Justin Timberlake honors past personal loss with poignant gesture – 1500 Sound Academy icon

The Cry Me a River singer lost his backup singer back in August 2021

Justin Timberlake is honoring the memory of his late backup singer and friend Nicole Hurst over a year and a half following her passing in August of 2021.

The singer shared that in collaboration with singer-songwriter and producer James Fauntleroy and producer Larrance Dopson, he had created a scholarship in Nicole's name.


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He posted a video with the news including visuals of the 1500 Sound Academy, where scholarship awardees can pursue music entertainment education.

Justin wrote: "In honor of one of our Tennessee Kids, a woman who LIVED and LOVED music, and one of the greatest voices and smiles the world has ever heard and seen – we're so excited to announce the NICOLE HURST SCHOLARSHIP, which will be supporting young creatives with 2 scholarships…

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"One to attend @1500SoundAcademy in Inglewood, CA and one to attend @1500SoundAcademyTaipei in Taiwan!! Nicole's legacy and light lives on."

Fans praised his efforts to keep Nicole's memory alive, with one writing: "J, this is phenomenal. Cheers to Nicole's legacy, a future as bright as her smile, and as sweet sounding as her laugh," and another saying: "This is an absolutely beautiful way to honor an Angel!"




Justin had created a scholarship in Nicole's name

Nicole, who passed away following a battle with breast cancer at the age of 38, was a Houston-based backup singer and performer who'd worked with the likes of Justin, Kelly Clarkson, and Jay-Z.

The 42-year-old took to social media upon learning the news of his fellow Tennessee native's (Justin was born in Memphis) passing with an emotional statement and memories of their time together.

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He wrote: "My heart is so heavy. We lost a beautiful soul this week. Nicole lit up every room she walked into. On and off the stage she was a constant source of joy and positivity. 

"Some things feel so unfair and we will never understand why they happen. What I do know is that we were blessed to laugh with her, to travel with her, and to experience her infectious smile and love for a life filled with music. 



The singer was left devastated by her passing

"Nicole, it's not enough to say that I am going to miss you dearly. Thank you for your light. I will do my best to carry that with me. I love you, my sister. Forever family and forever a TN Kid."