After a six-year hiatus to pursue a not-completely-horrible acting career, Justin Timberlake dusted off his microphone and picked up exactly where he left off at the end of the FutureSex/LoveSounds era — by bringing innovative yet distinctly retro-tinged R&B back to the airwaves and charts. Producer pal Timbaland might have helped a little. Together they crafted the super-slick “Suit & Tie”, which stayed true to JT’s collaborative approach by calling on the services of rap legend Jay-Z.
While the first taste of The 20/20 Experience wasn’t as immediate as some expected from such a powerhouse pairing, the soulful jam turned out to be a total grower and is still lodged in the upper echelons of pop charts around the globe. As the release date of Justin’s much-anticipated third opus nudges ever closer, we’ve combed through his past collaborations and chosen seven of the best.
7. “Love Dealer” — Esmée Denters featuring Justin Timberlake (2010)
Apart from starring in future cinema classics like The Love Guru, Britney’s ex also found time to set up his own label during his absence from the music scene. His first signing was Dutch diva Esmée Denters, who went on to experience minor success in the UK. The JT-assisted “Love Dealer” was supposed to be her US breakthrough, but failed to take off despite being an overwhelmingly enjoyable Stargate-produced groove.