Home Music Music Lists

Where Are They Now? 1999’s Biggest Pop Acts

Find out what New Radicals, Lou Bega, Backstreet Boys, Limp Bizkit and more are up to these days

Where Are They Now: Class of 1999

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Tim Roney/Getty Images; Brenda Chase Online USA, Inc.

In many ways, 1999 was a peak year for the record industry. With millions of kids buying CDs at up to $18 each and the teen-pop juggernaut plowing full speed ahead, major labels were minting money. Who knew that a college kid named Shawn Fanning and his new peer-to-peer file-sharing program Napster were about to change the music business forever? Here's a look back at 10 stars who scored big in '99 and what they're up to now.

By Andy Greene

Korn

Bob Berg/Getty Images; Chiaki Nozu/WireImage

Korn

Then: Korn has been a major metal act since 1994, but they were really only pop stars for a few short years, starting with 1998's Follow the Leader. It was a weird moment, when rap-metal and teen-pop were equally at home on MTV – Korn's aggro freak-outs "Falling Away From Me" and "Freak On A Leash" could share the airwaves with 'N Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" and Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," and somehow it all made sense.

Now: Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and drummer David Silveria have left the band, but three out of five original members are still out there playing big shows and releasing new music every couple of years. Korn's most recent album, last year's Path of Totality, featured multiple collaborations with Skrillex. They aren't quite as massive as they were when "Freak On A Leash" was all over TRL, but they're doing much better than many of their nu-metal peers from that era. And earlier this year, Welch played with the band for the first time in years, so a reunion of the 1999 line-up isn't completely out of the question.

A-Teens

Magnus Sundholm/Online USA; Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

A-Teens

Then: Two of the most lucrative pop culture phenomena of 1999 were teen-pop and Mamma Mia!, the Abba musical that premiered in London that spring. Combining the two was a surefire win. The A-Teens – four photogenic teenagers from Sweden – did their best to step into the shoes of the original Abba, who split up years earlier. Their updated versions of hits including "Mamma Mia," "Super Trouper" and "Dancing Queen" scored big around the world.

Now: There are only so many Abba songs to cover, and soon the A-Teens ran out. They tried switching up the formula on later albums, covering Alice Cooper and Elvis Presley, but each disc sold worse than the last. The group split in 2004; all four A-Teens attempted solo careers, but none gained much traction outside of Sweden. While reunion rumors have circulated for years, the A-Teens remain defunct.

Limp Bizkit

Brenda Chase Online USA, Inc.; Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Limp Bizkit

Then: Limp Bizkit burst on to the scene with an aggro rap-metal cover of George Michael's "Faith" in 1998, but they proved they could write their own hits with 1999's massive singles "Nookie" and "Break Stuff." Many saw their megasuccess as a sign of the apocalypse, but for legions of high-school boys with rage issues, they were rock gods.

 Now: Things started to go downhill for Limp Bizkit when some people blamed them for the riots at Woodstock 1999; by 2004, when the band went on hiatus, the public had mostly stopped caring about them at all. But their story might not be over yet: Earlier this year, Limp Bizkit signed with rap institution Cash Money Records, making them Lil Wayne's labelmates, and they're reportedly working on a comeback record. Guitarist Wes Borland, who's left and rejoined the band an absurd number of times, is currently back in the fold. In the meantime, frontman Fred Durst has launched a surprising second career as a director, winning positive reviews for 2007's The Education of Charlie Banks.

S Club 7

Tim Roney/Getty Images; Ollie Millington/Redferns

S Club 7

Then: When the Spice Girls fired their manager Simon Fuller in 1997, he decided to simply start another group. The result was S Club 7, a seven-piece pop group that also starred on their own television series. This was a smart move straight out of the Monkees playbook – the TV show promoted the music, and vice versa. The group was huge in England all through 1999, and they scored a Top 10 American hit the following year with "Never Had a Dream Come True."

Now: After losing several key members, S Club 7 became S Club. Their downsized three-member lineup has been reduced to playing small clubs and pubs in recent years. It's a sad state of affairs, but don't count them entirely out – as the New Kids On The Block have learned, if you time your reunion just right, you can make a fortune. 

The Bloodhound Gang

David Tonge/Getty Images; Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

The Bloodhound Gang

Then: 1999 was the year that Tom Green's "Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)" went to number one on MTV's TRL, showing that America was ready to embrace the silliest of novelty songs. They had another chance that summer, when the Bloodhound Gang released "The Bad Touch" from an LP titled Hooray for Boobies. If the title doesn't ring a bell, the chorus probably will: "You and me, baby, ain't nothing but mammals/So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel."

Now: The goofball group never matched the success of "The Bad Touch," but they've lasted a lot longer than anyone thought. While their most recent album came out seven years ago, they've managed to hold onto a fan base in Europe – where they landed in hot water after allegedly urinating on one another onstage in 2006. The band is reportedly working on a new album.

Show Comments