The late ‘90s and early 2000s gave us plenty of pop stars; after all, it was the resurgence of the boy bands, the rebirth of bubblegum pop. We got Britney, Christina, Beyonce and Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake out of that boom. (We also got Nick Lachey, doomed to host shows about karaoke forever.)
But there were plenty of others whose careers burned brightly for just a few minutes, then failed to truly ignite and blast across the stratosphere of fame. Do you remember them? I sure do. They’re gone, but never totally forgotten.
Hoku is the daughter of famed Hawaiian musician Don Ho. She released her debut single “Another Dumb Blonde” to a little TRL fanfare and followed it up with “Perfect Day,” which we know best from its prevalent placement in “Legally Blonde.” She released an EP in 2006 that went nowhere, and hasn’t released anything since. Nowadays, she’s living in California with her husband and children.
Irish singer Samantha Mumba made more of an impact on the pop charts in the UK, but “Gotta Tell You” and “Baby Come Over” got decent play in the States, too. Did you know she dated Sisqo? That’s 2000s for you. She did some TV work in the UK and is apparently planning a comeback tour.
It puzzles me that M2M has a greatest hits album, because I can only remember a song (“Don’t Say You Love Me”) on the Pokemon soundtrack. They toured with Hanson, but most of their musical impact happened outside the U.S. Their music did especially well in Asian. The Norwegian duo has since parted ways, performing as solo artists.
Discovered while attending a Christian music festival, Stacie Orrico was a pop star with pretty legit pipes. “Stuck” and “More to Life” are solid pop songs and personal favorites. Stacie appeared twice on now-defunct NBC drama “American Dreams.” Remember that show? After her brief stint in the spotlight, she took a hiatus from music, worked with the Fray (hello 2006!) and is now planning to release new songs. She lives in New York.
Rest assured no young girl of the ‘90s has forgotten about B*Witched. For some reason, “C’est La Vie” wormed its way into our brains and it will never, ever leave. Ireland’s answer to the Spice Girls got dropped from their label in 2002 and split thereafter. The group’s two sisters (Keavy and Edele) formed their own band; they occasionally play B*Witched songs in concert.
Is O-Town the first band to form on a reality show? Maybe not, but they’re one of the most memorable and definitely the most hilariously stylized. Why am I still able to name them off on a moment’s notice? This TV band, named after Orlando, Florida, managed to release a few singles and find a bit of fame. Bonus points to you if you remember original member Ikaika, who left the group shortly after it was formed. Listening to “Liquid Dreams” almost 15 years later is a serious blast from the past. Ashley Parker Angel, clearly the standout star of the series, funneled their short fame into his own reality show and a stint on Broadway. Apparently they’ve reunited, but we don’t know much more than that.
Her 2003 single, “Take Me Away,” was ubiquitous on radio for awhile, but without YouTube I would’ve forgotten it entirely. Fefe had several songs on soundtracks for ‘00s movies like “Raising Helen” and “The Perfect Score,” opened for Justin Timberlake and appeared in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial. However, she didn’t want to be a manufactured pop star and left her label. She continues to record and release new material.
I will always love Willa Ford because she played Anna Nicole Smith in a 2007 biopic. Remember when she burst onto the scene and we all hated her because she dated Nick Carter? Willa’s single “I Wanna Be Bad” will live on in infamy forever; it’s the perfect slice of ‘00s glossy girl pop. She also guest-hosted “Say What Karaoke,” the greatest MTV show. After her pop career ended, Willa appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006 and is currently divorced and doing some acting work. Maybe you should call up Nick, Willa.
Girl group Dream was signed by Diddy to Bad Boy Records and their singles “He Loves U Not” and “This is Me” were new-girlfriend anthems for all of us. They got to appear on the 2001 TRL tour, which also featured Nelly and Destiny’s Child. They tried for a comeback in 2003, but it didn’t work out and Bad Boy dropped them. Some of the members attempted to form new groups, but nothing got off the ground.