Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and … Shaquille O’Neal? Some Google users were recently taken aback when the search engine seemed to be of the opinion that the mountainous former NBA great was also the fifth member of NSYNC, instead of Joey Fatone.

Most of us already knew, of course, that O’Neal had a recording career going in the 1990s, while dominating the NBA. But in addition to being a rapper of “Shaq Fu” renown, he was also apparently helping croon hits such as “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” How about that?

What many of us actually did not know, and which O’Neal explained Tuesday on “The NBA on TNT,” was that while he was not actually a member of NSYNC, he did help get the band off the ground. In fact, O’Neal claimed that, while he was playing for the Magic, the Orlando-based band used his personal recording studio to lay down tracks for its first album — as did the Backstreet Boys.

Bass corroborated O’Neal’s claims, telling TMZ Sports that the Hall of Fame center “had a big hand in starting our career.” Bass told the website, “Our first place that we recorded at was his house, so all of our first demos, our first songs, were all from Shaq’s house.”

That did not stop Bass, though, from having some fun on social media with the revelation that O’Neal was helping sing “Tearin’ Up My Heart” while he was tearing up opposing defenses. Other NSYNC members joined in, with Fatone noting that Google seemed to be having all sorts of problems differentiating him from Shaq.


A post shared by Chris Kirkpatrick (@iamckirkpatrick) on

Eventually, Google told Fatone, “I Want You Back,” and restored him to his rightful place among NSYNC members. The 41-year-old expressed his gratitude to the search engine, and “This I Promise You” — the author of this post is also indebted to Google, for helping him with titles of hit songs by the band.

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