Born in Michigan in 1973, Justin Jeffre is one-fourth of the popular 1990s boy band 98 Degrees, which also includes Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey and Jeff Timmons. The group thrived in the era of boy bands, including the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync. After releasing several popular albums in the late '90s and early 2000s, including their self-titled debut album, which was released in 1997 and went gold, and their multi-platinum album 98 Degrees and Rising, the boy band went on an extended hiatus. Jeffre has stayed out of the public eye for several years, instead focusing his attention on politics and activism.
Justin Jeffre was born on February 25, 1973, in Mount Clemens, Michigan, to Sue and Dan Jeffrey. He has a brother named Dan. Jeffre attended the School for Creative and Performing Artrs in Cincinnati, where he met future bandmate Nick Lachey. The two sang together at SCPA before becoming professionals, making up part of a barbershop quartet.
The boy band 98 Degrees began after Jeff Timmons met Nick Lachey through a mutual friend, and approached Lachey about forming a group. From there, Lachey suggested that his friend from SCPA, Jeffre, join them. After adding Lachey's younger brother, Drew Lachey, 98 Degrees was complete.
While 98 Degrees emerged during a time when radio waves were swarming with boy bands, what set these heartbreakers apart was forming independently (later, in the late 1990s, they were signed by Motown Records). They followed their self-titled debut album, which was released in 1997 and went gold, with the multi-platinum album 98 Degrees and Rising. The former included such popular songs as "Because of You," with the latter including hits like "I Do (Cherish You)." The band went on to release two less successful albums before going on a hiatus in 2002.
In 2005, Jeffre surprised the public when he decided to run for the mayorship of Cincinnati, Ohio; he made the announcement at his alma mater, SCPA. Though Jeffre didn't fare well in the mayoral election—he placed a distant fifth, gaining only 2 percent of the vote—his political involvement didn't stop there. He currently works with activists on various projects.
Jeffre stayed out of the news several years, but found his way back into the spotlight in 2011, when he was arrested for trespassing while participating in a protest on behalf of the Occupy Cincinnati movement.
After a decade-long break, all four members of 98 Degrees reunited for a one-time concert in 2012, perfoming, to the anticipation of many excited fans, at the Summer Mixtape Festival. It was later revealed that the group was working on new music and would reunite for a tour: the Package Tour, also featuring Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block, which began on May 31, 2013. Earlier that month, 98 Degrees released the album 2.0.
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