Monday, October 25, 2021

Nick Lachey Talks Celebrating 10 Year Wedding Anniversary With Vanessa Lachey In Hawaii As 98 Degrees Makes Sizzling Summer Comeback


Nick Lachey reveals the secret to 10 years in a happy Hollywood marriage.

In his case, it helps having surpassed his silver anniversary in another key relationship – with his band 98 Degrees.

“The Masked Singer” winner is preparing to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary with actress Vanessa Lachey and noted the parallels between married life and band dynamics during an exclusive interview with ET Canada.

Nick, 47, and Vanessa, 40, tied the knot during a stunning ceremony at Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island in the Caribbean on July 15, 2011. Ten years later, they will mark their anniversary in another romantic island paradise, thanks to Vanessa’s new role on the “NCIS” spin-off airing on Global TV this fall, “NCIS: Hawai’i”.

“My wife just got a job in Hawaii, so we’re going to celebrate there,” Nick shared, sitting down with bandmates Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre and Drew Lachey to chat with us at Los Angeles’ Le Parc Suite Hotel.

“You can’t be quitters,” he added, about how he and Vanessa maintain a strong relationship. “It’s just like a [musical] group – you’re going to have tough days, but you’ve got to be committed, invested and communicate, so that’s what we do.”

Nick, who has three children with Vanessa, noted that everyone’s different and it’s important for couples to find what works for them. “We certainly don’t know the ins and outs of a happy [marriage] – we just do what works for us,” explained Nick, who started dating Vanessa after she starred in the music video for his 2006 solo single, “What’s Left of Me.” “Everybody’s different and for us we’ve learned how to communicate well and have a lot of pride in what we’ve built as a couple and as a family. We protect and cherish that.”

Cherishing family time is exactly what Nick has enjoyed since the coronavirus pandemic enforced more time at home after 26 years with 98 Degrees.

“The time with the kids is so special,” says the dad to Camden, eight, Brooklyn, six, and Phoenix, four. “The pandemic taught us to appreciate what we have. You don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone, then you realize, ‘Wow, we took that for granted.’”

Nick’s brother Drew has also relished the pandemic’s “silver lining” of more time at home. Drew has two children – 15-year-old daughter Isabella and 11-year-old son Hudson – with his wife of 20 years, Lea.

“The best thing has been the time with family,” says Drew, who also keeps busy with “#DrewItYourself” DIY endeavours, which he chronicles on Instagram. “We were still touring and spending time away from home, so I missed my daughter’s plays and dance recitals and my son’s gymnastics meets. This year, even though those things weren’t happening, we had uninterrupted time to discover [our children] and spend time with them.”

Drew, 44, adds that the pandemic gave him greater appreciation for the role Lea plays keeping home life ticking along while he’s traveling with 98 Degrees.

“You definitely have a new perspective when the kids aren’t at school and you’re homeschooling and trying to figure out the virtual thing!” he says. “The past year either made people’s relationships stronger or broke people, so I feel fortunate it made my relationship stronger.”

Extended periods at home also allowed the musicians to pursue interests they previously had little time for. Drew learned guitar, while Nick sharpened his booze knowledge.

“I learned a lot about bourbon,” Nick jokes. “And, about red wine.”

“He learned he can’t tell the difference between a good bourbon and a bad bourbon,” quips Drew.

For father-of-five Jeff, the extra time allowed him to delve into business ventures and acting projects. Having previously starred in Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter’s boy bander-filled 2016 movie “Dead 7”, Jeff has wrapped portraying a pastor in romantic comedy “Baking Up Love,” releasing via Pure Flix on 1 September. He’s now preparing to shoot a Christmas movie.

“I’ve been spoiled in the past because we could be with our families during the week and go be pop stars in weekends,” says Jeff, 48, who’s been married to wife Amanda for 10 years. “But the last year gave me the opportunity to hang with my family more – although they might say it was enough before! – and get into other things I never had time to explore.”

Of course, like everyone, the singers faced difficult moments throughout 2020, with Justin, 48, struggling with extended periods at home following more than two decades of frequent travelling.

“There wasn’t much anyone could do – you couldn’t spend time with friends and family, go see shows or travel,” he says. “Normally, if I knew I was going to have time off, I would’ve planned a bunch of stuff, but we just couldn’t.”

