- Boy bands were undoubtedly at their peak in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
- Besides the obvious titans – Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC – there was also 98 Degrees, LMNT, Dream Street, O-Town, and even the Jonas Brothers, who made their debut in 2006.
- While Justin Timberlake has become one of the best-known people on the planet, the rest of *NSYNC is still kicking out there, too.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
While the boy-banders of the early aughts might forever be teenyboppers in your brain, they have all grown up. Backstreet Boys’ Kevin Richardson is almost 50!
To celebrate more than two decades of boy band excellence, we’ve rounded up 18 of the most iconic boy band members of the 2000s to see what they’re up to now.
Keep scrolling to see what Ashley Parker Angel, Nick Lachey, and more are up to today.
THEN: Even in the early 2000s, Justin Timberlake was the clear standout of *NSYNC.
During the height of *NSYNC days, Timberlake was the clear front man. He was dating fellow popstar Britney Spears, sang lead on a majority of the band’s songs, and was the most conventionally handsome member of the group.
In 2004, Timberlake was embroiled in the “Nipplegate” controversy. While performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show alongside Janet Jackson, Timberlake accidentally pulled off a portion of Jackson’s outfit, exposing her breast. While the scandal derailed Jackson’s career for a time, Timberlake escaped relatively unscathed.
NOW: Timberlake, 38, is one of the most famous musicians on the plane.
Since “Justified,” Timberlake has released four more albums: 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” 2013’s “The 20/20 Experience,” and “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2,” and 2018’s “Man of the Woods.” He’s had seven No. 1 hits, and 21 top 10 hits overall.
Timberlake has also had a successful acting career, with roles in “The Social Network,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Friends with Benefits,” and “Trolls.”
THEN: His bandmate, JC Chasez, was a heartthrob in his own right.
It’s been said that Chasez – not Timberlake – was the most talented member of *NSYNC. His vocal chops were just as impressive, and he’s definitely just as cute, so what happened?
After the band’s indefinite “hiatus” was announced, Chasez released his first (and only) solo album, “Schizophrenic,” in 2004. It peaked at No. 17.
NOW: Chasez, 43, was a judge on every season of “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and is a successful songwriter.
Chasez has had a moderately successful production and song-writing career, and wrote songs for Matthew Morrison, the Cheetah Girls, McFly, AJ McLean, and even the Backstreet Boys.
Chasez was a judge for all seven seasons of “America’s Best Dance Crew.” He also managed the girl group, Girl Radical, in 2013.
THEN: Lance Bass was the sweetest, most innocent member of *NSYNC.
While performing with *NSYNC, Bass formed the media management company Free Lance Entertainment in 2000, though it shut down soon after. He also produced a show on MTV called “The Free Lance Talent Search,” which was meant to find talent for the company – and they found Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic fame – but nothing ever came of it.
Bass has never released solo music of his own, though he began acting in the early 2000s, starring in the film “On the Line,” and appearing in TV shows like “7th Heaven” and “Kim Possible.”
NOW: Bass, 40, is openly gay, and frequently appears as himself in various tongue-in-cheek roles in TV and movies.
Bass came out as gay in 2006, making him one of, if not the only, openly gay boy band members in history. His sexuality had been long speculated, but the official announcement came on the cover of People.
Bass married artist Michael Turchin in December 2014, and they filmed their nuptials for an E! special, “Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding.” They became the first same-sex couple to get married on cable TV.
The former singer is also a friend to many Bravo stars, including Lisa Vanderpump and the cast of “Vanderpump Rules.” He even officiated the nuptials of Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright last summer.
THEN: Joey Fatone was a little edgier than his other *NSYNC band mates.
Fatone, the baritone of the group, went on to pursue stardom after the group’s “hiatus” in 2002. He appeared in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “The Cooler,” among other films, and made his Broadway debut in “Rent,” and he hosted various TV shows as himself.
In 2007, he joined the cast of “Dancing with the Stars,” and he was eventually declared the runner-up. He has not, however, released any solo music.
