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 Teen pop stars are singing, dancing time bombs ...



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 Christina one-ups Britney ...



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 Jessica moves from singer to iconic ditz, Nick Carter's star dims ...





Britney Spears: 'I Don't Want To Be A Tease'

Mandy Moore: O-Town Girl

Jessica Simpson: Simply Jessica






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Nick Carter

If there were an SAT test for pop, there would surely be this analogy question: "Britney Spears is to Christina Aguilera as 'NSYNC are to X?" For Nick Carter's entire teen pop career, 'NSYNC and Backstreet Boys have been locked in a friendly rivalry for superstardom. Then, as soon as both bands went on hiatus, Justin Timberlake and Carter started working on solo albums, and released them at around the same time on the same label.

 

 




 
Nick Carter: Then & Now

Backstreet Boys
"Show Me The Meaning"
Millennium
(Jive)


"Do I Have To Cry"
Now Or Never
(Jive)
Like Justin, Carter strived for sonic reinvention, but while Timberlake succeeded in his quest, Carter's Now or Never raised a question mark about his future. The album was a more rock, less pop affair, carrying a strong '80s radio vibe, but it wasn't radically different enough to impact strongly with listeners. Worse, it was filled with sappy ballads and spineless rockers that sounded like glossy Bon Jovi-style knockoffs. With the Backstreet Boys, Carter was a blonde bombshell pin-up celebrity. As a heftier-framed solo artist, his star power dimmed.

Then: "As long as your love's there to lead me/ I won't lose my way, believe me." — Backstreet Boys' "Anywhere for You" (1996)

Now: "I was raised by the television/ Jerry Springer was my dad/ And it wouldn't matter if Martha Stewart was my mother and Aaron Carter was my brother/ 'cause I'd still be bad." — "Is It Saturday Yet?" (2003)

Jessica Simpson

She'll probably go down in pop-culture history as the girl who didn't know the difference between chicken and tuna, which will likely make her a more memorable figure than half the guys in the Backstreet Boys. However, having a hit TV show hasn't done much for Simpson's music career. Her latest album, In This Skin, came out in August at the height of "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica," yet it's sold just 565,000 copies in five months, less than the amount artists like Britney, Christina and Justin sell in their first week out. But while Simpson's singing career might be fizzling, she's been given a shot at an acting career. This year she'll perform a role in an ABC sitcom, and will also play the part of Barbara Eden's character in a movie version of the '60s TV series "I Dream of Jeannie."

 


 




 
Jessica Simpson: Then & Now

"I Wanna Love You Forever"
Sweet Kisses
(Sony)


"With You"
In This Skin
(Sony)
Then: "I wanna love you forever, and this is all I'm asking of you/ 10,000 lifetimes together, is that so much for you to do?" — "I Wanna Love You Forever" (1999)

Now: "I'd dance for you, let you come within/ If you swear to me that it ain't no sin." — "Forbidden Fruit" (2003)

Mandy Moore

Like Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore has fallen precipitously from her former teen-pop perch. And she's not interested in getting all dirrty to rebuild her audience. She also doesn't want to retread her past. So, on her 2003 album, Coverage, she opted to retread the pasts of others. The no-fluff record features renditions of songs by such artists as Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren and Elton John. She also continues to act in television and film, but while her 2002 flick, "A Walk to Remember," fared well at the box office, her 2003 movie, "How to Deal," stiffed.  

 


 



 
Mandy Moore: Then & Now

"Candy"
So Real
(Sony)


"Have A Little Faith In Me"
Coverage
(Sony)
Then: "Your love's as sweet as candy/ I'll be forever yours/ Love always, Mandy." — "Candy" (1999)

Now: "Let's admit we made a mistake, but can we still be friends?/ Heartbreak's never easy to take, but can we still be friends?" — Todd Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends?" (2003)








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