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Song Stories

“Cry Me a River”

Justin Timberlake | 2002

This breakup aria marked the formation of the Timberlake-Timbaland team, and its scandalous video — in which Justin stalks an actress dressed to look like Britney Spears, with whom he had just ended a three-year relationship — made clear the inspiration for “River.” “It's a good-ass video,” Justin Timberlake told Rolling Stone. “I didn't want anyone to come off smelling like roses.” A year later, Britney wrote and recorded her response to JT — the apologetic ballad “Everytime.”

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Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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