Get In The Holiday Spirit With 'N Sync

Holiday wishes in this week's Forgotten Videos
  • 'N Sync in "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"
December 21, 2011 -- 2:33 pm PST
GRAMMY.com

Welcome to Forgotten Videos. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or vice-versa. … We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.

'N Sync
"Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"
1998

In the mid-'90s music fans across the United States were reeling from the latest teen pop explosion. Five sharp-dressed young men from Orlando, Fla., stole the hearts of young girls across the nation when they released their 1996 self-titled debut, Backstreet Boys, featuring hits that these young girls, now adults, likely still remember all the words to such as "I'll Never Break Your Heart" and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." But the teen pop competition got even hotter when five more sharp-dressed young men from Orlando burst onto the scene in the form of 'N Sync.

Formed in 1996, 'N Sync featured JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake, both of whom were previous stars on "The Mickey Mouse Club" (along with future teen pop sensations Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears), and Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. The quintet's note-perfect harmonies were debuted on their 1998 self-titled release, which shot to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified multi-platinum, and featured two Top 20 hits with the sweet "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You" and "I Want You Back," the latter co-written by four-time GRAMMY nominee Max Martin. The album laid the perfect groundwork for what the guys decided to do next: record a holiday album.

Home For Christmas was released just eight months following their debut album and proved a second helping of success for the pop newcomers. The album charted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum on the strength of "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays," which was co-written by Chasez and Timberlake and peaked at No. 37 on Billboard's Pop Songs chart. Also included were takes on holiday standards such as "The Christmas Song," "The First Noel" and "O Holy Night," the latter of which highlights the five-part harmonies of the group. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" is arguably one of the more joyful, feel-good tunes on the album as the group describes the holidays as "the best time of year for the family," filled with "love in the room from the floor to the ceiling." And with cameos by all five 'N Sync members, Santa Claus and late actor Gary Coleman, the video for the song is about as spirited as it gets.

The video opens with Coleman attempting to wake Santa. When he finds he's unsuccessful, he's afraid Christmas will be canceled. Enter 'N Sync. The group comes together to show what the holiday spirit is really about: giving back. The members are shown feeding families, playing with children, flying over the city in Santa's sleigh, and raising the roof during dance breaks in between all of the giving back. With lead vocal spotlights for Chasez and Timberlake, and as the rest of the group bring it together to lay down some beats at about 3:30 into the song, one can't help but dance to the holiday spirit.

'N Sync went on to release two more albums, 2000's No Strings Attached and 2001's Celebrity, both of which topped the Billboard 200, spawned a combined seven Top 20 hits and were certified multi-platinum. They earned eight GRAMMY nominations throughout their career, including Record Of The Year for "Bye Bye Bye" and Best Pop Vocal Album for No Strings Attached in 2000.

Following their final televised performance at the 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2003, the group went on what eventually became an indefinite hiatus. Bass became a certified cosmonaut; Chasez pursued a solo career and released Schizophrenic in 2004; Fatone and Kirkpatrick went on to acting careers; and Timberlake went on to pursue a solo career in music and entertainment, and has won six GRAMMY Awards and starred in films such as The Social Network.

As the new year is quickly approaching, 2012 will mark nearly a decade of 'N Sync's inactivity. Could we be in store for a boy-band reunion? Maybe you should include that on your list to Santa, and check it twice.

What gets you in the holiday spirit? Got any Forgotten Video recommendations? Leave us a comment.

Last week's Forgotten Video. Click on the "Forgotten Videos" tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

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