Justin Timberlake gave a shout-out to the fan who created the "It's Gonna Be May" meme, which goes viral every time May 1 rolls around. The meme started in 2012, and is a reference to the 2000 NSYNC hit "It's Gonna Be Me." Timberlake's former bandmate Lance Bass recently said the meme actually gets "under Justin's skin."
On Saturday, Timberlake shared a post from Instagram user Kianna, in which she held up the 2012 college calendar with Timberlake's face covering the May 1 spot. "Now that it's ACTUALLY May, I have to give props where they are due. Look what you started [Kianna]," Timberlake wrote, adding a laughing emoji. The NSYNC fan re-posted Timberlake's message, adding, "Can't believe this. I'll never forget it (but dude I'm so sorry that you have to see this every year). Love you always."
Kianna also marked May 1 by reflecting on the meme's staying power. "Happy [NSYNC] Day and #ItsGonnaBeMay Day," she wrote. "I never thought one Tumblr post would turn into ALL of this, but I love that we can come together each year to celebrate the best boy band on Earth. So thankful for all of the sweet messages and posts today, and I hope [Timberlake], [Bass], [Chris Kirkpatrick], [Joey Fatone], [JC Chasez] know how much we love them."
In an interview with Us Weekly, Bass, 41, joked that the meme is the "only way to really get under Justin’s skin. That meme is so funny with his curly hair." Bass noted how NSYNC fans often come up with different twists on the meme every year. "Someone does something a little, slightly different that makes it more creative. So it’s fun," he said. "And hey, look, we have our own national holiday now."
This year, a very different take on the meme went viral. One Twitter user replaced Timberlake with his ex-girlfriend, Britney Spears. "I hate Justin Timberlake so I made this to replace the stupid 'gonna be may' meme - you’re welcome world," Twitter user @CrappyFumes wrote. The Twitter user's meme was a still from Spears' "Oops!...I Did It Again" video, adding, "Just so typically May." This is a twist on the lyric "But to lose all my senses/That is just so typically me."
After the release of Framing Britney Spears in February, Spears fans re-examined her three-year relationship with Timberlake, which ended in 2002. The film alleged Timberlake capitalized on the breakup when he launched his solo career and used a Spears lookalike in the "Cry Me a River" music video. The backlash Timberlake faced was so strong that Timberlake issued an apology to Spears and Janet Jackson on Feb. 12. (Timberlake performed with Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, in which he exposed one of Jackson's breasts. While Jackson's career was hurt by the controversy, Timberlake didn't face the same kind of impact.)
“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond,” Timberlake wrote in February. “I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism. I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed."