1. Sisqó, “Thong Song”
Sisqó’s “Thong Song” became a smash hit and officially made thong underwear socially acceptable in 1999. He parlayed that success into a guest spot as a vampire on an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sisqó, now 34, reunited with his bandmates in Dru Hill in the early 2000s and appeared on the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2010, where he was fifth to be voted off. Also, at some point, he proved his commitment to thongs by wearing some kind of full-body thong.
2. Joan Osborne, “One of Us”
Osborne landed at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995. The song was later used as the theme song for the TV drama Joan of Arcadia in 2003. Now 50 (!!), Osborne is still performing as a member of the band Trigger Hippy, who were nominated for Best Blues Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
3. Marcy Playground, “Sex and Candy”
“Sex and Candy” spent 15 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart. Since then, the band’s done the usual mix of touring and album releases. In summer 2012, they toured with fellow ’90s alt-rock bands Everclear, Sugar Ray, Lit, and the Gin Blossoms.
4. Meredith Brooks, “Bitch”
Brooks scandalized adult contemporary radio in 1997 with “Bitch,” which many a hapless DJ was forced to refer to euphemistically as “her hit song.” Now 54, she’s a producer who worked on Jennifer Love Hewitt’s 2002 album BareNaked, among other records. She also released a children’s album in 2007.
5. Eagle Eye Cherry, “Save Tonight”
Cherry, the brother of singer Neneh Cherry and son of jazz legend Don Cherry, hit it big in 1997, which led to him making an appearance on Santana’s 1999 blockbuster Supernatural. He dropped off the radar of pop culture after that, but he’s still touring and recording, and he put out an abum called Can’t Get Enough in 2012.
6. Shawn Mullins, “Lullaby”
“It’s kind of like Nashville, with a tan,” crooned Shawn Mullins in 1998’s spoken word-y “Lullaby.” Now 44, he’s still releasing albums on the Vanguard Records label but hasn’t been able to top his ’90s success.
7. Shawn Colvin, “Sunny Came Home”
Colvin won for Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Sunny Came Home” at the Grammys in 1998. She’s been releasing new music every few years ever since, and put out a greatest-hits collection in 2004. Aside from that, the coolest thing she’s done since her Grammy wins was voice the character Rachel Jordan on an episode of The Simpsons.
8. Duncan Sheik, “Barely Breathing”
1996’s “Barely Breathing” won Duncan Sheik, an Andover grad and former semiotics student at Brown University, a Grammy, and the track stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 55 weeks. Sheik, now 43, lives in New York and scores music for films and plays. He’s currently composing the music for the musical adaptation of American Psycho.
9. Lou Bega, “Mambo No. 5”
German musician David Lubega, aka Lou Bega, hit it big in 1999 with “Mambo No. 5,” an adaptation of an instrumental from 1949. Good news: You can still book him for gigs! And yes, he’s still wearing fedoras.
10. Wreckx-n-Effect, “Rump Shaker”
1993’s awesome hit “Rump Shaker,” featuring a verse written by a young Pharrell Williams, was only stymied from reaching No. 1 by Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” The duo split up after their follow-up album Rap’s New Generation flopped due to a lack of support from their label.
11. Seven Mary Three, “Cumbersome”
Orlando by way of Williamsburg, Virginia, rockers Seven Mary Three scored a bit hit with this grunge tune, but failed to keep up momentum on rock radio with subsequent records. The group reshuffled their lineup a bit in the early 2000s and kept releasing albums but never topped the charts again. Lead singer Jason Ross currently works as head of media and strategic partnerships for The Bowery Presents, one of New York’s most powerful music production companies.
12. Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars”
You couldn’t get away from the 1996 hit “Counting Blue Cars” on the radio, which begged, “Tell me all your thoughts on God.” Dishwalla did their alt-rock thing until 2006, when they disbanded and reformed under a modified lineup. Lead singer J.R. Richards, now 45, once guest starred on the show Charmed, but these days, he’s a founder of 20k Watts, a group devoted to providing sustainable clean energy to communities in the developing world.
13. Skee-Lo, “I Wish”
Skee-Lo’s smash hit “I Wish” made us all wish we were a little bit taller in 1995, but since then, the rapper — born Antoine Roundtree — hasn’t been heard from much, save for recording a cover of the Schoolhouse Rock! song “The Tale of Mr. Morton” and another track for the Inspector Gadget soundtrack. He also served as a VJ for MTV’s The Beach House and The Grind.
14. Los Del Rio, “Macarena”
“The people from the river,” aka Antonio Romero and Rafael Ruíz, set off a wee dance craze called the Macarena, which you’re still doing at weddings. Post-“Macarena,” they collborated with the Baha Men (!!) on a 1997 track, but since then have failed to start another dance craze. They broke up in 2007, but not before treating the world to their truly awful “Macarena Christmas” remix.
15. LEN, “Steal My Sunshine”
1999 was a good year for the Canadian pop duo LEN, who brightened the pop charts with the infectious “Steal My Sunshine.” Siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo are still writing and recording new material, and they put out an album called It’s Easy if You Try in 2012.
16. Des’ree, “You Gotta Be”
Sorry, fans of British-born Des’ree and her inspirational 1994 smash “You Gotta Be” — she hasn’t released any new material since 2003.
17. Chumbawamba, “Tubthumping”
Chumbawamba got knocked down after they failed to recapture the success of 1997’s drinking anthem “Tubthumping.” They continued to record new music through the 2000s, but sadly, they’ll never get back up again: They announced their decision to split in July 2012.
18. Silverchair, “Tomorrow”
The teen rockers in Silverchair were signed after winning an Australian demo contest — think of it as an old-school version of The Voice — and grunged their way to international fame with “Tomorrow,” a single off their equally successful 1995 debut album Frogstomp. After taking a hiatus, they reemerged in 2005 but later announced an “indefinite hibernation” in 2011. Lead singer Daniel Johns was also married to fellow ’90s star Natalie Imbruglia from 2002 until 2008.
19. Jimmy Ray, “Are You Jimmy Ray?”
British crooner Jimmy Ray posed that really ridiculous question in 1998, and the song skyrocketed to the Top 10 of the Billboard pop chart. A protegé of American Idol producer Simon Fuller, Ray toured with the Backstreet Boys that same year. Since then, he has pursued a career as a songwriter and began working with the production team Airplayers in 2009.
20. OMC, “How Bizarre”
Tragically, OMC lead singer Pauly Fuemana passed away in 2010 after suffering for several years from a chronic degenerative disease. Upon his death, 1995’s “How Bizarre” hit the charts once again in New Zealand. It’s still the best-selling New Zealand record of all time.