Image via Getty; Gif by Bobby Finger.

Justin Timberlake has been on a non-stop press run talking about a song he recorded for the Trolls soundtrack, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” It’s almost like he can’t stop.

To that end, later tonight, Timberlake is doing a Facebook Live Q&A to talk about the song again... the making of the song. He’s already talked a lot about it as part of his requisite Oscars push (it’s nominated!). But what else is there to learn about “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”? It’s a happy song. It makes people dance. Justin Timberlake’s kid inspired it. It’s a No. 1 song. The best-selling song of 2016. The best song of 2016. The worst song of 2016. It has an exclamation point in its title. Here’s how much Timberlake has talked about it in the past year.


Collider, June 2016:

“Overall, you’ll feel that a lot of the music definitely has a little bit of ‘70s funk to it, so that was definitely an inspiration for ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling,’ as well. You get to see some of the animation and what they’re working on, so you get to see how big a moment is.”

Variety, July 2016:

“I kept bringing up ‘Saturday Night Fever’ with this movie. The filmmakers say they were inspired by the two sides of the ’70s, the two different worlds this movie exists in. So I said let’s make a song that sounds like it could be from the ’70s, but make it modern. Nothing was out that sort of sounded like that, and it just felt like it was perfect for the movie.”

“I’d be leaving out the whole truth if I didn’t say having him shaped what the song actually is. [Having a child] gives you a different insight. It’s like ‘The Matrix,’ man. You open a door and there’s this whole other world on the other side of it. And you look back through the door at the other world and you’re like, ‘What was I doing there?’”


People, August 2016:

“It’s been a lot of fun. Writing the music was part of the pitch for me, Anna [Kendrick] had already signed on which was exciting for me. I would’ve never written a song like ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ if it wasn’t for this movie. True story.”


Variety, September 2016:

“I think I would’ve said yes to the project regardless, but I do think that song came together the way it did because I’d had a son at that point. It’s the sort of thing where you realize, ‘Man, there’s nothing wrong with putting some good vibes in the world.’ Like, ‘Hey, you over there trying hard to act like you don’t care, that sounds exhausting.’”


Today Show, October 2016:

“I would have never written a song like ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling.’ I don’t know that it was directly inspired to be something that my son could listen to of mine, because there’s a lot of music he can’t listen to of mine, at least not yet.”


Deadline, December 2016:

“Music has always been referred to as a universal language, and it is. I felt like, why don’t we write a song about music making you feel good? It’s something pure, that you can always count on. With that scene at the end of the movie, everyone had to come together to capture that feeling. Everyone kept talking about the ‘feeling’ of it, and so I was like, ‘Well, clearly there’s something sitting right in front of us that we can’t deny.’

“It’s got such an unabashed energy to it and I remember playing it for my friends and everybody was like, ‘Put this out now.’ We just thought it would be a fun exercise for the movie. So we did two different versions: the version in the movie, and then the version we released as a record. But it wasn’t until we were about halfway through the process of writing and recording the song that we realized we had something… that it had a little carbonation to it.”


Los Angeles Times, December 2016:

“It needed to speak to the final message of the movie: Happiness – you can access it, you have it inside you. It can be a choice. So how do you do that? How do we make that feel cool? Writing about happiness … you don’t want to be too literal about it.”


People’s Choice Awards, January 2017:

“To my two favorite people in the world, my wife and my beautiful son, who may or may not be watching right now...If you are [awake], buddy — the nanny’s fired! I love you, and go to bed, and you’re the reason I wrote this song.”


Vanity Fair, February 2017:

“I normally go into the studio with nothing on my mind, and just try to stay out of the way. But on this movie, it was like no other process I’ve ever had. You had all this pretense: This is the song we have at the end of the movie, and it unites everyone. It brings the message of the film forward. Here’s the list of ideas we’re trying to accomplish, what we want to say to young people that their parents can feel really good about them sharing.”


The Hollywood Reporter, February 2017:

“I’d never have written it if it weren’t for him.”

NPR, February 2017:

“I always felt like I would have to write a song about misery and self-loathing to bring out raw emotions to ever have an opportunity to be nominated for an Oscar. It’s serendipitous, but I do feel like the world could use a little bit more of it. It’s hard to make a song that actually gets people’s asses up and makes ‘em dance.”


When you think about it like that, yes, there’s always something more to learn in life. I want to know more about “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”!

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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