Pop star Justin Timberlake fears his music will dramatically suffer if his record label BMG merges with giant firm Sony.

The CRY ME A RIVER hunk is worried the move will spell the end of his artistic freedom, and will link him with a group of light-weight acts instead of highly acclaimed R+B stars.

A Sony insider tells Britain's DAILY STAR tabloid, "He's really worried about losing control of his music and being pushed back into straight pop. He wants reassurance he'll be left alone."

But a pal of the singer is convinced Justin will battle against Sony's desire to turn him more mainstream.

The friend adds, "When the merger happens, he doesn't want to be seen as a pop singer."

12/11/2003 09:10