There are few people in modern music history who’ve taken a path so unusual and unique to them, it one day became standard expression. Visual albums and surprise releases are Beyoncé’s bag, “pulling a Kanye” could have you interrupting someone at an important moment with an even more important thing to say—but being Justin Timberlake means leaving the band (in his particular case, of the boy band variety) to launch an super successful solo career and eventually an entrepreneurial one, to become a music mogul and eclipse the project that brought you so much fame and fortune in the first place. In many ways, Justin Timberlake is a cultural movement more than he is a musician, it just so happens that he’s fucking amazing at the sonic arts, too.
From his tenure as heartthrob you loved in ‘N Sync nearly two decades ago to his solo songs, hit-making features and an illustrious collaborative career with Timbaland, JT went from pop prince to R&B, hip-hop-tinged superstar. And he continues to evolve, as evidenced in some of his more recent material—yes, 2016’s chart topper “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is on this list because, well, we can’t stop the feeling. Not sorry.
There’s no telling when JT will step back into the booth and give us another full-length (JT, if you’re reading this, please deliver) but that’s alright considering the incredible discography we have to visit and revisit at whim. But there’s a lot to parse through, and you probably don’t have the time. Luckily enough, we do! Here are the 28 best Justin Timberlake songs as picked by Complex. We hope that this will at the very least, prepare you ready for that inevitable Super Bowl performance.