Stevie Wonder Owes Justin Timberlake Dinner

A 23-year-old debt still hasn't been paid

BY Alex HudsonPublished Apr 3, 2024

Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest legends in the history of music, but here's something to tarnish his sterling reputation: after losing a bet against Justin Timberlake, he never paid up.

Timberlake recalled the incident when appearing on the podcast Broken Record. He reminisced about the time Wonder played harmonica on *NSYNC's 2001 song "Something Like You," the recording session for which coincided with that year's NBA finals, which featured the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

"Obviously, Stevie being from Philly, and me starting to live in L.A. at the time, there was a lot of trash talking going on," Timberlake recalled. "They were just about to start — they had just both made it to the finals. He was like, 'Nah, man.' I think he said something like, 'Philly in five.' And I was like, 'What?' I said, 'You do know who Kobe Bryant is, right?'"

That was when they made a friendly wager: "We were just having fun with it, and he was like, 'I'll bet you dinner at Mr. Chao's,'" said Timberlake. "And he's still never taken me to dinner at Mr Chao's. I just want to make this public knowledge in case he hears this: Stevie, you still owe me dinner at Mr Chao's." Called out!

Meanwhile, instead of taking Timberlake out for dinner, Wonder has been busy playing harmonica on Beyoncé's cover of "Jolene."

Timberlake, meanwhile, just released his album Everything I Thought It Was.

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