From his days as the main heartthrob of ‘N Sync to his sterling solo career, Justin Timberlake has always been tuned in to the omnipresent pulse of pop music. Always the maverick, his unpredictable collaborations have delivered great pop moments, running the gamut from sultry R&B burners with Jay-Z and Drake to universal pop anthems with Timbaland and T.I. His discography is a testament to his dynamic range, punctuated by sweetly emotive duets with Beyoncé and boundary-pushing club bangers with dance music luminaries like Tiësto and Sébastien Léger.
Timberlake has consistently demonstrated a knack for cherry-picking collaborators across genres and generations. The proof is in the heady stew of R&B, hip-hop, and electro-pop that is his partnership with Missy Elliott, Armand Van Helden, and Linus Loves. More recently, his chart-topping team-ups with Chris Stapleton and Alicia Keys have affirmed his status as a pop auteur unafraid to sail uncharted musical waters.
Justin Timberlake has collaborated with these long list of artists:
John M. McClain
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Matrix & Futurebound
Mysto & Pizzi
Paul van Dyk
Larry “Rock” Campbell
DJ Wayne Williams
Armand Van Helden
The Forest Creatures
The Benjamin Wright Orchestra
Mary J. Blige
Three 6 Mafia
Earth, Wind & Fire
So let’s get into the best of those collabs. From “Until The End Of Time” to “SexyBack”, here are the top 20 best Justin Timberlake collaborations.
20. Until the End of Time
It paints a picture of a world filled with calamities and uncertainties, yet in midst of this harrowing reality, Timberlake finds solace and hope in his lover. The lyric revolves around the protagonist’s unwavering dedication to his partner, the person he considers his beacon in darkness, a solitary source of beauty in an otherwise bleak world.
The song’s essence is encapsulated in the assertion that if his lover’s affection was the only thing he possessed, it would suffice till the end of time. It’s a comforting promise of endless love where he vows to stand by her side, serenading her with love songs, as they endure the trials of life. Overall, “Until the End of Time” beautifully portrays a narrative of pure, unadulterated love, promising to weather all storms, and stay strong until time’s end.
19. Just Sing
The lyrics propel listeners to embrace their individuality, while being a part of a larger chorus – a celebration of unity and diversity at once. With a heavy emphasis on doing it like ‘nobody else’, Timberlake encourages authenticity. The song champions the idea of fearlessly expressing oneself, highlighting the inherent talent within all. It preaches no restraint, no inhibition, but a world gleaming with acceptance, a space where everyone can ‘sing it together’. The lyrics hint at a transformation – from chaos and self-doubt to a harmonious chorus. The recurring motif of ‘forget everything’ implies a liberation from preconceptions, social norms, or any perceived barriers to expression. It’s about letting go, shedding inhibitions, and finding the unique rhythm that defines ‘you’. It casts aside competitiveness, urging unity in the act of singing – a metaphor for unity in larger life contexts. “Just Sing” is an anthem of individuality and unity, a ditty that reassures us that when we express our unique self, the world does listen.
18. Together Now
The lyrics depict a protagonist who, once resigned to solitude (“You always wanted to be hiding”), finds renewed optimism and strength in shared experience and companionship (“I’m in luck, I’m in luck, I’m in luck ‘Cause we’re together now”). Song empowers the listeners using both subjunctive and imperative mood instructing the listeners to “Never stop looking up”. The lyrics continually reiterate the positive shift from isolation to union, the personal transformation brought on by this relational shift. It takes it a step further by adding the inevitability of adversity (‘The bad days are over’) which alludes to resilience and the prospects of better days due to collective efforts. Thus, it delivers a wholesome narrative of the importance of unity, community, and shared strength in overcoming trials, and brings to life the age-old adage – ‘Together we stand’.
17. Chop Me Up (feat. Timbaland & Three-6 Mafia)
It’s a flirty, assertive anthem that’s meant to jolt the party scene with libidinous energy. The lyrics dip into a pool of playful pursuits, filled with the excitement of nightlife, from hitting the club to inviting a girl back to JT’s place. There’s a seductive confidence in Justin’s approach, even as he admits to being ‘screwed up’ by the girl’s melody. Meanwhile, Timbaland enters with his own charming advances, even referencing his high-profile works with Timberlake. Juicy J from Three-6 Mafia presents the Tennessee connection and serves a raw urban verse, keeping the mood grounded yet lit. In essence, “Chop Me Up” is a flirtatious narrative that goes beyond JT’s usual pop domain, flirting with the grittier side of urban music.
