Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Canton native Timmons a Vegas Chippendales star


CANTON —Jeff Timmons

As a member of the photogenic pop vocal foursome 98 Degrees, Canton native Jeff Timmons was never hurting for female attention.

The group, which also featured Nick Lachey, scored a string of hit singles from 1998 through 2000 — “The Hardest Thing,” “Because of You,” “Thank God I Found You,” “I Do (Cherish You),” “Give Me Just One Night” — and sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

A decade later, the appreciative cheers and screams have returned for Timmons, who is starring in the Chippendales show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, through Labor Day.

Timmons, 38, who attended Perry High School and graduated from Washington High School, is not strutting in a G-string and bowtie in the Chippendales extravaganza. Instead, he is the show’s emcee and “special musical guest star,” warming up the crowd, introducing the male dancers, and singing a 98 Degrees medley and other songs.

“The PR guy for Chippendales used to manage me, and he was after me to be in the show for awhile,” Timmons says. “I wasn’t going to be part of any corny strip show with dollar bills and G-strings. Then I went to see it, and saw 300 girls going crazy in there, and it changed my mind.

“It’s a Vegas show, edgy and sexy and irreverent, and it’s a multi-million dollar production. We get bachelorette parties, birthday parties, divorce parties. It’s an outlet for girls, a fantasy kind of thing. We’re sold out all the time.”

Asked if he stays clothed on-stage, Timmons chuckles and says, “I rip my shirt off at one point in the show. It’s a gimmicky thing, but in 98 Degrees we had our shirts off in all those photos. Incidentally, I look nothing like those guys in the show. I don’t compete with them. But I did get myself in shape because I have to stand next to them.”

A few weeks ago, Timmons reunited with his 98 Degrees bandmates at Nick Lachey’s bachelor party in Vegas. “We talked about getting back together, but I don’t see it happening,” he says. When his Chippendales run ends, “I’m going to stay in Vegas, do a new show, create a new show. I love it out here. I’m having an absolute blast.”