Which is why Justin and his bandmates were thrilled to reunite in Las Vegas to record their first new non-holiday music in eight years. The foursome, who released their album 2.0 in 2013, followed by Christmas record Let It Snow in 2017, safely formed a “bubble” at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, recording in lavish suites which hosted late Elvis Presley during his Las Vegas residency days.

The new songs include summer banger “Where Do You Wanna Go,” which drops on July 9 and will be followed by a music video later in the month. The group also remixed old favourites like “The Hardest Thing” for an upcoming remix EP, Summer of 98.

The releases are part of the group’s 98 Days of Summer campaign, which features new photos, music and footage being rolled out daily, including fun throwbacks from the band’s early days. It was an era during which they were frequently compared to other boy bands like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, but the group felt different to their peers and feel any rivalry between the acts was generated by fans.

As for whether Nick and Drew felt any brotherly rivalry, Drew cracks: “I think he just knows I’m better than him.”

“We got to do a lot of cool things with the band, so the fact I got to share those experiences with my brother, who’s my best friend – you couldn’t have scripted it better,” offers Nick on a more heartfelt note.

“We’ve always been really close,” agrees Drew. “And these two chucklebutts became like brothers too, so it wasn’t like it was just me, Nick and these two other weirdos. The four of us became brothers, so the same nonsense and competitiveness I feel with Nick – whether it’s playing basketball or beating him at

Madden – we felt between all of us.”

“Don’t feel bad,” adds Jeff. “I lost to [Nick’s] son in Madden, so badly I was getting angry!”

As well as new music, the band will perform at the Great New York State Fair on 21 August and are scheduling further concerts. Nick, who was unveiled as the musician behind the piglet costume when he won The Masked Singer in May, says that after being forced off the road by COVID-19, he has new appreciation for the ability to jump on stage for fans.

“It’s hard to have that taken away and be told, ‘You can’t do this,’” he says. “The pandemic taught us to appreciate what we have and the freedom we all take for granted.”

98 Degrees Return to Pop Music After 8-Year Break With Fresh Perspective on ’90s Boy Band Struggles


For Jeff Timmons, it barely took a second to recognize his bandmate Nick Lachey’s voice behind the piglet costume on “The Masked Singer.”

“I knew as soon as I heard it – then went right down to The Strip and bet!” laughs the Vegas resident. It’s no wonder since Lachey’s was the same powerful, masked voice that first wowed Timmons as he searched for potential vocal group members while forming 98 Degrees 26 years ago.

Sent a tape of a track by Lachey’s band with Justin Jeffre, The Avenues, Timmons knew he’d found a special vocalist. “I heard Nick’s voice and without seeing what he looked like, I went, ‘I gotta get that guy.”

“That’s the only reason I made the cut — there was no picture with the tape,” cracks Nick Lachey.

“I was on the recording too, but he was not impressed!” adds Jeffre, who was later recruited by Nick Lachey.

Eventually joined by Nick’s brother, Drew Lachey, the boy band would sign with Motown Records, release chart-toppers like “Because of You” and “The Hardest Thing,” collaborate with Mariah Carey and go from having Janet Jackson posters on their walls to opening for the icon.

More than two decades on, the Ohio natives are back with their first new non-holiday music in eight years, starting with the summery, up-tempo single, “Where Do You Wanna Go.” “We recorded a couple of other songs too and they’re something different for us, but still fit with the 98 Degrees sound,” says Jeffre, sitting down alongside Timmons and the Lachey brothers in Los Angeles. “We always want that balance of music that’s relevant to today, but won’t make our fans go, ‘This doesn’t sound like those guys.’”

Recording new music was partly initiated by the pandemic, with Nick Lachey chuckling that the band members, “were bored.” Getting serious, he adds” “No, we’ve always wanted to do new music, but being unable to do anything for a year gave us all a new perspective. It made it so exciting to finally get back together. And, we had a great song submitted to us, which we all loved and wanted to record.”

Rather than work virtually, the quartet headed to Vegas and formed a recording “bubble” at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

“You don’t really think, ‘I’m going to Vegas to be safe,’” says Drew Lachey of hitting Sin City amid the pandemic. “But it worked out well because we were at the Westgate, where Elvis used to play, so we had that throwback Vegas vibe, which made us even more excited to put out new music.”

In addition to recording new tracks, the foursome worked with producers like DJ Lux to remix heyday hits like “The Hardest Thing” and “Invisible Man” for upcoming remix EP “Summer of 98.”  It’s all part of the band’s 98 Days of Summer campaign, which features new photos, music and throwbacks.

While the campaign celebrates the ongoing nostalgia for ’90s boy bands, the singers note making music today is more enjoyable than during that era. Bursting onto the scene alongside groups like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, they faced pressure to be like their peers.

“It was tough because we were expected to be a certain way with our label and had the pressure of being compared to these groups, while struggling to find our own identity,” says Timmons. “We had to find an identity and separate ourselves from Backstreet and *NSYNC, which was hard because they were well-oiled machines.”

“And it seemed like everybody was trying to push that narrative [of rivalry] onto us, but we saw ourselves as a different kind of group,” adds Jeffre. “There was only four of us, we weren’t dancers, we were all about the vocals and we were on Motown, so weren’t part of that same machine. But it was to our favor that we were compared to what became some of the biggest bands in history.”

One way the band did set themselves apart — albeit unintentionally — was becoming known as much for their physiques as their music. Timmons notes that staying fit came naturally given their sporty backgrounds, so they never anticipated such attention.

“We were all athletic guys, but when we’d get with the pop photographers — and back then there were only a few — they encouraged us to take our shirts off,” says Timmons. “It’s not like we got out there to flex, but it did become part of our image, so then you have to live up to that image because the second you slipped, someone would remind you you’re getting pudgy!”

Today, the group aren’t fazed by outside pressures and expectations. Nick Lachey notes they’ve also stopped taking themselves too seriously. “In the late ’90s, there was so much pressure and we were on this rollercoaster, so never stopped to smell the roses,” he says. “We have a better perspective now and know this is something we’re blessed to do 20-something years later. It’s like, ‘Let’s work hard for it, but let’s also enjoy the moment.’”

“Everything was riding on 98 Degrees when we were younger,” adds Timmons. “Now we have other jobs, kids, families, girlfriends and we’re able to go out there and just have a good time. We have the best rapport we’ve ever had and our fans seem more exuberant and excited than ever.”

Making music that would form that lifelong fan base is exactly what Timmons dreamed of when he moved to Los Angeles. But after the pal who introduced him to Nick Lachey and Jeffre dropped out of the group, the trio had to find a replacement, with Timmons’ brother Michael briefly joining the band.

Although family members may have seemed an obvious avenue to explore — New Kids on the Block has brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, while Backstreet Boys have cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell — Nick was reluctant to suggest Drew.

“I, of course, thought of him, but didn’t want to appear to have an agenda,” he confesses. “[Justin] actually suggested Drew because I felt uncomfortable doing it.”

Jeff says as soon as Drew joined, 98 Degrees’ sound “snapped” into place.

“Life got so much better for everybody,” Drew quips.

Among the standout moments of their early days, the band performed backstage at a Boyz II Men concert, worked with Stevie Wonder, recorded a No. 1 hit “Thank God I Found You” with Mariah Carey and opened for Janet Jackson in Hawaii.

“The spectacle and grandness of that production was amazing,” recounts Nick Lachey. “We were early into our career and had only played clubs, then suddenly we’re on stage in a stadium full of people. We grew up on Janet Jackson. I had the Rolling Stone cover hanging in my bedroom so it was like, ‘Wow, now we get to share the stage with this amazing woman.’”

It’s returning to the stage they’re excited for, starting with playing the Great New York State Fair on 21 August. Additional dates are expected to follow. “The opportunity to tour and perform – none of us will ever take that for granted again,” says Nick Lachey. “We’ve missed it a lot.”

98 Degrees Cruises Back in Time With Nostalgic ‘Where Do You Wanna Go’ Video (EXCLUSIVE)


Cruising through California sunshine in a bright yellow, convertible Chevrolet pick-up truck while rocking bucket hats, turtleneck sweaters and backwards baseball caps, 98 Degrees embraces ’90s nostalgia in the video for the group’s new summer anthem, “Where Do You Wanna Go.”

Premiering on Variety below, the video sees the Cincinnati natives kick off the day with a sun-soaked, poolside barbecue in Los Angeles, before hitting the road, where switching the car’s stereo on transports them back in time.