16. Morning Light (feat. Alicia Keys)
The lyrics brim with affection, depicting the narrator’s desire to hold onto each moment spent in the warmth of their beloved, particularly during the calmness of dawn. This desire is so powerful it paralyzes him, keeping him in bed in the eagerly awaited morning light. The song presents itself as a delicate exchange, bristling with defiance against the world that demands movement and separation. The lovers assert their desire to hold on, to revel in the sluggish sweetness of a morning spent intertwined. It captures the euphoric yet tranquil love between two people, conveyed through the recurring motif of the morning light. This motif reinforces the intimate moments of shared tender warmth that the speaker cherishes above all else. Invoking an almost sublime sense of romance, “Morning Light” becomes a celebration of love, a snapshot of these shared moments that are both intimate and profoundly universal.
15. Medley: Let Me Talk to You / My Love (feat. T.I.)
T.I)” by Justin Timberlake is an iconic piece that masterfully combines the soulful nature of R&B with the playful dynamics of pop. The narrative is deeply rooted in a persuasive romantic encounter, where Justin is trying to enamor a woman with his charm and the promise of unparalleled love. He speaks to her in a confident tone, inviting her to be part of his world, entertaining her with sweet compliments, and promising her an extraordinary experience. Meanwhile, veteran rapper T.I dives in with his sharp verses, adding a layer of audacity to the track while continuing the theme of seduction and attraction. All throughout, the recurrent phrase ‘my love’ cleverly switches from a term of endearment to a musical refrain that adds a catchy rhythm to this melodic love letter.
14. Better Place (Family Harmony)
The song explores the idea of experiencing powerful and transformative emotions—an exhilarating sense of love that makes the world’s rapid pace and life’s intensity not just bearable but desirable. The lyrics talk about the singer’s willingness to navigate through life’s challenges, drawn by the promise of an idyllic and loving ambiance created by his loved one. Timberlake’s lyrics aspire to reach an elevated state—a ‘better place’—where the collective euphoria of love, the loud music, the vigorous waves, and the rapid spinning of the world are felt at an intoxicating magnitude. The song beautifully captures the idea of sharing this blissful journey, symbolizing the ‘outer space’, with a person who brings joy and excitement to life. Ultimately, it’s a song that upholds the importance of shared happiness, love, and contentment amidst life’s constant rush and pulsating beat.
13. Hair Up
The lyrics are a clarion call to let loose, exemplified by the repetitive, empowering directive: “Put your hair in the air.” The song captures the exhilaration of living in the moment, of surrendering to the intoxicating, pulse-quickening rhythm of the music, and of embracing the empowering nature of individuality. “Hair Up” speaks to the exhilaration of the dance floor, the potent ‘fever’ of anticipation, and the heady thrill of your favourite song pumping through the speakers. It encourages its listeners not to just sit on the sidelines but to jump headfirst into the fray, to ‘go crazy’ and to understand that there’s no place for inhibitions in the pursuit of joy, self-expression, and most importantly, dancing your heart out. The song is a reminder that life is to be lived passionately, without restraint, and with ‘Hair Up’, Timberlake creates a powerful pop anthem that champions this spirit of unrestricted festivity.
The tune rings with nostalgia, asking listeners to cast their minds back to the 21st night of September, a date immortalized in music history. Love is the powerhouse driving force here, a mighty force transforming ‘pretenders’ and effusing a vibrancy that permeates the cloudless skies. Amid the joyous dancing and soulful singing, Timberlake imbues the melody with hope, optimism and an infectious sense of unity. The lyrics convey a poignant narrative of a love so potent it seamlessly transitions from the ember warmth of September to the frost-touched embrace of December. “September” becomes a sonic time capsule, preserving an enduring love story under its rhythm. This track isn’t just about reminiscing over a specific day; it’s about celebrating unity, love, and the timelessness of these connections. Timberlake keeps the funk and spirit of the original, but layers it with his signature pop sensibility, making it a dance extravaganza that resonates with both the young and the young-at heart.
