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98 Degrees' Nick Lachey Hopes to Attract Older Listeners with <i>SoulO</i> Debut - 2003-12-25

As a member of boy band 98 Degrees, singer Nick Lachey developed a large teenage fan base. While the band has been on hiatus, Nick had the time to record his debut solo album called SoulO. Now, the 30-year-old singer hopes to attract some older listeners.

Nick Lachey's album SoulO is a mixture of funk, soul, dance beats and romantic ballads, and is more guitar-oriented than his work with 98 Degrees. His vocal style has been compared to that of George Michael and Richard Marx. Recorded with several well-known producers, the CD showcases Nick's passion for classic soul with some contemporary touches. He says the point was to evolve from where 98 Degrees left off.

Expecting comparisons to the solo albums by 'N Sync members Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez, and Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, Nick says, "I think we're all doing very, very different kinds of music. Ultimately, I hope fans will like the songs and me as a singer. I guess there might be a small percentage of people that it could be a problem for, but I did the album for the fans that were still loyal to 98 Degrees, and as I evolve as a singer and hopefully tap into new fans."

The soulful Edge of Eternity was written as a wedding present for Nick's new wife, singer and actress Jessica Simpson.

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson have started the second season of their hit MTV series Newlyweds. The reality television show follows Jessica and Nick at home as they adjust to married life. The program has made Jessica famous for her absent-minded, unintentional humor. When asked about being overshadowed by Jessica's career, Nick comments, "She knows I'm her biggest fan. I cheer for her louder than anyone. I tell her all the time that I'd gladly retire to hang out with the kids and clean the house. I want to have a good life and great family, and, from a professional standpoint, I want to be successful, but it's not the most important thing at all." The couple will perform during the halftime show of college football's Orange Bowl game on New Year's Day in Miami.

As far as 98 Degrees is concerned, group members say they're still officially together. Nick Lachey comments, "We never meant to be swept up by the whole boy band movement. I think there will be an opportunity for harmony groups to be successful again. I'd like to do another record with the group at some point." Nick says he hopes to pursue more acting roles while 98 Degrees is taking a break, and hopes to launch a solo tour in early 2004.