“I just cannot believe we ever attempted to wear that stuff,” Timmons, 48, tells Variety about having fun with throwback outfits alongside bandmates Justin Jeffre, Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey. “Seeing the guys wearing that ridiculousness again really brought back the feels.”

While the impact of Covid-19 was felt with on-site temperature checking and masks, Timmons says it was otherwise business-as-usual on the shoot, co-directed by Stephanie Pearson and Aaron Eisenberg, produced by Anneliese Salgado and styled by Kirsten Stevens.

After being locked down like everyone else, being able to do what we love again was a total blessing,” he says. “Hanging with my brothers, filming a new video for the fans — it doesn’t get better than that.”

The single is the first of new music recorded by the group, which formed in 1995, while locked down at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The musicians also worked with DJ and producer Brandon Mashburn, aka DJ Lux, to remix past hits like “Invisible Man,” which will feature on an upcoming remix EP.

The new releases come amid the band’s #98DaysofSummer campaign, which features daily social media content.

Co-written by DJ Lux, Aaron Space, Chantel Jeffries, Alexandra Veltri, Eva Honey and Stefan Lit, “Where Do You Wanna Go” and its accompanying video perfectly encapsulate how the group wanted to mark its first new non-holiday music in eight years.

“We’ve been racking our brains on how to stay true to ourselves and pay homage to the era that propelled us into the limelight, while embracing the current sound from a sonic and production standpoint,” Timmons says. “It was easy with such a well-written and well-produced song like ‘Where Do You Wanna Go.’”

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Interview: Jeff Timmons Talks About The Return Of 98 Degrees And His Solo Career


Jeff Timmons is best-known as one quarter of the multi-million selling band 98 Degrees, who made their debut in 1997 with breakthrough single ‘Invisible Man’.

In 2003 after years of success that saw them tour the world and notch up plenty of hits, the band went on hiatus as they pursued solo endeavours. 9 years later, the band reunited and in 2013 they released new album ‘2.0’, which was followed in 2017 with the festive collection ‘Let It Snow’.

This year, the band is celebrating their success with #98DegreesofSummer on social media and last Friday they released new single ‘Where Do You Wanna Go’.

I spoke to Jeff this week to discuss the return of 98 Degrees, look back on the band’s huge success and find out how he feels about his foray into releasing music as a solo artist…

Let’s start by saying that it’s one of Pop’s great injustices, that 98 Degrees weren’t bigger here in the UK…

There’s always still a chance, right? With the new song and the way things are so viral now, compared to when we were out the first time, there might be an opportunity for us just yet.

I was championing you guys all the way back in the 90s. I discovered your music when I was interning at a national newspaper and I was handed a CD of ‘Invisible Man’…

‘Invisible Man’, although it was our first song, I feel like that one made the most impact in the UK. We tried to come back several times but every time we went back to the UK, our label was getting sold. Every time we went there, unfortunately, we had a different staff so the only song that really sort of stuck, and it was only there for a second, was ‘Invisible Man’. Literally it was a blip on the charts. At that time the UK charts were quite different than the US. You had to follow up with single after single because they would come on the charts and then they were gone. I’m glad that you remember that and I’m flattered you know that song.

98 Degrees is back with a new song, ‘Where Do You Wanna Go’, and it sounds like classic 98 Degrees but also works in the current pop climate because it sounds so fresh. Why did you decide to release that song now?

We got really lucky with that song. We had been gone for a little while and music changed quite a bit (in terms of the) the way you distributed music, the sound of music, and all that stuff. We were traditionally known as balladeers and when we came back, we were trying too hard. We adopted a different sound and it didn’t really translate. We went with a label that had a different angle for us that they thought would be amazing and it didn’t work. This time, we were like, ‘look, how can we adopt the current sound while being true to what our sound is?’ and we felt that this exemplified exactly that. I’m glad you think it’s fresh, but you can still recognize that it’s a 98 Degree song. For those that don’t know, maybe it’ll introduce us to a new audience, which is always the hope.

I was surprised in the 90s that the press was so quick to just lump you in the boyband group with Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. To me, you were a lot closer to Boyz II Men, as 98 Degrees were all about the vocals and the harmonies. Was it frustrating for you to be categorised with the boybands?

