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NSYNC together at their star ceremony.

Justin Timberlake & *NSYNC Bandmates Explain “It’s Gonna Be May” Pronunciation

Justin Timberlake and his *NSYNC bandmates have finally explained why it sounds like he’s saying “may” instead of “me” at the end of their hit song “It’s Gonna Be Me”.

Appearing on Sean Evans’ Hot Ones on YouTube, the guys were asked: “Fact or fiction: the hook on ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ has that ‘may’ pronunciation because Justin got a note from a producer that was ‘yeah, I need you to say it more like ‘may’, like a meaner ‘me’.”

And it turns out, it’s fact… mostly!

“I don’t remember if the specifics were ‘a meaner me’,” Justin responded. “But I sang, it’s gonna be me and he was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. It’s may. May!'”

JC Chasez then pointed out that the song was written by Max Martin, Rami Yacoub and Andreas Carlsson, three Swedish songwriters who speak English with Scandinavian accents.

“You know what’s funny, specifically to Max Martin, the parts of their English that were broken actually made them catchier songwriters because they would put words in a way that almost didn’t make sense,” Justin said. “But when you sang them, they were more memorable. And yes, it was a specific note that I got… I did it the way he requested and that’s what made the record!”

The word, sung by JT at the end of the song, has become a rather iconic meme that tends to pop up on our social media feeds just before the month of May every year.


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Most recently, JT went viral after responding to a question posted by TikTok user @umgabi which asked people to share a time they mispronounced a word which still haunts them now. He simply answered, “ummm… Me.”


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*NSYNC recently reunited on stage at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards where they presented Taylor Swift with the award for Best Pop single. A few days later, they announced they would be releasing their first new single in over 20 years. The track, titled “Better Place” was recorded for the upcoming Trolls Band Together film and will be released on September 29.

(Feature Image Credit:Kathy Hutchins/ Shutterstock.com)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.