Over the weekend, Ariana Grande’s social media activity sparked rumors that NSYNC would somehow be involved with her Coachella set. She posted an old video of an NSYNC concert that shows her in the crowd as a child, singing along to “I Drive Myself Crazy,” tagging her mother and Justin Timberlake in the video. She also posted another video of herself singing along to “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” and additionally, TMZ reported that “Coachella sources” said some sort of Grande/NSYNC collaboration was happening. Sure enough, it happened last night.
To close out the first act of her set, Grande was joined by NSYNC (minus Timberlake) on “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” which contains elements of the group’s “It Makes Me Ill.” They then teamed for a rendition of NSYNC’s classic “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” and it was a perfect dose of 2000’s nostalgia.
Given that Timberlake wasn’t present, there was bound to be at least some controversy surrounding the performance, even though it was well-received. Timberlake had good reason for skipping out, though: He just wrapped up his Man Of The Woods tour in Connecticut on Saturday, so having him make a quick cross-country trip and be prepared for a Coachella performance is asking a lot given how busy he’s been lately. Still, there are fans who were upset that he wasn’t there, and to some of them, it wasn’t a true NSYNC reunion without JT: