January 02, 2018 10:30 AM

Justin Timberlake dropped a surprise for fans on Tuesday: new music!

The 36-year-old pop singer kicked off 2018 by announcing his upcoming album, Man of the Woods.

“This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I’ve written, where I’m from,” he says in the video introducing the project. “It’s personal.”

Man of the Woods is slated for release on Feb. 2, but a tweet from Timberlake sharing the video seems to hint at something special—perhaps a new song—on the way this Friday.

It will be the first new music Timberlake has put out since “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which debuted in May 2016 atop the Billboard Hot 100 (his fifth No. 1 song). The infectious Max Martin/Shellback-produced dance song was off the soundtrack for the DreamWorks Animations’ Trolls movie, for which Timberlake served as executive music producer.

Justin Timberlake

Of the album, Timberlake told Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio’s Morning Show in May 2016 that he was going back to his roots. “I think where I grew up in America has a lot of influence,” he said. “Growing up in Tennessee — very central of the country — Memphis is known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, but also the home of the blues, but Nashville’s right down the street so there’s a lot of country music.”

The undertaking was rather slow-going, Timberlake admitted.

“I’ve been in and out of the studio, obviously, with some of my more frequent – and less frequent – collaborators,” he told Entertainment Weekly in September 2016. “I guess I’m resigned to the fact that I’m a tortoise when it comes to this process. I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I just feel like it’s so important to never have the cart before the horse when it comes to making a record.”

“I would not say that I’m making a country album, but I also don’t like to say that I’m making an R&B album,” the musician told BBC Breakfast‘s Louise Minchin in October 2016, confirming that he was working with producers Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Max Martin and Shellback.

“It sounds more like where I’ve come from than any other music I’ve ever made,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in February. “It’s Southern American music. But I want to make it sound modern – at least that’s the idea right now.”


Meanwhile, Timberlake has another big event coming in 2018: his Super Bowl LII Pepsi halftime performance on Feb. 4.

The gig, which will mark Timberlake’s third appearance at the Super Bowl, comes 14 years after his controversial spot in the 2004 halftime show. The star removed a piece of headliner Janet Jackson’s outfit during the “Rock Your Body” lyrics — “gonna have you naked by the end of this song” — revealing Jackson’s pierced right nipple as nearly 90 million viewers watched live on television across the globe.

As a result of the so-called wardrobe malfunction, a.k.a. “Nipplegate,” CBS was fined $550,000 by the Federal Communications Commission and a five-second delay was instituted for Super Bowl halftime shows.

Since then, Jackson has not returned to the Super Bowl halftime show. Other performers have included Lady GagaBruno MarsBeyoncéColdplayKaty Perry, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna.

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