Justin Timberlake
Credit: Tim Roney/Getty

There have been rumors swirling for years—actually, decades—about why Justin Timberlake decided to leave his super successful group *NSYNC at the height of their success, and now the singer is finally setting the record straight.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Grammy-winning and now Oscar-nominated star revealed that it was really all about the music. "We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big," Timberlake shares. "It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche. And, also, I was growing out of it. I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group. And I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart."

*NSYNC, which never officially broke up, announced an indefinite hiatus in 2002 and haven't appeared together professionally since.

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With his boyband days long behind him, what's next for the star? Not even he's sure.

"I want to do both things," the 36-year-old says of making music and acting. "I really do idolize the golden era of Hollywood, when actors were required to sing and move. But I'm just following my gut in the decisions that I make about what I'm going to do next. I'm mostly just glad this is all working out because I really can't do anything else. I'm not gifted at anything else."

However, the one thing he's certain of is that he plans make wife Jessica Biel and their 1-year-old son Silas his top priority. "At first, it broke me down," he admits about being a new dad. "Those first eight months felt like those old [Ed Sullivan] shows where people are balancing spinning plates on poles—except if you drop one, they die." He's also still deciding if he wants his child to follow in his footsteps. "You know, I haven't been able to answer that question in my mind. If he wanted it bad enough, I suppose I could teach him a lot about what not to do."

We have our fingers crossed for a chart-topping new album.