Justin Timberlake has revealed he was bullied at school.
The singer said he was branded “weird” as a teenager, and offered encouraging words to teens experiencing teasing and bullying as he accepted the Innovator Award at the iHeartRadio Awards in Los Angeles last night (March 29).
He said: “Growing up in school, no one ever called me anything close to an innovator, they called me different, they called me weird, they called me a couple of other words I can’t say on TV.
“So thankfully my mother taught me that being different was a good thing, that being different meant you could actually make a difference, so tonight I want to thank my mom.”
Organisers cited Timberlake’s “unparalleled position in the entertainment world” as the reason for the honour, adding that he is one of only a few musicians to “have transcended all artistic boundaries”.
iHeartMedia’s President of National Programming Platforms Tom Poleman, added: “Justin is one of the most dynamic artists of our lifetime, a visionary whose influence on pop culture starts with brilliant music and stretches well beyond.
“I’m amazed how he regularly breaks barriers that continue to shape and define music trends. We’re thrilled to recognise him amongst his peers – who also proudly call themselves his fans.”
Other winners on the night included Taylor Swift, who picked up three awards, Sam Smith who won Best New Artist, Calvin Harris who picked up Dance Song Of The Year for ‘Summer’. ‘Bang Bang’, Jessie J’s collaboration with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj also scored Best Collaboration.