As both a member of *NSYNC and a solo artist, Southern superstar Justin Timberlake
has played a major role in the teen pop explosion of the '90s and 2000s. Like similar teen pop favorites -- who have included the Backstreet Boys, C-Note, Christina Aguilera
, Hanson, the Spice Girls, and Britney Spears -- Timberlake
usually doesn't get much respect from rock critics (who, in many cases, tend to be very alternative-minded and anti-commercialistic). Regardless, he is adored by millions of fans, many of whom have been adolescent girls. Over the years, the teen market has had a lot of different sounds. In the '70s, for example, artists like Donny Osmond, the Partridge Family, David Cassidy, and the DeFranco Family were aimed at teens -- those were the bubblegum popsters one typically read about in Tiger Beat magazine back then. But Timberlake
is part of the more modern school of teen pop, which is mindful of dance-pop, urban contemporary, and hip-hop and got started with the rise of New Kids on the Block, Debbie Gibson, and Tiffany in the late '80s. New Kids, in fact, were the male group that paved the way for *NSYNC as well as the Backstreet Boys and Take That (who were meant to be a British equivalent of New Kids). And just as Tiger Beat (the bible of bubblegum) was obsessed with the New Kids in the late '80s, it would become equally obsessed with *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys in the '90s.