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98 Degrees reveal they nearly had a much worse band name

98 Degrees reveal they nearly had a much worse band name

98 degrees are getting the band back together – and while they're at it, they're rehashing how the band got its name.

Members Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre, Drew Lachey, and Nick Lachey have revealed a few of the entries on the long list of stage names they wound up rejecting.

"Spontaneous Combustion was a personal favorite," Jeffre said in a new Us Weekly cover story.

Nick Lachey, however, has a soft spot for another moniker the boys ditched: "I still stand by Inertia."

Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees speak to the crowd during the 2022 Canadian Country Music Awards at Scotiabank Saddledome on September 11, 2022 in Calgary, Canada.
Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees speak to the crowd during the 2022 Canadian Country Music Awards at Scotiabank Saddledome on September 11, 2022 in Calgary, Canada.

Derek Leung/Getty Images 98 Degrees

Keep in mind that this brainstorming session didn't involve any producers or a label. Unlike many star-status boy bands, 98 degrees formed independently before snagging a record deal.

Timmons said they originally started out with the name Just Us before later considering calling themselves First Four. Drew called the latter "terrible" (agreed) and added that another contender was Next Issue (not much better).

Ultimately — and thankfully — they landed on 98 degrees, and there was no turning back.

As hardcore fans of the '90s softies will recall, their chosen name is a reference to 98.6℉, which was once widely considered the average human body temperature. The group chose it because they were looking for a moniker that captured their passion and desire to maintain the heat with their music and performances.

"We voted on it," Drew Lachey said. "We wanted something that represented the mood and tone."

Delving into the origins of it during a 2014 appearance on Bethenny, the short-lived daytime talk show hosted by Bethenny Frankel, Timmons divulged that the name didn't even come from the band members themselves.

"We could not come up with a cool name," he recalled, citing New Issue and Next Issue as names they pitched. "Our manager, believe it or not, had a really hot girlfriend. She was like, 'Why not call yourselves 98 degrees?' And we were like, 'Bingo!'"

More than two decades after finding that perfect name, 98 degrees have returned — they're embarking on their 25th-anniversary tour, which kicked off in August.

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