Is Justin Timberlake About to Release a New Album? Sources Say Yes

UPDATED: A late-night tweet by the singer-actor on Wednesday hinted at something big transpiring 24 hours later.
Terry Richardson

Is Justin Timberlake about to release a new album?

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that a cryptic tweet posted by the singer-actor late Wednesday night -- which simply read: “Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST...” -- signifies the announcement and possibly instant arrival of new music.

And not just a song but a full album produced by longtime collaborator Timbaland. Timberlake, who some might call the original Justin, is believed to have around 20 new tracks recorded.

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Timberlake’s last studio effort, the enduring FutureSex/LoveSounds, came out in 2006. It has been certified four-times platinum, marking domestic sales of more than 4 million units.

Although Timberlake has focused much of his energy in recent years on movies (he next appears in the Coen brothers' highly anticipated Inside Llewyn Davis) and tech (he's a key principal in the new MySpace), an insider says the former NSync star has been quietly and methodically preparing to release an album with almost no warning.

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To wit: the 9 p.m. tweet that hinted at something transpiring exactly 24 hours later. Within an hour, Justin Timberlake was the top trending topic on Twitter.

Curiously, around the time of his tweet, news broke that Britney Spears, Timberlake’s former girlfriend, was leaving The X Factor.

Timberlake's rep could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE: Timberlake made good on his promise, updating his Twitter account right on time with a post that read, "To whom it may concern...I think I'M READY!" The tweet linked to a video on Timberlake's Tumblr account, showing the singer walking into a recording studio. "I've only done two albums in 10 years, that's the way I really look at it. What does the next decade mean for me?" he says. "I'm the one who sits and is obsessive about it before you even get to hear it. As close as I get to it, I don't know that I could physically torture myself that much year-in and year-out and expect it to fulfill me the way that it does and the way that it is right now. I don't want to put anything out that I feel like is something I don't love. You just don't get that every day. You have to wait for it."

At the video's conclusion, Timberlake steps into the recording booth and says "I'm ready." A countdown clock then begins ticking down to Monday morning. Presumably, fans can expect to hear a new track -- or possibly a new album -- at that time.

Twitter: @shirleyhalperin