Justin Timberlake is warning the audience to make no sound before singing ‘Cry Me A River’ after an expose on the song written by Britney Spears in her memoir, ‘The Woman In Me.’
At the opening of the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, while performing in front of a huge crowd, the 42-year-old pop star took a second to throw in a warning to not cause any drama before he began singing his hit single, ‘Cry Me A River.’ “No disrespect,” said the singer to the crowd, which included his wife Jessica Biel, 41 — as he launched into the track, which was slammed by his ex Britney Spears in her bombshell memoir The Woman in Me.
The second single released off his debut album Justified, ‘Cry Me A River,’ includes lyrics that imply infidelity, and an accompanying music video released the same year features a woman bearing a striking resemblance to Spears. In relation to the song, Spears wrote in her memoir, “I felt there was no way at the time to tell my side of the story,” adding, “I couldn’t explain, because I knew no one would take my side once Justin had convinced the world of his version. I don’t think Justin realized the power he had in shaming me. I don’t think he understands to this day.”
Spears and Timberlake dated for several years before splitting in March 2002, and in his 2018 book Hindsight, Timberlake wrote that his “strong” feelings at the time pushed him to write the song in two hours. He wrote at the time, “I’ve been scorned. I’ve been pissed off. That feeling inspired me to write ‘Cry Me a River.'”
In February of 2021, Timberlake publically apologized to Spears in an Instagram post for treating her the way he did after fan backlash. He wrote, “I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others … I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed.” This comes after the release of Framing Britney Spears, an unauthorized New York Times documentary that included, in part, a section exploring his former relationship with Spears and the fall-out from Timberlake and Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl set.
At the invite-only opening, Timberlake sang several hit songs of his career, which include “SexyBack,” “Like I Love You,” “Suit and Tie,” and more. He ended the concert with his infamous song ‘Mirrors,’ which he says was inspired by Biel, who was spotted dancing and singing to ‘Cry Me A River’ at the concert.
After the concert, Timberlake joined the other celebrities, including Tom Brady and Cher, to roll the first dice as the property opened its doors to the public at midnight.