The sweet urban soul quartet 98° was formed in Los Angeles by four former Ohio residents: brothers Nick and Drew Lachey plus Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre. Timmons was trying to make it in the music industry, so he called Jeffre and Nick Lachey -- both former classmates at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Artists -- and formed 98°; Drew Lachey soon moved to the West Coast as well. The quartet was working a variety of odd jobs to finance their talent show appearances, but after attracting attention by trying to crash the backstage area of a Boyz II Men show, 98° was offered a chance to sing on a local radio station. From that appearance the group met Paris d'Jon, the co-manager of Montell Jordan. He arranged demos for them and helped the group sign to Motown. The quartet's debut single, "Invisible Man," hit number 12 on the singles charts and went gold during 1997, leading to the release of their self-titled debut album in July of that year. 98° and Rising followed in late 1998, and a year later the group returned with the seasonal effort This Christmas. Their third full-length, Revelation, featuring the single "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)," was released in fall 2000. It became the most-added Top 40 single in history during its first week of release. By fall, second single "My Everything" was hot while things with the band began to simmer down. Rumors of a split started to brew. By February 2002, the rumor had gone far enough. The members of 98° officially announced that the band was on hiatus. Other projects were in the works, but they were still a band. The Collection album and DVD followed in May.
Over the next decade, members of 98° pursued solo projects, with Nick Lachey gaining the most traction due to his marriage to Jessica Simpson, which was briefly documented on MTV's reality show Newlyweds. The marriage didn't last but Lachey did become a TV star, guesting on several series and hosting the talent competition The Sing-Off. His brother Drew also appeared on television, winning the second season of Dancing with the Stars in 2004, and Timmons eventually wound up on an MTV reality show called Misson Man Band in 2007. Only Jeffre didn't show up on TV; he unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Cincinnati in 2005. Eventually, the group drifted back together, dipping their toes in the water for a reunion in 2012, then pursuing a reunion full-time in 2013, launching a tour for a brand new album called 98° 2.0. ~ John Bush