty Images; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration
Rather, Oct. 1 is the day—back in 1995, when he was 16—that Bass met JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake in Orlando, Fla., and was accepted into their fledgling boy band right away. As ‘N Sync, the five lads would embark on one hell of a ride that resulted in not only global fame, fortune, eight Grammy nominations and millions of records sold, but which also altered the course of pop music history forever.
And all in just a few short years—though, obviously, it feels as if ‘N Sync has always been a part of the fabric of our lives.
“It changed my life,” Bass told EW.com in 2015, recalling the fateful day he got the call from Timberlake (who got Bass’ name from his voice coach). In 21 days he went from putting the finishing touches on the homecoming float at his Mississippi high school to performing at Disney World’s Pleasure Island, ‘N Sync’s first real gig, on Oct. 22, 1995.
Not that global superstardom happened overnight.
“Every record exec out there turned us down,” Bass recalled on ABC News’ 20/20. “They were like, ‘Nothing like this would ever work in America. This is way too cheesy.'”
So, he told EW, “We were a German band the first two years for our career and immediately in Germany we were an overnight sensation. It was crazy because we would have thousands of fans chasing us down the street and we’d be on the cover of every magazine,