Marsha Ambrosius Reminded Everyone She Sang the Ad-Libs in 'Cry Me a River,' Not Justin Timberlake

Marsha Ambrosius performs onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.
Marsha Ambrosius performs onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Frederick M. Brown (Getty Images for BET)

Marsha Ambrosius is the shit, in case y’all forgot.

While she may be best known for being one-half of the English R&B duo known as Floetry (along with Natalie Stewart) and her subsequent solo career, she also has a string of amazing songwriting credits (such as Michael Jackson’s “Butterflies”) and has made guest appearances on projects for an array of artists, including Solange, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Nas, Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Talib Kweli, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Common, Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle…just to name a few.


Recently, Ambrosius’ dopeness became the topic of Black Twitter when she blew everyone’s minds with a fun fact. On Thursday, the 42-year-old singer-songwriter revealed in a short clip that she sang the background vocals of “Cry Me a River,” including that amazing “cry me cry meeeeee” ad-libbed snippet toward the end of the song.

The universally acclaimed standout single for Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album Justified is “Cry Me a River.” The Timbaland-produced track, co-written by Tim and Scott Storch, certainly became one of my all-time favorite Justin songs.

Oh no big deal, just one of the most catchy parts of the damn song that I still have in my head ever since she tweeted about this. Talk your shit, sis...or more accurately, sing your shit.

Most folks were admittedly “today years old” when they learned this news, especially considering just how accurately she mimicked Justin’s voice.


Back in 2016, Ambrosius reminisced on “Cry Me a River” technically being her first-ever Grammy win. The hit single won in 2003 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, a category that was discontinued after the 2011 Grammys.


Beyond the primary point of discussion, she also subtly gave us a visual look into a couple more tracks that caught some folks’ attention. Namely, two additional tracks on the playlist, “Far Away” feat. Michael Jackson and “Stars09” feat. Prince.


I’m sorry, what??

When approached about those two songs, Ambrosius coyly responded, “Two of the greatest versions of songs I ever did that no one will ever hear maybe.”


Yeah, if you don’t know now you know: put some damn respect on Marsha Ambrosius’ name. Please and thank you.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.


R&B is a complete sham.

Background singers can sometimes sound better to me than the main artists, but the main artists are more marketable. Very few songs that I enjoy were written by the artists that perform them. Last but not least, I don’t want to ever hear about men not knowing what it’s like to be a woman, lol. Some of the songs that I’ve heard women singing for the last 20 years, were written by men. So you mean to tell me that there are men out there who somehow know exactly what you’re feeling, the song that touches your soul about your last dude, another dude wrote that? lol. A dude wrote your favorite Cardi B songs? lol.