Study Guide

Cry Me a River Introduction

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Cry Me a River Introduction

In a Nutshell

You know what they say about young love? It's all fun and games until someone gets cheated on. After that, it's just "Cry Me a River" on repeat.

Thanks, JT.

Back in 2002, they started issuing euros in France. There was a huge scandal surrounding a company called Enron. George Bush decided to not leave any children behind and created the Department of Homeland Security. The UN held a world summit on sustainable development. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Queen Mother died.

The most important story of the year, though?

In commemoration of all that and more, Justin Timberlake wrote a song about his epically awful breakup with fellow pop superstar Britney Spears. Obviously.

And while we may have left No Child Left Behind...behind, "Cry me a river" is a phrase that we still grab out of our language catalog.

About the Song

ArtistTimberlake, Justin
Writer(s)Justin Timberlake, Tim Mosley, Scott Storch
Producer(s)Timbaland, Scott Storch
Musician(s)Justin Timberlake (vocals), Timbaland and Scott Storch (backup vocals); Bill Pettaway, Bernard Kenny (guitar); Charles Veal, Southwest Chamber Orchestra (strings), Damen Bennett (flute), Scott Storch (clavinet), Omar Edwards (keyboard), George "Spanky" McCurdy (drums), Vidal Davis (percussion)
Learn to playGuitar

Music Video

Influences on Timberlake, Justin

Michael Jackson
Janet Jackson
George Michael
Elton John
Marvin Gaye

Influenced by Timberlake, Justin

Justin Bieber
Blake Lewis
Maroon Five

Cry Me a River Resources


Jen Jones, Justin Timberlake (2010)
We have yet to see a serious, official biography of Timberlake on the market, but there's still time. 


Justified (2002)
This was JT's debut solo album, and it gave him two hit singles that nonetheless fell short of #1 hits. Still, it's a solid pop album that marked his true transition from child star to adult superstar.

FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)
Questionable as the album title might be, "Sexyback" really did make a lot of people feel like sexy was coming back, imminently, in the form of Justin Timberlake.


Justin Timberlake Slideshow
From child star to adult superstar, see Justin's hair get better and better.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears
This was one extremely well-documented relationship.

Justin and Britney in the Mickey Mouse Club
These two really did grow up together.

Justin Timberlake Grown-Up
Still handsome, but with less frosted hair.

Movies & TV

Trolls (2016)
Timberlake did the voice-acting and soundtrack production for this animated film.

Friends with Benefits (2011)
Justin Timberlake starred alongside Mila Kunis in this film, during a time when JT had put his music career on hold.

Bad Teacher (2011)
Timberlake co-stars along with ex-girlfriend Cameron Diaz and bromance superman Jason Segel. JT plays a hot rich guy—yeah, a real stretch for viewers—but he somehow made it believable.


Justin Timberlake's Official Site
Timberlake has managed to successfully shift his career from hot pop singer to movie actor, and the world seems to be buying it. Keep up with his many pursuits here.

NSYNC's Official Site
Never forget the late '90s. Never forget.

Video & Audio

“Cry Me a River” Music Video
It was a controversial moment in Timberlake's history, but it was also a formative moment in his rise to pop dominance.

Justin Timberlake on SNL
Some male divas have no sense of humor. Justin Timberlake is not one of those.

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