The group got their name after Timberlake's mother commented on how "in sync" their voices were. The group's name was also a play on the last letter of each member's first names: JustiN, ChriS, JoeY, LansteN, and JC. The band later nicknamed Bass "Lansten" so as not to throw off the last-letter theme of their name. From there, Pearlman set the five boys up in a house in Orlando, where they rehearsed constantly, learning dance routines and vocal parts, and working on promotion for their first public performance at Pleasure Island on October 22, 1995. Pearlman hired Johnny Wright, manager of the Backstreet Boys, to manage the group. *NSYNC sent him a two-song demo-tape including "I'll Be Back for More" and "We Can Work It Out", which impressed him. The group performed for him and a group of BMG executives. Although the record company had some concerns with the band's name and Bass's dancing abilities, they agreed to sign the group to BMG Ariola Munich with Wright as their manager.
After being signed to BMG Ariola Munich, the group was sent to Sweden to begin working on their debut album with the help of producers such as Denniz Pop, Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson. The album's official lead single, "I Want You Back", was released in Germany on October 7, 1996, and entered the top 10 in Germany on November 18, 1996. With a record deal finally secured, the boys began touring first in German-speaking countries and later in other European territories. Their self-titled debut album was initially released by BMG Ariola Munich on May 26, 1997, in Germany, and peaked at number one in the second week after its release,. The group soon became an overnight success throughout much of Europe. The album also charted successfully in both Switzerland and Austria eventually selling 820,000 units in GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) region and Eastern Europe. The group released its second and the third singles, "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Here We Go", both of which managed to reach the top-10 in numerous countries in Europe.NSYNC captured the attention of Vincent DeGiorgio, an A&R rep for RCA Records. After seeing the group perform in Budapest, he eventually signed them to RCA in 1998. The American label had the group record some new tracks to adjust their album for the U.S. market.
The group was featured on an episode of Seth Green's stop-motion sketch comedy show Robot Chicken in 2005, but only Lance Bass and Joey Fatone voiced their own characters in the episode. Justin Timberlake was voiced by Breckin Meyer.
Lance Bass told People magazine that "We're definitely itching to do some music," but the only thing that's really stopping a reunion is that "It's gonna be hard to get Justin to calm down and get off tour, he's a workaholic". But that statement has also been looked at with doubt because Timberlake has not released an album since 2006 and his last tour ended in 2007. Timberlake has since then turned his attention to film and has produced a successful acting career. Joey Fatone has been featured as a host for reality game show The Singing Bee that aired on NBC and is announcer on Family Feud with Steve Harvey. Lance Bass has done some producing jobs and small film cameos.