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Pharrell Helped Justin ‘Break Out of Boy Band Land’

Johnny Nunez, WireImage

Musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams has collaborated with many great artists in his day. But probably one of his most successful partnerships came in the form of Williams’ work on ‘Justified’ — Justin Timberlake‘s debut solo album. Prior to the CD’s release, J-Tims was primarily seen as just another boy bander. But as Pharrell tells Huffington Post’s Black Voices, he saw more.

“Well Justin knew he wanted to break out of boy band land,” Pharrell shares. “And at the time [prior to 'Justified'] he wasn’t really talking about going solo at all. We used to talk all the time and I used to tell him, ‘Listen man, you gotta break out of this skin.’”

Since Pharrell and JT had grown close during their work on *NSYNC’s ‘Celebrity’ album, the producer felt confident Justin was ready to take his talents to the next level. “I know your personality now and there’s so much more to who you are and what you’re into,” Pharrell remembers telling Timberlake at the time. “‘Cause [Justin's] taste in music was so expansive, but you would get that from the way he dressed at the time because he was in a mold.”

Of course Pharrell was right, with Justin’s CD selling thousands of copies. Watch the super-producer reminisce about the recording of ‘Justified,’ along with details of the unexpected call he received from Michael Jackson during the process below. Memories like this are all we have to hold onto until Justin finally decides to record a new CD.

Watch ‘Steve Stoute’s ‘The Tanning Of America’ With Pharrell Williams”

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Watch ‘Justin Timberlake Tries To Rap On FreeSol Track’

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