Lizzo Shares Sweet Story of When She Really Met Justin Timberlake for the First Time

Lizzo’s explosive year has been the culmination of so much hard work and talent. Now the performer is reaping the rewards and getting much-deserved recognition for her influence on the music industry. 

Now that she is squarely in the spotlight and quickly becoming a household name, we can look back at her rise to fame and find some sweet gems that foreshadowed the star she would become. One of those is an adorable story of her first time meeting Justin Timberlake.

Lizzo is quickly rising in the music industry 

Lizzo has an eclectic musical background that started when she was very young. Born as Melissa Jefferson in Detroit, Lizzo moved to Houston when she was nine. She grew up with a steady rotation of gospel music, flute lessons, and marching band performances. By 14, she was rapping and had started the Cornrow Clique with her friends. 

She was on the path to a career in classical music and entered the University of Houston to continue formalized instruction on the flute. But her father died when she was only 20, and the loss impacted her greatly. She decided to move to Minneapolis in 2011 for a fresh start, and she became part of the music scene there. 

By 2013, she was ready to debut her first album. Lizzobangers was a critical success. Her music became a mix of her gospel vocal training, classical music performance, gritty realism, occasionally irreverent humor, and unflinching body positivity. Fans flocked to her unique blend of incredible and well-trained talent with a message of self-love and fun that resonated deeply. 

Her ability to toss off criticism with ease further solidified her iconic status, and today Lizzo is one of the hottest stars of the music world. 

Lizzo in a long, floor length jeweled dress, holding a microphone and singing
Lizzo | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Lizzo “met” Justin Timberlake while she was in high school 

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Back in 2004, Justin Timberlake was at the top of his musical prowess. He was in Houston preparing for one of the biggest performances of his life: the Super Bowl halftime show. This particular show would include the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” where Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast for the world to see. 

At the moment of Lizzo’s meeting, Timberlake was performing a run-through before the big event itself. Lizzo, then a Houston high schooler, was there along with her classmates who had been invited to watch the practice show. Never one to miss her opportunity, Lizzo shouted out “I love you” to Timberlake. 

Timberlake turned and waved to the starstruck teen in the audience. No one could have predicted that their paths would later cross again — this time as professionals collaborating on a song. 

Justin Timberlake and Lizzo collaborated on a project 

Back in August 2019, Timberlake shared a video clip of himself and Lizzo in a studio. Fans of both artists were quickly abuzz with the potential of a collaboration between the two. In October, Timberlake confirmed that they had created a song together. The match was a direct result of Timberlake reaching out to his team and asking for opportunities to expand his musical repertoire; “To be honest, I just called my publishers and I said, ‘You know, I just want to work with young, fresh people and I want to collaborate more.”

It doesn’t get much fresher than Lizzo, so it looks like Timberlake got his wish! On top of that, Timberlake promised fans they wouldn’t be disappointed by the finished product when we finally get a chance to hear it. “It’s flames. It’s so good,” the musician explained.