98 Degrees Reunites on ‘Today’ and Announces Plans for New Music (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)
98 Degrees — Nick Lachey, his brother Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre — performed a few of their greatest hits, from “The Hardest Thing” to “Because of You,” much to the delight of the hundreds of fans who amassed on Rockefeller Plaza hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite 90s boy band.
The group kept things simple, wearing all black ensembles and perfecting their Motown moves, as frontman Nick took the lead on the vocals. The band teased the prospect touring this year — after their Aug. 18 night gig at the Summer Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pa. — they admitted that they’re just happy to be back on stage again.
But is there a 98 Degrees album in the works?
Now it looks like the group has been spending some time in the studio recording new music. Lachey told Today host Savannah Guthrie that the band has some new projects in the works.
In February, Timmons sparked rumors of a reunion tour when he told a news outlet in the Philippines that there had been discussions for a 98 Degrees reunion, but nothing had been confirmed yet at that time. Although, the former boybander seemed hopeful.
“We’ve been talking of 98 Degrees getting back together for a reunion show,” he said. “Nothing’s out of the question but nothing’s solidified. We’ll see.”
Timmons, alongside brothers Nick and Drew Lachey and Jeffre, formed the group in Los Angeles in 1995. Coincidentally, all members of the band were originally from Ohio. A little more than two years later, the group released its debut album, with the lead single, “Invisible Man.”
Since announcing the band’s extended hiatus in 2002, the members of 98 Degrees have pursued individual projects. Drew Lachey won in the second season of Dancing with the Stars, and recently joined the ABC dance competition’s all-stars season. Dancing With the Stars: All Stars will premiere Mon., Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile brother Nick released two solo albums and was the host of the a capella talent search series The Sing-Off, until the singing competition was canceled. Lachey is currently taking part in the NBC reality show Stars Earn Stripes. As for the other member of 98 Degrees, Jeffre ran for mayor of Cincinatti, Ohio, while Timmons released his own solo albums and toured internationally.
Given the success of current boy bands — One Direction and The Wanted — in the U.S., there has never been a more opportune time for 90s pop bands to relaunch their careers. After all, 98 Degrees isn’t the only pop act from the 1990s to reunite in 2012.
The Spice Girls not only performed at the 2012 London Olympic closing ceremony, but they’re premiering their new musical Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre in London in November. At the helm of the girl power musical is the ab fab Jennifer Saunders, who created and starred in the popular British comedy series, Absolutely Fabulous. All five Spice Girls — Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice) and Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) — have been involved in the musical’s production.
Meanwhile, the Backstreet Boys will reunite on the Good Morning America stage on Aug. 29. The “I Want It That Way” singers have been touring steadily throughout the decade, but this will mark the first performance will all five original members. Singer Kevin Richardson, 40, left the group six years ago to focus on his film career. One vampire movie later, and Richardon is now back with the boys — A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Nick Carter. The Backstreet Boys are currently planning a 2013 album release and world tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Watch 98 Degrees perform “Invisible Man” below.