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Cry Me a River” is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Justin Timberlake for his debut studio album, Justified (2002). It was written by Timberlake and Scott Storch with producer Timbaland and was inspired by Timberlake’s former relationship with singer Britney SpearsJive Records released the song to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio in the United States on November 25, 2002, as the album’s second single. Accompanied by an electric pianobeatbox, guitars, synthesizersArabian-inspired riffs and Gregorian chants, “Cry Me a River” is an R&B song about a brokenhearted man who moves on from his last girlfriend, who had cheated on him with another man.

“Cry Me a River” received acclaim from music critics, who considered it a stand-out track on Justified and praised Timbaland’s production. The song earned several lists of best of the year and the decade (2000s), while Rolling Stone included it on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at 484. It won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 2004 ceremony. The song peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Pop Songs charts and charted in the top ten in other countries. It was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique (SNEP).

Filmmaker Francis Lawrence directed the music video for “Cry Me a River” in Malibu, California. In the controversial video, Timberlake’s character invades the home of his ex-lover and films himself having sexual relations with another woman. Spears alleged that the video was a publicity stunt, but Timberlake maintained that she did not inspire the production. The clip won the awards for Best Male Video and Best Pop Video at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Timberlake performed “Cry Me a River” on his four major concert tours: The Justified World Tour (2003–04), Justified/Stripped Tour (2003), FutureSex/LoveShow (2007), and The 20/20 Experience World Tour (2013–15). The song has been covered by various recording artists, including Leona Lewis and Taylor Swift.

 

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