NOW: Fatone, 42, has had a successful hosting career. He also appeared on the first season of “The Masked Singer.”
Fatone reappeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2012, but this time only made it to the second week. He has hosted various shows, including “Karaoke Battle USA” and “Celebrity Circus.” He also reprised his role in the 2016’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.”
In 2019, Fatone placed fourth on the very first season of “The Masked Singer.” He had been disguised as the rabbit.
Fatone and Baldwin welcomed their second daughter, Kloey, in 2010. But the two parents announced their separation in June 2019. He is currently dating Izabel Araujo – and has been for the last four years,according to her Instagram.
THEN: Chris Kirkpatrick is the oldest member of *NSYNC.
According to Lance Bass’ biography, “Out of Sync,” Kirkpatrick had just missed being in the Backstreet Boys, and thus Lou Pearlman, who would go on to manage *NSYNC as well, offered him a spot in another boy band he was forming.
Kirkpatrick hasn’t released any solo music, but appeared on the second season of “Gone Country,” a reality competition for pop singers to compete for the chance to become a country star, in 2008.
NOW: Kirkpatrick, 48, is a successful voice actor — you might recognise him as Chip Skylark in “The Fairly Odd Parents.”
Kirkpatrick portrayed the iconic animated pop star for seven years throughout various episodes of “Fairly Odd Parents,” singing jams that any self-respecting ’90s and 2000s kids know, such as “My Shiny Teeth and Me,” “Icky Vicky,” and “Find Your Voice.”
THEN: Matthew Morrison was recruited to join the boy band LMNT for a short time.
Morrison was only in LMNT for a short time, before their biggest song, “Juliet,” was released, but being in the band gave him his first taste of musical success. After leaving, he starred in the original Broadway production of “Hairspray” in 2002, as Link Larkin.
In 2009, he scored the role of Mr. Schuester on “Glee.”
NOW: Of course, Morrison, 41, is best known for his role as Will Schuester on “Glee.”
Morrison starred on “Glee” for all six seasons until its end in 2015. During its run, he also released two albums: 2011’s “Matthew Morrison” and 2013’s “Where It All Began.” Morrison also dropped a Christmas EP in 2013 called “A Classic Christmas.”
Immediately after “Glee” ended, Morrison returned to Broadway and starred in the musical “Finding Neverland,” originating the role of J.M. Barrie.
Most recently, Morrison starred in the ninth season of anthology horror series “American Horror Story: 1984.” He’s also a judge on the BBC One series “The Greatest Dancer.”
THEN: Ashley Parker Angel was the clear heartthrob in O-Town.
Angel is one of the original members of O-Town, which was formed on the MTV reality docuseries “Making the Band.” They released two albums before disbanding in 2003.
Angel was the lone O-Town member to pursue a solo career, and eventually released a solo album in 2006 called “Soundtrack to Your Life.” During the process, he also starred in his own MTV docuseries called “There & Back,” which documented his solo career and the birth of his son, Lyric.
That year he also starred in “Celebrity Cooking Showdown.”
NOW: Angel, 38, was the only member of O-Town who didn’t participate in the 2011 reunion. Instead, he focused on theatre.
Angel began pursuing theatre in 2007 when he appeared on Broadway in “Hairspray” as Link Larkin – which former boy-bander Matthew Morrison originated. In 2017, he began appearing in “Wicked,” as Fiyero, which he starred in on-and-off through 2018.
Angel’s son, Lyric, is now an actor, and appeared on “American Horror Story: Hotel” in 2015.
THEN: In 2002, Nick Carter and the rest of the Backstreet Boys went on hiatus. Carter released his first solo single and album that year.
Carter was 22 years old at the time. He was just 13 when he was recruited to join the Backstreet Boys.
Carter was considered the breakout star of the group, and the most traditional “teen idol.” He released his debut solo album, “Now or Never,” in October 2002, to modest success. During that time, he also dabbled in acting by appearing on shows like “American Dreams” and “8 Simple Rules” in minor roles.
