Monday, November 20, 2017

Boy band 98 Degrees revives its popular holiday album and mixes in new hits in Borgata show

By Alan Sculley

98 Degrees

Don’t expect a bunch of lasers, explosions or other high-tech special effects in the 98 Degrees holiday show, coming to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. That’s the word from singer Drew Lachey.
“With this one being a holiday tour, it’s more of an intimate setting,” Lachey says. “In the past, we’ve done amphitheaters or arenas and things like that. Now we’re doing more theaters, which lends itself better to the kind of show we’re trying to build. So you’ll hear some of our hits people would expect to hear at a 98 Degrees show, but a lot of it is based on our new Christmas album (‘Let It Snow’) and our first Christmas album.”
Timing played into the decision to do a Christmas album for 2017. It’s the 20th anniversary of the first 98 Degrees album, a self-titled effort, and Lachey said the group wanted to do something to mark the milestone. But writing and recording a studio album of new material in time to do a tour this year would have been difficult. So a long-awaited follow-up to the group’s 1999 album “This Christmas” emerged as a viable option.
“For us, the Christmas album that we did, I think it was 18 years ago, we are extremely proud of that as a whole, musically and just production-wise, content-wise, tone, and it was very well-received,” Lachey says. “So we thought, let’s build on that.”
“Let It Snow” is a timeless sounding Christmas album, sticking mainly to the kind of orchestral-flecked arrangements of “Mary, Did You Know,” “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that are common to Christmas albums. But some elements help “Let It Snow” stand out from many other holiday releases. For one, the group covers a few songs that rarely pop up on such albums, including the Beach Boys’ “Little St. Nick” and Joni Mitchell’s “River.”
The group also makes the bold move of doing “Let It Snow” and “The First Noel” a cappella, a setting that really allows the foursome’s vocal talents and sophisticated harmonies to shine. These performances are highlights of the album for Lachey.
“I think the a cappellas really, really stand out on this one,” he says. “I think with the vocal arrangements in general, the four of us are stronger as performers and singers now, so we’re able to get together and get really good, powerful harmonies going.”
In Lachey’s case, he points to several projects he did between 98 Degrees activities that helped him develop as a performer. Initially marketed as a teen pop act, the foursome of Lachey, his brother, Nick Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons did very well in their first stint together. After notching a gold album with a self-titled debut, the 1998 second album, “98 Degrees and Rising,” topped 4 million copies sold, while the 2000 album, “Revelation,” was a double-platinum hit.
Then in 2001, the group went on a hiatus that lasted more than a decade, before the foursome reunited in 2012 and returned to action with the 2013 album “2.0.”
Each of the group members took on their own projects during the hiatus, with the Lachey brothers getting considerable attention for their ventures.
Nick Lachey released a pair of solo albums (2003’s “SoulO” and 2006’s “What’s Left of Me”), but his biggest impact came when he and former wife Jessica Simpson starred in the popular MTV reality television series “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.” Nick Lachey later went on to host the a cappella singing competition show “The Sing Off” during its run from 2009 until 2014.
Drew Lachey, meanwhile, saw his profile grow considerably in 2006 when he won the second season of “Dancing with the Stars” with partner Cheryl Burke.
In between his season on “Dancing with the Stars,” Drew Lachey landed parts in two notable Broadway musicals — “Rent” in 2005 and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” in 2008.
While he feels “Dancing with the Stars” was a fantastic experience — so much so that he talked brother Nick to compete on the reality show this season – doing the Broadway shows remain a high point for Lachey, who performed in plays when he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in his home town of Cincinnati during his high school years.
“When I got the opportunity to start auditioning for shows, I was terrified. I’m not going to try and lie about that, because I have so much respect for Broadway performers,” Lachey says. “I was like ‘Oh, I’m in over my head. There’s no way I can compete with these people.’ And then I started getting call backs and booking shows. And next thing you know, I’m working with these people I had admired for so long and growing as an actor, as a performer. Some of my greatest artistic relationships and friendships have come from people I did Broadway with. So it really is the (accomplishment) I’m most proud of in my life, (the work) I’ve done on Broadway.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Disney Pixar's 'Cars 3' Event at Sportie LA


