This Week in Music History: August 23-29

August might be coming to an end, but This Week in Music History is just heating up. This week, we’re bringing you back to boy bands, the woman to the right of Left Shark, and a duet match made in heaven.

August 25, 2001: *NSYNC Debuts “Gone”

​Our weekly musical factoid time capsule begins with a simpler time, a time when Justin Timberlake was not yet a solo artist but rather a key player in one of the most successful boy bands in history (no, not you, One Direction). Back in 2001, *NSYNC’s “Gone” debuted at No. 34 on the Mediabase Top 40 chart, later going on to become a top 10 hit on Urban and Top 40. The song’s success isn’t a surprise, really, given *NSYNC’s total dominance of pop music at the time and the fact that the music video—a dramatic black-and-white film featuring Justin Timberlake giving one lucky lady the pedicure of her dreams—gave the group’s teenaged fans all the “feels.” It’s safe to say that millions of “Gone” listeners would have eagerly mended the band’s lyrical broken hearts, but a mere three years later, the quintet disbanded, causing tears to run down faces across the nation and the world.

August 27, 2011 & 2012: Katy Perry Tops the Charts. And Then Does It Again.

This week was a lucky one for another pop artist, the one and only Katy Perry. Four years ago, Perry conquered the Top 40 with her hit “Last Friday Night” (which led to this incredible music video, featuring a house party to remember with celebrity guest Rebecca Black of “Friday” fame as well as Kenny G on the sax). But that’s not the only reason why this week is special for the pop star. Exactly one year later, Katy Perry was topping the charts yet again with her song “Wide Awake”. Fun fact: while both tracks are from Perry’s Teenage Dream days, the latter actually wasn’t included on the original album, but rather on the reissue entitled Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.

August 28, 2004: Usher & Alicia Keys Get Romantic With “My Boo”

Long before Katy Perry made waves with her confessional song “I Kissed a Girl,” an adorable duet was capturing the hearts of listeners across the U.S. A potent and powerful musical combination, Alicia Keys and Usher teamed up in 2004 to take over the airwaves and capture the hearts of listeners across the nation. Yes, prior to the term “bae” entering the common vernacular, it was all about “My Boo”. The collaboration debuted on the Urban chart at No. 32, causing us wonder what would have happened if the sweet musical match ever made an entire album together. Perhaps Jermaine Dupri, one of the co-writers of the track, can convince the two to get back together someday soon?