Rather, Oct. 1 is the day—back in 1995, when he was 16—that Bass met JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Justin Timberlake in Orlando, Fla., and was accepted into their fledgling boy band right away. As 'N Sync, the five lads would embark on one hell of a ride that resulted in not only global fame, fortune, eight Grammy nominations, millions of records sold and, ICYMI, an iconic reunion at the 2023 MTV VMAs. Not to mention, they changed the course of pop culture history forever.
And their pop pantheon status was achieved in just a few short years—though, obviously, it feels as if 'N Sync has always been a part of the fabric of our lives.
"It changed my life," Bass told EW.com in 2015, recalling the fateful day he got the call from Timberlake (who got Bass' name from his voice coach). In 21 days he went from putting the finishing touches on the homecoming float at his Mississippi high school to performing at Disney World's Pleasure Island, 'N Sync's first real gig, on Oct. 22, 1995.
Not that global superstardom happened overnight.
"Every record exec out there turned us down," Bass recalled on ABC News' 20/20. "They were like, 'Nothing like this would ever work in America. This is way too cheesy.'"
So, he told EW, "We were a German band the first two years for our career and immediately in Germany we were an overnight sensation. It was crazy because we would have thousands of fans chasing us down the street and we'd be on the cover of every magazine, but we would come back home to America and no one knew who we were at all."
Eventually, he knew they'd made it when they performed on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which was all the rage at the turn of the century. Never mind that 'N Sync had already performed at the Super Bowl by then, but... the heart wants what it wants. "I was obsessed with her show, it was my favorite show," Bass explained. "Finally, she invited us on and I was like, 'We've made it.'"
But you could drive yourself crazy thinking too much about what 'N Sync did and when, and how it all came about, so we've done the heavy lifting for you, no strings attached.
Just sit back and enjoy these 25 facts about your favorite boy band:
Though 'N Sync stopped making music together, the image of them never went away, their six years in existence and three-year reign as princes of pop leaving an indelible mark.
Cue the excitement when four of them backed up Ariana Grande at Coachella in 2019 ("You guys killed it last night," the absent Timberlake wrote on Instagram), or check out the response to four members of the Seattle Seahawks—burly grown men—celebrating a touchdown by doing the "Bye Bye Bye" dance on the sideline.
"I'm not doing well pivoting from this to this," she said, gesturing from the band to her award. "I had your dolls. Are you doing something? What's going to happen now?"
It's tearin' up our heart trying to figure that one out...
This story was originally published on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4 a.m. PT.