11. Until The End Of Time (with Beyoncé)
This track’s lyrics showcase a romantic dialogue between two lovers expressing their unconditional devotion, a sentiment amplified by the fusion of Timberlake and Beyoncé’s powerful vocals. The narrative opens with Timberlake waking up to a world of turmoil, finding solace and hope in his lover amidst the chaos. This intimate confession continues with Beyoncé reciprocating his feelings, wanting to spend her time being his girl, letting him know that his love is the only thing that she needs. The underline shared sentiment in the lyrics is that their love is eternal, a safe harbor in the storm, enough to sustain them until the end of time. It’s a love anthem painting an image of unwavering commitment, imbued with heartfelt emotion woven into every word. The song further celebrates love universally by inviting all lovers to sing along, musically echoing that commitment, making us witnesses to their enduring love story.
10. Let’s Get Married
It uses marriage as a metaphor, not necessarily proposing literal matrimony, but rather a deep-seated bond. It’s a thoughtful nod to the foundations of unity and the magic of harmony. The lyrics illustrate a strong sense of camaraderie, the type you might experience with loved ones during a festive gathering. Expressing collective strength, the song is a rallying call for unity and togetherness. It dissects the feeling of being a part of something larger, together marching to the same rhythm, and the emotions when the world sees it. By weaving in references to personal growth and independence, the song embodies a youthful rebellion. The track delicately balances powerful sentiments of love and unity with a playful edge that’s characteristic of Timberlake’s voice. Overall, “Let’s Get Married” is a compelling narrative about the intimate bonds that bind us, presented through the lens of resilient communal spirit and the joy of togetherness.
9. Damn Girl (feat. will.i.am)
will.i.am)” is a rousing track by pop-phenom Justin Timberlake which channels the euphoria of infatuation and the chemistry of attraction. The lyrics elucidate the enchantment Timberlake feels about this particular girl, who seemingly outshines all others he’s encountered. Notably, beauty products like Maybelline or L’oreal aren’t needed for her – her allure is pure and intrinsic. Timberlake equates himself to Casanova, while praising the girl for her cosmic-level radiance, showcasing a potent romance steeped in impressive metaphors.
The narrative escalates as Timberlake stresses his determination to “put it down tonight” reflecting his pure attraction and commitment. Meanwhile, the vivacious refrain “Damn Girl” encapsulates his bewilderment and admiration. It’s clear this is more than a fleeting attraction – it’s an overwhelming feeling that leaves Timberlake pleading for more. Yet, the lyrics also flash a playful and flirtatious vibe, with the trope of the captivated suitor pursuing the elusive siren, adding a sprinkle of classic romantic chase in this pop anthem.
8. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)
Lyrically, the song is a heartfelt confession of remorse and a plea for forgiveness. It spins the tale of a lover who acted foolishly and left his beloved, only to realize his deep regret over the separation. The poignant narrative is illustrated by the protagonist’s desperate admission of guilt and shame, and his unwavering yearning for a chance to set things right.
The song revolves around the metaphor of a love letter that has been “signed, sealed, and delivered”, symbolizing the protagonist’s committed intent to make amends. The song also emphasizes that the beloved holds the future of their relationship in her hands, further underscoring the protagonist’s vulnerability and the depth of his remorse. The song, in essence, is a moving narrative of regret, personal revelation, and the desire for redemption, all within the realm of love which Timberlake plies with his unrivaled artistry.
7. Suit & Tie (feat. Jay-Z)
The track’s lyrics encapsulate the essence of stepping out on the town, suited up and feeling fly, ready to captivate the world. Timberlake croons about the magnetism he feels towards a stunningly clad woman while Jay-Z slips in with a slick verse recounting his own suave endeavors. The song projects an air of luxury and sophistication, drawing parallels between the grandeur of formal attire and the invigorating aura of a thrilling evening. Amidst swinging melodies and groovy beats, the lyrics weave a narrative of romantic desire and unstoppable charisma, set against the backdrop of a electrifying nightlife. With “Suit & Tie”, Timberlake and Jay-Z have indeed, in their own distinct fashion, shown us a few things about love.
6. BroZone’s Back
The lyrics capture the whirlwind emotional journey of an individual yearning for a lost love translated through vibrant imagery and metaphoric language. The mention of his significant other as ‘candy’ establishes her as not just a source of sweetness, but also a treat that brings joy and excitement.
