By: Rachel Taylor
When it comes to Justin Timberlake, it’s always likely that the shrieking 13-year-old *NSYNC fan in me will emerge. A fair warning to all those who will be watching the VMAs near me or my fellow JT devotees: stock up on earplugs now, because we just got another reason to scream.
Justin Timberlake is performing at the VMAs and receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Read it again. JT, VMAs, 8/25. Here’s why we know our love of the singer is Justified.
+ He stands up for what he believes in.
When JT makes up his mind, he’s persistent. He’s long been a champion of same-sex rights, and has never been shy to discuss that. When New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011, Justin said, “I’m proud that New York has balls to stand up for what’s right,” and, “We should be using our differences to bring ourselves closer together.” When Obama spoke out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012, Timberlake Tweeted, “@barackobama inspires me once again. True leadership is when you are willing to risk your power and voice so that ALL of ours can be heard.” JT also supports Trayvon Martin. During one of the Jay Z + JT New York City concerts, Hov dedicated “Forever Young” to the fallen teen, and Justin yelled, “One more time for Trayvon, New York!” He looks good in a “Suit & Tie,” and what he’s saying sounds good, too.
+ He’s all for empowerment.
In 2013, Justin presented the Grammys’ first-ever Music Educator Award. The honor was presented to "to recognize music educators for their contributions to our musical landscape and their positive influence on their students' musical experiences." It was appropriate for Justin to present the award, given his dedication to the cause. In 2008 he donated $200,000 to music education in Memphis through his Justin Timberlake Foundation. JT also headlined the launch of the United Nations Foundation’s mPowering Action Mobile Platform. The 2013 event celebrated the UN’s global awareness app, which allows users to share stories and follow worldwide issues, and receive music, sports and entertainment content in return. If “What Goes Around” comes around, JT’s got a lot of good on its way.
+ He’s the gift that keeps on giving.
JT gives back so much, he could be wrapped in a box himself (…you know exactly what I mean). In 2012, he and she who shall not be named participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon. Mr. and Mrs. Timberlake joined other stars in helping to raise $81 million and spread awareness that a child is diagnosed with cancer every 3½ minutes. JT also raised autism awareness by contributing a picture and quote to Kate Winslet’s book "The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism." And as if that weren’t enough, he golfs … for good! Justin opened his very own environmentally friendly course, called Mirimichi, and it landed him a spot on our list of 10 Sexy Environmentalists.
Sigh. Still married, JT? Guess we’ll just have to catch him on the VMA stage!
The 2013 Video Music Awards air August 25 on MTV and VMA.MTV.com, live from the Brooklyn Barclays Center. No sleep til Brooklyn!