Justin Timberlake to Release New Album Soon: Sources

Is Justin Timberlake about to release a new album?

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard that a cryptic tweet posted by the singer-actor late on Wednesday night -- which simply read: "Thursday, January 10th, 2013 at 9:01 am PST..." -- signifies the announcement and possibly instant arrival of new music.

And not just a song, but a full album produced by longtime collaborator Timbaland. Timberlake, who some might call the original Justin, is believed to have around 20 new tracks recorded. A source familiar with the project confirms to Billboard that Timberlake is definitely releasing a new album more sooner than later.

David Bowie's out-of-nowhere announcement earlier this week that he has already completed a new album that will be released in March shows that it is still possible for a superstar to record an album without news reaching the media.

Timberlake's last studio effort, the enduring 'FutureSex/LoveSounds,' came out in 2006. It has been certified four-times platinum, marking domestic sales of over 4 million units.

Although Timberlake has focused much of his energy in recent years on movies (he will next be seen in the Coen brothers' highly-anticipated Inside Llewyn Davis) and tech (he's a key principal in the new Myspace), an insider says the former 'N Sync star has been quietly and methodically preparing to release an album with almost no warning.

To wit: the 9 P.M. tweet that hinted at something transpiring exactly 24 hours later. Within an hour, Justin Timberlake was the top trending topic on Twitter.

Timberlake's rep could not be reached for comment.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz