98 Degrees... Motown Newcomers

August 1 [10:00 EDT] -- Following the requisite round of unsigned act showcases like singing the national anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers game and winning several talent contests and and so on, 98 Degrees (Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre, and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey) resorted to hustling their way backstage at a BoyzIIMen concert to sing live for the assembled cognoscenti.

It worked. One of Montell Jordan's co-managers, Paris D'Jon, liked what he heard and helped produce and sell the group's demo to various labels. It is fitting that Motown signed 98 Degrees. Many of the top-selling acts in Motown's history exhibited such chutzpah at their career's on-set (see: BoyzIIMen, Four Tops).

These young R&B crooners hail from Ohio, and have nothing but good love on their mind. Their debut 98 Degrees has some twists though. Tricky, not a name that pops to mind when one thinks of sweet ballads, produced "You Are Everything," a cover of the Stylistic's syrupy '60s hit. 98 Degrees

also features contributions from Rashad Smith (producer of LL Cool J and Seal), and Montell Jordan.

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