Disney Pixar's 'Cars 3' Event at Sportie LA
Disney Pixar's 'Cars 3' Event at Sportie LA
Disney Pixar's 'Cars 3' Event at Sportie LA
Disney Pixar's 'Cars 3' Event at Sportie LA

Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes World Premiere Celebrity Red Carpet Event


Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes World Premiere Celebrity Red Carpet Event
Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes World Premiere Celebrity Red Carpet Event
Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes World Premiere Celebrity Red Carpet Event

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration Pics


THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: MAGICAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION – Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey pose with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, while hosting “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration,” an exciting two-hour ABC special from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. (ABC/Mark Ashman)

Keepin’ It Chill With 98°


 Jennifer Fauci

The band will perform their new Christmas album at Westbury

In the era that blessed the world with the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, O-Town, LFO and even NKOTB (New Kids on the Block), the signature R&B four-part harmonies of 98° elevated the ’90s group to the elite boy band club. Along with brothers Nick and Drew Lachey and Justin Jeffre, member Jeff Timmons shared his excitement about the band’s new Christmas album, Let It Snow, which was recorded over the summer. Just in time for Christmas, 98° is set to perform their seasonal hits on Nov. 26, at their upcoming show in Westbury, part of the “At Christmas Tour.” And these Ohio boys are more than happy to get into the holiday spirit on Long Island.
“One of the luxuries is that our fans are still fans. It’s surprising to us after all the years and careers in the entertainment industry, still having fans that want to talk to us,” said Timmons on the popularity of the band that has spanned two decades. “The fact that we made an impact, we’re so lucky and happy to perform and fortunate enough to be doing it 20 years later.
The group recorded Let It Snow, a follow up to their previous holiday album, This Christmas, which sold more than 1 million copies. Now available in stores and online, the album includes songs like “Mary Did You Know?,” “What Christmas Means To Me,” “Silent Night,” “Let It Snow,” “The First Noel” and “Please Come Home For Christmas” along with eight other tracks.
“We wanted it [the album] to be similar to our first Christmas album, and holiday records are timeless…it’s one of the things were proud of,” said Timmons. “Everyone seems to enjoy it so we feel very fortunate about it. We’ve all gone in different directions and we’ve grown musically but the one project we’re most proud of is the Christmas album.”
Timmons and his bandmates make the return to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury one year after their appearance in the 2016 My2K Tour with O-Town, Dream and Ryan Cabrera. They have a particular fondness for Long Island, as that is where 98° received their first taste of fame.
“We’re all Ohio guys from small towns and one of the first things we did when we started coming up, we we’re trying to get recognized so we went to the Roosevelt Field Mall,” said Timmons. “There were so many women that were fawning over us and that was really when it first hit us.”
Of the venue, which is more intimate and in the round, a switch from the other locations they have performed at, the band loves Long Island and always finds a way to get back to Westbury for their huge New York fan base.
“It’s going to be a great show as usual, especially with our amazing, immaculate and cool dance moves,” said Timmons with a laugh. “We’ve met great people there, especially the fans.”
Known for their ballads and slow songs, 98° always comes out with a bunch of energy and good fun, transporting fans back to the ’90s. The upcoming holiday show will feature classics and originals and for someone who has been living the holidays since July, Timmons can’t wait for Christmas.
“I’m excited to wear my Santa costume around the house and spend time with family in New York,” he said. “All of that nostalgia that goes with 98° and my career, it will be cool to celebrate it there.”

SoJO Interviews 98 Degrees About New Christmas Album

Nick, Drew, Jeff, and Justin of 98 Degrees called in to chat about choosing songs for their new Christmas album Let It Snow, their holiday concert tour, and their favorite Christmas traditions.

98 Degrees New Christmas Album! - Connect Tv

We connect with 98 Degrees and they tell us about their very first Christmas Album!
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