Boy band mania: 98 Degrees plotting a comeback?
With One Direction, the Wanted, Big Time Rush and Mindless Behavior leading the crest of a new boy band wave, it’s no surprise that the Internet is heating up with rumors that one of the most successful groups of the mid-'90s boom of pop groups is possibly plotting a return. And, no, it’s still not that long-awaited 'N Sync reunion.
98 Degrees, the quartet that harnessed the four-part R&B/soul harmonies of groups such as Boyz II Men and Jodeci to mega pop success, is on the verge of a comeback, at least judging from a few not-so-cryptic clues.
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Plans for a pending reunion became apparent when the groups's long-dormant website was updated Wednesday. Early Thursday, frontman Nick Lachey tweeted, "is it me, or does [the 98 degrees website] look a little different that it did yesterday? just saying………," while band member Jeff Timmons said that although nothing was confirmed, he’d "be open to it for sure!" Timmons also re-tweeted a slew of news outlets reporting on the reunion.
The Ohio natives sold more than 10 million records worldwide before they parted ways in 2002. They have all gone on to some rather interesting solo careers. Lachey, the most visible former member of the group, mostly because of his personal life, has released two solo efforts and is the host of NBC's a cappella competition "The Sing-Off"; his brother, Drew, was the winner of the second season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006; member Justin Jeffre pursued politics, which culminated in an unsuccessful mayoral run in Cincinnati in 2005; and Timmons released a solo album before choosing to raise ladies' temperature as a Chippendales dancers last year.
As a new crop of boy bands continues to burn up the charts, a 98 Degrees reunion could be met with the same success as Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block -– who channeled the nostalgia of their '90s heyday into a successful joint tour and sold-out themed cruises.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: 98 Degrees. Credit: Universal Records.