By Mark Armstrong
Updated August 20, 2002 01:00 PM

They’re gone — his bandmates, that is. ‘N Sync singer Justin Timberlake is planning to make his debut as a solo performer August 29 at the MTV Video Music Awards, just before releasing his new album, “Justified,” on November 12, Jive Records has confirmed to MTV News. With his multi-platinum pop group taking a break (bandmate Lance Bass is training for a possible space flight and Joey Fatone is performing in “Rent” on Broadway), Timberlake tells the cable channel he felt liberated recording his own album. “I’m very happy with (the album),” he tells MTV. “It’s very me, and that’s all you can do as an artist is do what you think is an extension of you.” Timberlake cowrote the songs on “Justified,” including the first single, “Like I Love You,” which was cowritten and produced by the Neptunes. (For its part, MTV describes the tune as “smoky, sultry and downright sexy.”) Others who contributed to Timberlake’s solo effort include producer Timbaland, Brian McKnight and Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs. The 21-year-old ‘N Sync star will join fellow performers such as Eminem and Bruce Springsteen when the Video Music Awards air August 29 at 8 p.m. from New York’s Radio City Music Hall.