It was later revealed that, also at this time, Carter was developing addictions to drugs and alcohol, and claimed that he had his first drink at 2 years old. Carter was arrested in 2002 after refusing to leave a bar, and was later charged with a misdemeanour count of “resisting or opposing a law enforcement officer without violence.”
NOW: Carter, 39, is still singing with the Backstreet Boys. He’s also dealing with a difficult situation with his younger brother, Aaron.
In 2006, the world became privy to the dysfunctional family dynamics of the Carter family in the E! reality TV series “House of Carters.” Thirteen years later, things haven’t improved much. In 2019, the elder Carter brother was granted a year-long restraining order against his younger brother, Aaron, who allegedly confessed to fantasizing about killing Nick’s pregnant wife and newborn child.
Besides performing with the band, Carter also placed second on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2015, released two more solo albums (2011’s “I’m Taking Off” and 2015’s “All American“), worked with New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight on the 2014 collaborative album “Nick & Knight,” and released a memoir in 2013 titled “Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It.”
THEN: Kevin Richardson is the oldest member of the Backstreet Boys, and was the first to leave the band in 2006.
Richardson was the de facto big brother of the Backstreet Boys, as he was the oldest member of the band. In 2000, at 29, he married Kristin Kay Willits, whom he met while they were both working as cast members at Disney World. They have two sons, Mason and Maxwell, born in 2007 and 2013.
His younger cousin, Brian Littrell, is also a member of the band.
In 2006, Richardson released a statement that he was leaving the band, saying he was ready “to move on with the next chapter of my life.” Makes sense – at that point, he was 35 years old, and was itching to release solo music.
During the band’s original hiatus beginning in 2002, Richardson branched out into theatre acting. He starred as Billy Flynn in both the Broadway and touring productions of “Chicago.” When he left the band in 2006, he again returned to “Chicago.”
NOW: Richardson, 48, has rejoined the band full-time.
Richardson rejoined the band officially in April 2012, after performing with the group sporadically since his departure.
He’s the only member of the group who has yet to release solo music, though he has kept busy. In 2016, he starred in the short film “If I Could Tell You,” as a sperm donor that a woman is trying to use to conceive a child. It reflected Richardson and his wife’s struggles with infertility, he told ET.
THEN: Brian Littrell was known as the “funny one” in the Backstreet Boys.
Littrell joined the Backstreet Boys after his cousin, Kevin Richardson, recommended him to the group.
He became more well-known outside BSB fan circles in 1997, when he was one of the first people to bring attention to the band’s controversial manager Lou Pearlman. He sued Pearlman for “misappropriation and concealment of revenues generated by the group.”
NOW: In addition to the Backstreet Boys, Littrell, 44, is also a successful contemporary Christian artist.
Littrell has released three albums on his own, starting with 2006’s “Welcome Home,” which peaked at No. 3 on the US Christian chart, and at No. 74 on the Billboard 200.
His son, Baylee Littrell, who was born in 2002, has a musical career of his own as a country singer. His debut album, “770-Country,” was released in November 2019. Baylee also made his Broadway debut at 13 in the musical “Disaster!”
THEN: Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean created an alter ego called Johnny No Name so he could perform different types of music.
Johnny No Name first appeared in 2000, while the Backstreet Boys were still at the top of their game. He briefly toured as his rock persona that year. According to him, that was also the year he started doing cocaine – which was on the set of the 2000 music video “The Call.”
McLean was the first member of the group to publicly discuss his substance abuse issues, and in 2001, the 23-year-old left the tour and entered rehab for the first time. McLean went back to rehab in 2002.
NOW: McLean, 42, released his one and only solo album (so far), “Have It All,” in 2010.
McLean released “Have It All” in 2010, after performing for the first time as a solo artist under his own name in 2008. For the first year, McLean’s album was only available in Asia – it wasn’t released in the US until 2011.
McLean entered rehab for the third time in January 2011. “For personal reasons, I’ve checked myself into a rehab clinic,”McLean said in a statement to MTV News. “With 2011 being a busy year for Backstreet, I want to be healthy and at my best. Thank you for all of your support and respecting my family and friends’ privacy during this time. I’ll see you really soon.”
THEN: Howie Dorough’s biggest claim to fame in the Backstreet Boys is producing a fart that made its way into the 2000 song “The Call.”
Yup, the then-27-year-old happened to fart while recording “The Call,” and legendary producer Max Martin was able to “[tweak] it and [make] it sound like one of his patented bass sounds,” bandmate AJ McLean told Billboard.
“I got in the booth, was breathing in really heavily singing my part, and I guess some extra air kind of came out. It made everybody laugh, and Max decided to take that and sample it to turn it into the ‘dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun,'” Dorough confirmed.
Dorough met his future wife in 2000, film producer Leigh Anne Boniello. The two got married in 2007.
Dorough dabbled in acting in the ’90s and 2000s, and he appeared on a 2002 episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”
NOW: Dorough, 46, has released two solo albums and one live album.
His first solo album, “Back to Me,” was released in 2011 under the name Howie D. It peaked at No. 56 in Japan. His second album, “Which One Am I?” was released in July 2019. He has a residency in Omaha scheduled for the beginning of 2020.
Outside of music, Dorough and his brother John created Dorough Brothers Development & Consulting, a real estate development firm. The brothers have developed and invested in luxury condos and houses in their home state of Florida.
THEN: Jesse McCartney was a member of the short-lived boy band Dream Street.
Dream Street was a band from 1999 until 2002, when it disbanded following a legal dispute between the members’ parents and their management. At the time of its demise, McCartney was 15 years old, and was already a little famous for a role on “All My Children.”
McCartney released his debut album, “Beautiful Soul,” in 2004. That year he also began starring on the WB series “Summerland” alongside fellow future teen idol, Zac Efron.
NOW: McCartney, 32, had a very successful solo career in the 2000s and early 2010s, and is currently making a comeback.
McCartney has released three more albums since his debut: 2006’s “Right Where You Want Me,” 2008’s “Departure,” and 2014’s “In Technicolor.” After a four-year hiatus, McCartney released two singles in 2018: “Better With You” and “Wasted.”
Over the years McCartney has also appeared in multiple TV shows, including “Greek,” “Young and Hungry,” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”
In September 2019, he got engaged to longtime girlfriend Katie Peterson.
THEN: A curly-haired Nick Jonas was the subject of every tween fantasy.
Jonas began his career as a solo artist, releasing one album in 2005 before teaming up with his brothers. He also appeared in Broadway productions of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Les Misérables.”
The Jonas Brothers released their first album, “It’s About Time,” in 2006. Soon after, they partnered up with Disney and released their next three albums on Hollywood Records. Jonas also began dating fellow tween superstar, Miley Cyrus, in June 2006 through December 2007.
In 2009, Jonas started the band Nick Jonas & the Administration on the side, as a way to experiment with other types of music. The group released one album, “Who I Am,” in 2010.
NOW: The 27-year-old has had two successful solo albums, and is married to Priyanka Chopra.
After the Jonas Brothers unofficially disbanded following their 2010 album, “Jonas L.A.,” he pursued a solo career, garnering a top 10 hit with “Jealous” in 2014. He released two solo albums, “Nick Jonas” (2014) and “Last Year Was Complicated” (2016).
Jonas also began seriously pursuing acting. He starred in the DirecTV show, “Kingdom,” and also appeared in shows such as “Smash,” and “Scream Queens.” In 2019, he appeared in the film “Midway,” and reprised his role as Jefferson in the “Jumanji” sequel.
He married actress Priyanka Chopra in December 2018 after a whirlwind relationship.
THEN: Joe Jonas was the de facto front man of the Jonas Brothers.
Joe was the louder, more traditionally “leading man-esque” member of the Jonas Brothers, especially because he mainly sang, as opposed to his guitar-playing brothers. This was propelled by his starring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Camp Rock,” in 2008, and its 2010 sequel.
Jonas was also involved in a few high-profile relationships in the aughts, including a brief relationship with Taylor Swift that ended via a 27-second phone call (and inspired her song “Forever & Always”), and with his “Camp Rock” co-star Demi Lovato.
NOW: Before re-forming the Jonas Brothers, the 30-year-old found moderate success with DNCE. He recently married “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner.
Jonas released his own solo album, “Fastlife,” in 2011 to little fanfare. He took a hiatus from singing for a few years before re-emerging as part of the band DNCE in 2015. Their signature song, “Cake by the Ocean,” peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100.
In 2018, Jonas temporarily moved to Australia to be a judge on its version of “The Voice.” This move inspired his two brothers to visit him down under – and this fateful trip is what jump-started the Jonas Brothers’ reunion.
THEN: Kevin Jonas was the goofy oldest brother.
The oldest Jonas has been the comic relief of the band. He also mainly concentrates on guitar and singing back-up vocals, though he occasionally has a solo here and there.
Jonas met his future wife, Danielle, while on a family vacation in the Bahamas in May 2007.
NOW: Kevin, 32, pursued many different business ventures before reuniting with the band. He married his longtime love Danielle in 2009.
Jonas and his wife, Danielle, began starring on the E! reality show, “Married to Jonas” in 2012. It lasted for two seasons.
He also appeared in “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” as a contractor. He founded the construction company JonasWerner, and is the co-CEO of The Blu Market, which is a hub for social media influencers.
In 2015, he launched the now-defunct food app, Yood.
THEN: Nick Lachey was the clear heartthrob of 98 Degrees, and one-half of early 2000s It-Couple, Nick and Jessica Simpson.
While Lachey’s band was on hiatus, he began starring on the reality series “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica,” alongside his new wife Jessica Simpson. The show lasted for three seasons, from 2003 to 2005. The newlyweds subsequently filed for divorced, which was finalised in 2006.
Also in 2003, Lachey released his first solo album, “SoulO.” It peaked at No. 51. His second album reached No. 2.
During the early aughts, Lachey began dabbling in acting and appeared in various sitcoms like “American Dreams,” “I’m With Her,” and “Hope & Faith.”
NOW: Lachey, 46, hosts Nickelodeon series “America’s Most Musical Family,” and is married to Vanessa Minnillo.
The couple has three kids: Phoenix, Camden, and Brooklyn.
He began his hosting career with 2009’s “The Sing-Off,” which lasted until 2014. Since then, he’s hosted singing game show “The Winner Is,” VH1 morning show “Big Morning Buzz Live,” the Miss USA 2019 pageant, and “America’s Most Musical Family.”
He and his brother, Drew, also starred in “Lachey’s: Raising the Bar,” a docuseries following the brothers as they develop and open their bar, Lachey’s. It closed in 2018.
THEN: Drew Lachey joined his older brother in 98 Degrees.
Lachey was mainly known as “Nick Lachey’s kid brother,” even during his time in 98 Degrees. But after the group’s hiatus, he – like boy-banders before him – pivoted to Broadway. He appeared in “Rent” and “Spamalot.”
He married his childhood sweetheart and 98 Degrees choreographer, Lea Dellecave, in 2000.
NOW: Lachey, 43, pursued theatre, as well as a reality TV career.
But Lachey’s main claim to fame now is that he won the second-ever season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006. That year, he also co-hosted the Miss USA pageant and welcomed his first child, Isabella. His son, Hudson, was born in 2010.
Most recently, he appeared on the 11th season of “American Ninja Warrior” in May 2019.
- Read more:
- THEN AND NOW: Boy-band members from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s
- From throwing insults to talking about a reunion, here’s everything One Direction members have said since their hiatus
- 25 things that happened 20 years ago that will make you feel ancient
- 10 boy bands we wish would get back together
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