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I’m so excited about Justin Timberlake’s HBO special airing tonight at 9 p.m.

Now that he’s won Grammys, opened restaurants (Southern Hospitality and Destino’s), launched fashion line William Rast, made everyone laugh nonstop with his Saturday Night Live parody D*** In A Box and starred in a slew of big screen hits like Shrek the Third, Black Snake Moan and Alpha Dog, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time when the 26-year-old superstar wasn’t a household name.

The first time I met Justin was at the album release party for his first solo album Justified, circa 2002. Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was also releasing an album at the same time, and, really, it was anybody’s game as to who would win on the charts. He was greeting partygoers, and he was so tall (and it was so loud) he knelt down so that I could speak to him in his ear. “I used to watch you on The Mickey Mouse Club,” I told him. “I’m so proud of you.” Sentimental Justin looked down and tapped his heart, gesturing that meant a lot to him. All these years, I thought ‘wow!’ How funny when we went to see him in concert earlier this year that he pulled the same move at the end of the show. He’s a charmer.

Maybe he’ll do his signature move in the HBO special?

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