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Making Moves
After decades in the spotlight, Joey Fatone is still enjoying the ride.

by Peter Proko

An international superstar entertainer, Joey Fatone is easily most recognized for his work as a member of NSYNC, the powerhouse pop group that was formed in Orlando in the mid-’90s and catapulted to become one of the most successful acts of all time, selling over 70 million records.

When the group went on hiatus in 2002, Fatone found new creative outlets on the big screen, on the silver screen, on Broadway and beyond to keep him plenty busy. More recently, he has been back in the music spotlight as he is currently on the road with AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys on a tour that makes a stop at Ovation Hall in Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort on July 19. This comes on the heels of his reunion with his NSYNC bandmates earlier this year at a Justin Timberlake concert in LA and the group’s subsequent appearance in the hit animated film Trolls Band Together.

We caught up with Fatone to find out more about what he’s up to these days and he is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.


You’ve been pretty busy of late with the recent reunion with NSYNC and now you’ve been on this tour run with AJ McLean. How have you been enjoying being back on the road and in front of fans?

It’s been addicting. AJ and I keep saying how awesome this is and how fun it is to just be us and celebrate the music and celebrate people. … I can’t wait for the next run of dates.


To see you get back together with your former bandmates recently and see that you all still have that shared bond and camaraderie, that had to be a special feeling.

Yes, it’s like no time has passed, we all got right back into it. We have all come to realize how special our run was. The people all these years later have really reacted, it’s pretty damn cool.


Do you still get the same rush from performing after all these years?

Maybe more now. I have learned to appreciate these moments more and I am in the moment, which is a rush in and of itself.


I’m curious to know which current artists you really are into. Is there anything on your playlist someone may be surprised to learn?

Teddy Swims, Scary Pockets, Lake Street Dive … musicals.


With the current state of the music industry, do you think it has changed for the better or worse when you factor in the way not only people consume music these days, but also the reality that new artists can put material out themselves, market themselves, etc.?

It seems there are no more genres or groups coming out anymore. And where’s the sing- along songs? Where are the songs with stories? It feels like there are lots of great beats and chants, but where is the lyrical content? Country music still has it, but pop, R&B and hip-hop; where are the groups?


With regard to NSYNC and its formation in Orlando, I’ve read that you already knew Chris Kirkpatrick, but did you guys know any of the other guys prior?

I knew Justin [Timberlake] and JC [Chasez] from The Mickey Mouse Club and I met Chris while working at Universal.


Having only moved to Orlando a few years prior and then finding yourself in this new group, was that a bit daunting at all or did you think you were ready for the moment?

I was pumped. I was graduating from high school and working at Universal. I was just happy and being in this group was just a part of it. I have been in other groups, but this felt different.

We rehearsed the same four songs for over a year so we were ready.

We actually thought about quitting a few times. Then a call from Germany came. We went over and we rehearsed the same four songs, so we were prepared and we blew them away. That was the start.


Your father also spent time as part of a singing group. Did he have any good advice for you as you embarked on that new journey?

He did, but very soon the things we were doing were beyond any of our wildest dreams. I think he loved watching it all unfold.


In those wildest dreams, could you guys have ever envisioned your careers blowing up the way that they did? I mean, at what point did you realize that you went from being in a group to not being able to go outside without creating a mob scene?

What’s odd is in Germany we couldn’t go anywhere, but in the States no one cared. It wasn’t until the Disney concert special [in 1998] that the States went crazy. Looking back on it, it was wild.


Outside of music, of all the opportunities that have followed from acting, hosting, podcasting, etc.—do you gravitate toward one more than the others?

Honestly, the music thing has been the most rewarding. To invent and produce a show that started as “Joey Fatone and Friends,” then AFTR PRTY with [Boyz II Men’s] Wanya Morris, AJ McLean and Nick Carter [of the Backstreet Boys], to now “A Legendary Night” with AJ, it’s really been cool because I missed the music. I didn’t want to do an album or anything crazy, I just wanted to perform and make people happy, and that’s really been my drive the last few years.


In the rare times when you don’t have a lot going on at once, how do you like to unwind? Any particular hobbies or passions?

I love vacations … I love hanging out. I go on some kind of trip every few months and do nothing but just hang out.


So, you are on this tour through the end of the summer, but what comes next? Anything on the horizon you can share with us?

We announced dates through August and I’m working on a few things. Maybe return to Broadway, maybe do a film.


You’re also a father to two daughters. How challenging is it to raise children when you’re living your life in the public eye?

They are used to it. I keep life pretty simple and they are enjoying some of the benefits. The crazy thing is they are nine years apart, so it’s challenging in some areas. My oldest is 23, she is independent. My 14-year-old still needs rides to school, to after-school events and other things.

People come up and ask, “Are you Joey Fatone?” I’m like, “Yes, I am!” They are surprised I do the normal things like other parents do.


Now that they are getting a bit older, how has your relationship with them grown?

My oldest and I really have some deep conversations about life. My youngest is enjoying her own life and both of them have no desire to be in entertainment. They both are turning into young ladies. It’s crazy to think I’m their dad [laughs].


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Published and copyrighted in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 21, Issue 3 (June 2024)

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