I’ll be honest with you, at first it was. When I started the group Boyz II Men was the model. I was so enamoured with their sound and thought that there was a certain uniqueness that would apply to the way I would love to have my music out there, that we were really flattered when we got discovered at a Boyz II Men concert and we got signed to Motown like Boyz II Men.  Boybands weren’t prevalent here in the United States yet and it wasn’t until we went overseas and saw this onslaught of these boybands that we started being affiliated with this term. We felt that it was an insult in the beginning but certainly being lumped in with groups, and considered in the same era, as the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, who we are dear friends with, now we’re embracing it. It’s always interesting to me that even though we never broke the UK, it was always the UK journalists like yourself that recognised that the sound was a little bit different. Here in the States they saw basically four white guys doing harmony and it was ‘oh, they’re a boyband’. It was a bit frustrating but certainly when you get all the drippings that come along with it – the worldwide fame and the fandom – you’re like, ‘OK cool, it’s not such a bad thing after all’.

For me 98 Degrees has always been about soul and the vocals. That’s always been the focal point and no disrespect to Backstreet Boys or N’Sync, both of whom I’m a fan of, but their brand was a little more smoke and mirrors and big production…

I’m very flattered that you have observed. Obviously you’ve done your homework. You were around in the beginning as an intern so you understood the gestation of that group and the foundation was the vocals. When we started out it was just four-part harmony. None of us played any instruments and certainly it was very difficult, unlike today, to just create tracks from scratch with inexpensive equipment. All we had was our voices and quickly we learned that performing live and outside and acapella got us very far. We were always priding ourselves on a true quartet – tenor, tenor, bass and baritone – and we’ve stuck with that for the songs. Production’s changed so it’s harder for us to get the younger producers to understand that we need to incorporate all four of the guys and their strengths, but we somehow are able to pull that across it and get that accomplished, especially with the most recent stuff we recorded.

You’re in the middle of #98DegreesOfSummer, which is going to end with the release of an EP. Where did that idea come from?

I wish we could take credit for coming up with the concept. We’ve got a new manager Johnny Wright, who as you know he manages Justin, he managed Backstreet (Boys) and N’Sync, and we never had a really, really strong management team. We thought this time, ‘this might be the last time we ever come out. Let’s do it right. Let’s go get Johnny Wright, he knows how to do this stuff’ and it was his brainchild. He was like, ‘let’s revisit and embrace the mistakes while we’re releasing new stuff. We’ve got the remix album coming out and the new music and and let’s pay an ode to your fans by allowing them to share in the nostalgia of you guys coming back’. He timed it out that 98 days would be a sufficient amount and teamed up with iHeart, because of our strong relationships and friends, they’re really supporting this and we can’t thank them enough. The campaign is just something that’s really smart and clever. Again, I wish I could take credit for that but you’ve got to give credit where it’s due and Johnny’s the man behind that.

Britney Spears’ Friend Jeff Timmons On What First ‘Enamoured’ Him About Her, ‘Free Britney Radio’ & Raising A Daughter In Showbiz


As he gears up for hosting nationwide radio takeover “Free Britney Radio”, 98 Degrees musician Jeff Timmons is opening up about rising to fame alongside the superstar and the lessons of that time which are coming into play as his own daughter pursues the spotlight.

Together with production company Benztown, Timmons is behind a radio takeover which will see stations rebrand as “Free Britney Radio” on Wednesday, which is when the 39-year-old singer’s conservatorship hearings continue in Los Angeles.

Hosted by Timmons and featuring Spears’ chart-topping hits, live crosses to the courthouse, covers and interviews, the pop-up station aims to show support for the singer from the radio industry, which has been playing her music daily since she broke out with “Baby One More Time” in 1998.

It was during that time that Spears’ ex-manager Larry Rudolph – who was 98 Degrees’ attorney at the time – invited Timmons and bandmates Justin Jeffre, Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey, to collaborate with her.

“He popped in the VHS tape of ‘Baby One More Time’ and said, ‘Look, she’s wanting to work with one of the boy bands. Everybody’s passed.’ We saw that video and were enamoured by it. We were like, ‘We’d love to work with her!’”

Timmons, 48, says the boy band planned to collaborate with Spears on her next song, but with their label, Motown Records, pushing them more towards R&B than pop, the collaboration never eventuated. However, they did end up touring with Spears and crossing paths throughout following years, with Timmons witnessing the songstress experience the same pitfalls of showbiz success as he did with 98 Degrees, who just released their new summer single, “Where Do You Wanna Go.”

