Ahead of the ceremony, Variety caught up with Chris Kirkpatrick to look back at the groups’s famous music videos, hair hi-jinx and having found a permanent place in Hollywood alongside group members Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez and Joey Fatone.
Where does a Hollywood Walk of Fame star rate among *NSYNC’s many accomplishments?
Chris Kirkpatrick: This is one of those pinnacles. Like the first time we did “The Tonight Show” or “Saturday Night Live.” This is a star on the Walk of Fame. It’s iconic. It’s one of those things you can’t even fathom. When we were told, I was in awe. When I see the star, it’s going to be over the top.
Since *NSYNC found success pretty much overnight, what did that mean as far as musical challenges for the group?
We’d spent a lot of time writing in the studio and also listening to songs. We got pitched a lot of songs … and we recorded a lot more music than [what came out]. As fast paced as everything was, it was hard for us — because here we were working 23-hour days, there was not a lot of sleeping going on, and it showed.
What about learning the choreography for music videos, which really drove an album for the better part of a year…
It’s funny nowadays [to think] of how big of a deal videos were back then. That’s how you got tons of promotion. But choreography to me was pretty tough. On the tour, the dancing was completely different, so it was like we’d have one song with 10 different choreographed versions.
Speaking of touring, MTV documented the PopOdyssey outing in a series called “Making the Tour.” It was the first time the network had done anything like that. And it’s great that people can still watch it on YouTube…
It shows how much we were hands on with everything we did. Touring was huge to us. Our fans were like friends. Kids waited months and months for us to play their city, so you have to make it special for that person. That person who’s way in the back that spent all the money they had just to come to this show so they could sit way in the back.
In 2013, *NSYNC reunited at the VMAs. Was it everything you wanted it to be?
It was everything for Justin because he was the one getting the [Michael Jackson Video Vanguard] Award. And it was great for me because my wife got to go, and experience the insanity and how crazy it was. It was funny how we had to keep it quiet even though Joey’s really bad at keeping a secret. We land, and there’s paparazzi, like, “What are all five of the guys doing in New York at the same time around the time that the MTV awards are going on and Justin’s doing this show?” But it was fun being back in the room and performing, and the rehearsals and stuff together — all making fun of each other like back in the day.
With the star dedication, renewed talk of a reunion is inevitable. Is it pretty much Justin’s call at this point?
I don’t think it’s up to any one of us. Justin’s obviously touring; All of us always have something going on, and there’s always somebody busy, and we can’t sit there and go, “Hey, you know what? Tomorrow let’s all do this.” When it’ll happen, it’ll happen.