Beyond the love angle, the song also champions the spirit of resilience as represented by the references to ‘staying alive,’ encapsulating the struggle and determination to keep going in the face of adversity. This fusion of yearning love and resilient spirit culminates in the potent final lines where the protagonist vocalizes his longing for his lost love by saying he wants her back, thereby setting the stage for a possible reunion.
“BroZone’s Back” is a definitive JT track—a blend of vivid emotions, catchy beats, and lyrical depth, encapsulating the multi-faceted nature of human emotions and experiences.
5. Say Something (feat. Chris Stapleton)
Justin Timberlake, in collaboration with Chris Stapleton, divulges the burden of expectation he carries, of always needing to say something when sometimes silence speaks louder. The song encapsulates that inner conflict – between the urge to express oneself and the fear of being caught up in the relentless rhythm of societal and media scrutiny. There’s a hint of melancholy, in the longing for something elusive, something possibly unattainable. Laced with the strains of Stapleton’s country influence, Timberlake’s “Say Something” is a commentary on the paradox of communication in our modern era, wrapped in a beautifully harmonized melody.
14. Suit & Tie
It oozes with old-school flair and 21st-century panache. The song’s narrative is all about vibrancy, allure, and the intoxicating power of music. Timberlake expresses his anticipation and exhilaration to tear up the dance floor, and his confidence is palpable. His significant other is depicted as striking and remarkable, a figure that equally commands attention. The rhythm of love and dance is celebrated, and JT is eager to share this exquisite dance of romance.
JAY-Z’s contribution to this track is a swaggering, flirtatious verse that paints a picture of lavish life and untouchable style. This verse strengthens the tone of opulence and charm. The fashion-forward lyrics and the positive portrayal of a loving, respectful relationship make for an irresistible allure. Overall, this song is a testament to Timberlake’s stylish and sophisticated world where music, love, and fashion coexist in perfect harmony.
3. CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!
Channeling infectious rhythms and invigorating beats, JT has sculpted a veritable anthem of celebration. The lyrics are imbued with a charismatic enthusiasm that taps into the shared ecstasy of moving as one with the music. With a heart full of sunshine and soul in his feet, the protagonist radiates infectious energy, inviting us all to set aside our inhibitions and get lost in the groove. This songbook staple encapsulates the electrifying allure of dance, a universal language that transcendentally binds us all, coaxing even the most reticent wallflowers to hit the floor and surrender to the rhythm. In each line, Timberlake evokes a tantalizing vision of a dance party where everyone is welcome, and the power of the beat keeps us grooving ’til dawn. No matter what’s pulling you down, this lyrically upbeat, feel-good anthem reassures you that when you dance, you are free, even if just for a spell.
2. My Love (feat. T.I.)
The song delicately treads a tightrope between love’s most blissful and torturous states. Timberlake uses poetics to serenade his lover, promising unwavering loyalty and beseeching her to be his alone. Using tender imagery of hand-holding, beach strolls, and countryside companionship, he depicts a serene picture of shared life, with the underlying condition of her acceptance of his love.
In stark contrast, T.I.’s rap interlude offers a more playful, even defiant tone, as he confidently vies for the affections of a woman tied up in an unsatisfactory relationship. His rhymes add a layer of audacity and charm, cleverly addressing the challenges and competitions in love. The song becomes a romantic battleground, pitting emotional truthfulness against bolder advances. The track compellingly navigates the complexities of love, further elevating its status as a pop classic.
1. SexyBack (feat. Timbaland)
Through an electrifying cocktail of audacious lyrics and provocative sonic vibes, he’s leading the charge in redefining what’s appealing in the pop music scene. This song is no restrained, subtle declaration—it’s a bold, defiant assertion of self-confidence, a battle cry championing his own sex appeal and calling for others to embrace theirs. The lyrics underscore a power dynamic, a seductive dance orchestrated by Timberlake himself, who assumes the role of the daring instigator inviting someone to join in the fun – be it at the back of the club or amidst the chinking glasses of the V.I.P area. The recurring affirmation “get your sexy on” serves not just as a rallying mantra, but also an invite to challenge the norms, to unabashedly embrace personal allure. It’s Timberlake, taking the driver’s seat, shaping the narrative of what’s hot and what’s not. And with all the fervor and infectious groove, it’s all but impossible not to heed his call.