While he notes Spears’ experience of fame was on a whole other level, he recalls being overwhelmed when endless locals in his Ohio hometown wanted in on his success after 98 Degrees broke out with hits like “Invisible Man” and “Because of You”.

“I’m from a small town and at one point I was the laughing stock for quitting college to go pursue a singing career,” he says. “It was interesting to see how overnight, the same people who were cascading me out of the town, were wanting things. Distant cousins did exposes and people I wasn’t even friends with were wanting tickets or coming around to say they needed investment for different things.”

“And, we were a very popular group, but by no means the astronomical status of Britney,” he adds. “But, I saw how in one snap of the finger, things change. One second, I was the laughing stock of town, the next they were giving me the key to the city.”

Everybody wanting a piece of the pie as he became successful is something Timmons believes also occurred with Spears and may have contributed to her struggles to regain her independence. She was placed into conservatorship amid mental health concerns in 2008 and her father, Jamie Spears, has since controlled her finances.

Such drama is one reason why Timmons, a father-of-five, treads carefully when it comes to his own kids following his footsteps into the entertainment industry.

Timmons has two children from his first marriage (including daughter Alyssa, who has dabbled in modelling) and two step-children through his wife of 10 years, Amanda. The couple also have a nine-year-old daughter, Ariahuna, who collaborated with Timmons on Christmas song “Where Are You Christmas” last December, is preparing for another stint on the catwalk (having made her runway debut at the age of five) and has a Christmas movie coming up.

“It’s a very up-and-down, harsh business and you’re put under a microscope, so I’ve never encouraged or pushed my kids into it, but Ariahuna loves it,” he says. “For me, I always just loved the music, so that’s why I did it, but she wants to do movies and be in the limelight. She enjoys the attention and she’s good at it, so I’m there to support her as a cheerleader and a dad.”

“If I can help her survive some pitfalls – it’s impossible to escape all of them – I’m here for that,” he continues. “I’ll help and protect her as much as I can.”

98 Degrees Members Preview ‘Total Relief Live’ Benefit, Invite Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to Join Lineup


Some of the biggest stars of ’90s pop will convene in Los Angeles for a benefit concert paying homage to MTV’s “Total Request Live” era this January, and organizer Nick Lachey is ready to “roll out the red carpet” for “TRL” icons Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

The 98 Degrees member is working with the group’s manager Johnny Wright, along with MTV, Live Nation and Spears’ former manager Larry Rudolph for the upcoming fundraiser, which will benefit hunger relief organization, Feeding America. Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean and *NSYNC’s Lance Bass are already signed on, while Lachey says further invites have “gone out to everyone.”

“I’ve reached out to a lot of our friends from those days and everyone’s super-supportive and ready to be a part of it and rally for a good cause” Lachey told Variety backstage at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday. “Of course, we’ll ask Justin! When you’re talking about the biggest names of that era, you [think] Britney, Justin. We’d love to have either or both of them involved.”

“I think Britney’s got bigger stuff going on in her life,” Lachey added. “She’s newly-engaged and dealing with her conservatorship situation, but if she wanted to be a part of it, we’d be rolling out the red carpet. She was one of the iconic names of that era.”

“She’d have to un-retire first!” interjected bandmate Jeff Timmons, who recently hosted a “Free Britney Radio” pop-up station in support of Spears amid her conservatorship hearings.

Lachey hopes the evening will give fans a chance to celebrate nostalgia and music while helping Feeding America, a network of food banks which aids those in need through shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens.

“More than ever, we have to address the food insecurity in our country, so the chance to put this together in January and be a part of the night along with so many other acts from that era is something we’re looking forward to,” Lachey said.

Lachey, Timmons and bandmates Justin Jeffre and Drew Lachey gave fans a possible taste of what might be in store at the benefit gig during their Thursday night concert in Las Vegas as part of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Concerts on the Beach series. The show came as the Ohio natives wrapped up their 98 Days of Summer campaign, which featured the release of their “Summer of 98” remix EP.

“It didn’t matter if they were rock, pop, rap – we were all related by three letters: T-R-L. And, right now we want to do some of our favorite ‘TRL’ hits,” Drew Lachey said, introducing the “TRL”-themed set, which included Sugar Ray’s “Fly,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” and Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

The group, who confirmed to Variety that they’re recording new music, also performed Backstreet Boys smash, “I Want It That Way,” channeled the Spice Girls during “Wannabe” and rocked out to Blink 182’s “All the Small Things.”

