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.