Justin Timberlake announces scholarships in honor of his late backup s – 1500 Sound Academy icon


Justin Timberlake (center, in white cap) with 1500 Sound Academy co-founders, students and faculty; Courtesy 1500 Sound Academy

Justin Timberlake is honoring a late member of his band the Tennessee Kids in a special way.

Justin visited the Inglewood, California, campus of 1500 Sound Academy, which provides mentorship and professional development to future music creatives, to announce the Nicole Hurst Scholarship. Nicole, one of Justin’s backup singers, passed away in 2021 from breast cancer.

The scholarship is providing two opportunities for two music students: One to attend the Academy’s Industry & Music Fundamentals Program in Inglewood, and one to attend the Academy’s All Around Musician Program in Taiwan. You can apply online now at 1500SoundAcademy.com; the application deadline is April 26, with the recipients being announced on May 12.

In a video statement posted on his Instagram, Justin said, “This is an incredible place and I’m so excited to be here — it’s a pathway into the future. I’m super proud of the academy’s growth, and I can’t wait to hear the next generation of artists from both of these amazing schools.”

In the caption, he said that Nicole “LIVED and LOVED music, and [had] one of the greatest voices and smiles the world has ever heard and seen.”