The boy band 98° have always been something of a standout: They formed using their own independent record labels and questionably ethical music producers, they could all sing - like, really sing - and they had a sexy but wholesome vibe that never felt contrived or calculated. So, what exactly happened to 98°? Where have they been?
Though the group's members grew up in or have a strong connection to Ohio, they didn't form as a band until they all met in Los Angeles in 1996. Jeff Timmons had just dropped out of college, and he eventually met Nick Lachey. Lachey's friend Justin Jeffre, with whom Lachey had performed back in Ohio, soon joined the growing group. Finally, Lachey's brother, Drew, who was working as an EMT in New York City, was persuaded to join as well, and the band we know and love as 98° was born.
As it turns out, 98° are still very much a thing, and after taking a nearly decade-long hiatus, they've reemerged as a (slightly) older, (perhaps) wiser, but still undeniably charming boy(ish) band. And each member has gone to pursue their own interests, some of which may surprise you.
Nick Lachey Was Involved In The Movement To Legalize CannabisPhoto: Instagram
In 2015, Nick Lachey was part of a group of investors that advocated for the legalization of cannabis in Ohio. Their efforts got the initiative on the state ballot, and Lachey appeared in ads to support it. He and his co-investors owned a 29-acre cannabis farm outside of Akron and stood to make a mighty profit if the ballot initiative passed. Unfortunately for Lachey, voters decided against legalizing both recreational and medicinal cannabis.
Justin Jeffre Ran For Mayor Of Cincinnati
In 2005, Justin Jeffre ran for mayor of Cincinnati, OH. He didn't make it out of the primaries, garnering only 708 votes. Despite the loss, Jeffre was optimistic:
I feel good. I think we did well given the lack of coverage that the local media gave my campaign. I was a grass-roots candidate and not one of the big-money, big-party politicians and I got some national and international attention, but the local media chose to marginalize my campaign, which I think was a great disservice to the community.
Justin Jeffre Was Detained At A 2011 Occupy Cincinnati Protest
Justin Jeffre's loss in the '05 mayoral race didn't stop him from remaining politically active or staying committed to social change. In 2011, he was detained for trespassing while protesting at an Occupy Cincinnati event. He pleaded not guilty. Of the event, Jeffre said, "[Jail] was not fun. But it was the place to be if you are standing up for free speech."
Drew Lachey Has Gone On To Act And Emcee
In addition to touring with the Dancing with the Stars stage show, Drew Lachey has done occasional acting and emceeing work as well. He co-hosted the 2006 Miss USA pageant with Nancy O'Dell. He hosted HGTV's $250,000 Challenge and also appeared as a contestant on the network's design challenge show, Showdown. In 2010, he played Corny Collins in a Pittsburgh production of Hairspray. And in 2012, he returned to Dancing with the Stars in an all-stars competition but was eliminated third.
Lachey is also a big supporter of the arts and runs Lachey Arts, an Ohio camp for artistic kids.