"It started as a joke, really, I don't know, several years ago," said Jackson. "I don't know about the other music so much, but my kids were talking about that Justin Timberlake had this 'bringing sexy back' song and they were just laughing and talking about it. And I hadn't even heard it and they were just laughing, and I said, 'Well, I think I'm going to write one about [how] I'm going to bring country back.' "
Much like many of Jackson's finest moments as a songwriter, new song "Back" reflects the country legend's memories of home and family.
"I didn't write it from a position that I'm going to bring country back," Jackson told Bannen. "I think it was just more of a fun song and I ended up taking all these memories, visual memories of things that I remember growing up in the South in a small town, which is so relatable to country music."
It's not that weird of a connection, when you get past lumping the title "SexyBack" in with Jackson's 16th studio album. Timberlake's become a purveyor and preserver of Tennessee's rich musical history, and he came of age hearing '90s country stars.
In fact, little Justin dressed up in cowboy garb and sang "Love's Got a Hold On You" on Star Search.
"You got a young generation when the '90s were coming along and he was at the time a young kid and he liked that kind of stuff, or at least that particular song," Jackson told Bannen.