After leaving fans in the dark for years, Justin Timberlake admits why he said “Bye Bye Bye” to NSYNC

Justin Timberlake arrives at the 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

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Nearly two decades later, Justin Timberlake is finally dishing on why he parted ways with the boy band that gave him his big start. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the pop-star revealed that he left NSYNC partially because the group was getting too big, but also because of creative differences.

“We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big. It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche,” he said. “And also, I was growing out of it.”

Timberlake went on to say that he and his band-mates didn’t see eye-to-eye on the direction their music should take.

“I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group,” he said without naming names. “I felt like I had other music I wanted to make, and that I needed to follow my heart.”

NSYNC released its debut album in 1996, but by 2002, Timberlake had gone solo. Technically, the band never officially broke up, as they simply announced a “temporary hiatus” at the time. However, Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone and Lance Bass have not recorded music together since. In 2007, Bass finally officially confirmed that the band was done, five years after Timberlake released his first solo album, “Justified.”

RELATED: Christopher Walken dramatically reading the lyrics to “Bye Bye Bye” was the stuff of Super Bowl ad lore

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