“You haven’t really made it until people make fun of you in their music videos,” Drew Lachey said, referring to the video for the 2000 track, in which pop-punk trio Blink-182 parody boy bands.

The guys also covered “…Baby One More Time” by Spears. Having known the singer for years, they’re thrilled for her recent engagement to Sam Asghari.

“This guy has been through thick and thin with her during the toughest part of her life, so he’s probably her soulmate and we just wish her the best,” Timmons said.

As for whether the musicians have any marriage advice for the singer, Timmons and Nick Lachey jokingly pointed out they’re onto their second marriages, while Drew Lachey — who’s approaching his 21st wedding anniversary with wife Lea — had a simple pearl of wisdom.

“The best advice for any married couple is don’t listen to other people’s advice,” he said. “Every relationship is different. Listen to your spouse and know when to talk and know when to shut up.”

“Time and attention – the best ingredient of all,” added Jeffre.

“That from the guy who’s not married!” laughed Timmons.

Best-Selling Boy Band 98 Degrees Reflect On Their Career Coming 'Full Circle' & 'Timeless' Love Songs As They Celebrate Upcoming 25th Anniversary


International pop sensation 98 Degrees ended their "98 Days Of Summer" campaign with a splash with a performance in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay on Thursday, September 16.

Before taking the stage, the band exclusively spoke with OK! about their incredible upcoming 25th anniversary as a group, the struggles of the pandemic, and how themes of love in music are timeless.

It's been a hectic day for the four pop stars — Nick LacheyDrew LacheyJeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre — as they prepare for their final performance of the summer, but everyone has a great attitude about the hustle and bustle of Sin City.

Drew, 45, is quick to quip, "Well, it's Vegas. It should never be boring."

Boring is definitely not the word for this group who all flew in from different parts of the United States for the iHeartRadio Festival Kickoff, and after a year and a half of being cooped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were more than ready to get back to doing what they love.

"We were really anxious to just make some new music and to get back in front of our fans and perform again." Jeffre, 48, says, noting the role the pandemic played in giving them time to think about their next steps as a band. "Being pulled away from everything for 18 months really made us want to hit the ground running and just get right to it."

Nick, 47, adds, "You really appreciate things even more when you're not able to do it, and that's what we experienced with the pandemic. So it feels great to be able to be back out there."

The "What's Left Of Me" singer goes on to describe the unique vibe of their audience that evolved after being away for so long. "There's just a real celebration of life that happens now," he says. "I mean to get in front of a live audience to feel the energy."

"We feel like we're blessed and fortunate to do it, but it's great to see the enthusiasm and kind of feed off the energy in the crowd, so it's better than ever," Timmons, 48, chimes in. "I mean, really, I mean, we're so lucky this many years later."

The award winning pop group released their first, self-titled album in 1997, and went on to release 3 others before their hiatus between 2003 and 2012.

The younger Lachey brother was happy to open up to OK! about their journey from their very first tour to today, and the biggest thing the 45-year-old singer claims to have learned over the years is appreciation.

"Just to appreciate the time that we had together to make music and perform," he answers candidly. "You know in the beginning we took it very, very seriously, which is great because you know it's work ethic. You put your all into it, but there are probably times we could have slowed down a little bit, smelled the roses a little bit and enjoyed the ride a little bit more."

"It's been a sort of full circle 25 years," Drew goes on, explaining that coming back after so many years makes everything feel new again. He also mentions that they are "wiser" now, to which Timmons jokes they are "on the twilight" of their lives.

Countless changes happen over 25 years, but one thing that has never wavered for 98 Degrees is the theme of their music.

The band jokes they won't likely be writing any bops about "politics" or "stacks on stacks" but sending messages of love through music is something they won't stop doing anytime soon.

"I think for us the theme of most of our songs have always come back down to being love songs, you know? That’s kind of where we made the biggest impact." Drew elaborates. "That's always going to be kind of our go-to sound and storyline [...] And those are kind of the timeless songs that we connect to and we appreciate."

The hit pop group kicked off their tour at The Great New York State Fair on August 21 and will continue throughout the year hitting locations in Southern California, Georgia, Arizona, Ohio, and more.

The band recently released their single and brand new music video "Where Do You Wanna Go."