Now, this is a test. When you see “JT,” what performer comes immediately to mind for you? Because there are two JTs.
One JT is a singer/songwriter, a five-time Grammy Award winner.
The other is also a singer/songwriter/actor and a six-time Grammy winner with four Emmy awards to boot.
One JT rose to fame well before the other was even a twinkle in his dad’s eye.
JT, Sr. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the start of the decade in which JT, Jr. would see the birth of his solo music career.
Both JTs are incredibly talented, legendary musicians. Both have made significant contributions to the music industry. One can draw an audience in with little more than a guitar and a microphone; the other provides a complete entertainment experience with an amazing production and mesmerizing dance moves. One has talent that spans the decades. The other will most definitely have the same staying power.
These two JTs are from different genres, different generations, and yet, they really share more in common than just their initials. I am, of course, talking about the legendary James Taylor and modern-day legend, Justin Timberlake.
I will admit that when I hear someone refer to JT, my heart and mind go directly to James Taylor. I grew up listening to his soulful, smooth voice. Fire and Rain, Up on the Roof, Shower the People, How Sweet It Is…those songs and so many more are now and forever a part of American music culture. They are beautiful, heartfelt songs that just pull you in and embrace you in a gentle hug. I’ve been to a few JT, Sr. concerts and it’s a relaxing, settle-in, let your cares melt away for a couple of hours experience. When you leave a JT, Sr. concert you do feel “you’ve got a friend.”
I did not get to go to JT, Jr.’s concert, but many of my friends did and Facebook was alive and “plinking” with accolades and start-struck exclamations throughout the evening. Thank you to all for sharing a bit of the action with those of us stuck at home. By all reports it was not just a concert, but a multi-sensory experience that the lucky members of the sold-out audience will not soon forget.
Trust me, if someone had called yesterday offering me an extra ticket to see Mr. Timberlake, I would have been there in a flash, singing along, dancing in my allotted one square foot of space at his concert. But I won’t call him JT. I can’t.
Now I know some of you are calling me an old fart. But this is really not about the fact that the echo from the other side of the generation gap is growing a bit louder every year. This is about loyalty, memories, and that mellifluous voice that belongs to the original JT.
So when you hear someone refer to JT, you may spell it out J-U-S-T-I-N T-I-M-B-E-R-L-A-K-E. But for me? Well, call me old-school if you must—but for me, there is only one man who can wear the nickname, JT. My Sweet Baby James.