98 Degrees is a boy band that has reunited with its original lineup intact, with Jeff Timmons, Nick Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Drew Lachy sharing the stage to the joy of fans with 98 Degrees tickets. Those fans likely discovered the group in the late 1990s, when this quartet finally managed to break through.
Before then, these four were trying to achieve what few could, survive and thrive as a truly organically conceived boy band. Timmons is credited with the initial thought to form the group. He had just enjoyed an evening in which he sang as part of a quartet in front of adoring female fans at Kent State and decided to drop out of college, forget his football scholarship, and head to Los Angeles. There a friend put him in touch with Nick Lachey, who is responsible for courting Justin Jeffre and Drew (Nick’s brother).
As this group did not have any connections and they sought to differentiate themselves from the typical ‘NSync and Backstreet Boys sound, they had a difficult time. Favoring a soul and R&B feel, they had to work odd jobs as landscapers and club security as 98 Degrees went after labels like Motown. They were fortunate enough to be asked to sing for a local radio station and from there they managed to find a manager and a label.
Still, plenty of bands, even boy bands, had been given an opportunity and wasted it. 98 Degrees did not. They toured Asia after releasing the single “Invisible Man” and provided the song “True to Your Heart” for the Mulan soundtrack. Suddenly, the sophomore album 98 Degrees and Rising went quadruple-platinum in the United States and there was no longer a question of if this group would find fame.
This album dropped in the late 1990s and the double-platinum follow-up Revelation came out at the turn of the century. Despite the popularity of songs like “Because of You”, “The Hardest Thing”, and “Give Me Just One Night” the music tastes of the nation were changing. Soon boy bands were out and the 98 Degrees went on hiatus. They reunited in 2012 and have been busy recording music and playing live for nostalgic fans.