In five short years — from 1997 to 2002 — 98° sold a staggering 10 million records, scored a chart-topping single, “Thank God I Found You,” with Mariah Carey and Joe, and collaborated with their collective idol, Stevie Wonder, on “True to Your Heart,” for the 1998 animated Disney film, Mulan. Their four-million-selling album, 98° and Rising (1998, Motown), spawned the top-5 favorites “Because of You,” “I Do,” and “The Hardest Thing,” while 2000’s Revelation (Universal Records), which sold two million copies, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 and yielded a trio of hits, “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” “My Everything” and “The Way You Want Me To.”
The group emerged at a time when teen-oriented acts such as the Spice Girls, The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were just hitting the top of the charts around the world. They differentiated themselves from many of the other teen bands at the time as they wrote much of their own material, which reflected their own R&B influences.
By September 10, 2001, the frequent Total Request Live champions had reached the pinnacle of their career. That was the night the male-harmony group, which includes Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration. A star-studded salute marking the icon’s three-decade run as a solo entertainer, it was the kind of achievement that should have taken 98° to the next level.
But not 12 hours later, the 9-11 attacks changed the world forever. At that point, the all-Ohio-raised quartet decided to take a break. The group tested the waters with a one-time appearance at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Penn. Then, in 2013, they hit the road with New Kids On the Block and Boyz II Men. Encouraged by the rapturous fan reaction, the group headlined their own, 38-city trek in the summer of 2016.
Last year, the quartet released their first full-length Christmas album in 18 years, Let It Snow, via UMe to glowing reviews from both fans and critics alike. The album featured the group’s signature R&B-tinged, four-part harmonies and was a natural follow up to their 1999 multi-platinum selling This Christmas.