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This Is What The World Was Like In 1998

It was the epic year that gave us Auto-Tune, Titanic-mania, Britney, and the comeback of Apple.

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1. Saving Private Ryan, Armageddon, and There's Something About Mary were among the five biggest films of the year.

Saving Private Ryan was actually the highest-grossing movie released that year.
Dreamworks/Touchstone/ Fox

Saving Private Ryan was actually the highest-grossing movie released that year.

2. Titanic not only became the first movie to gross over a billion dollars at the box office, it also spent the first 13 weeks of 1998 at No. 1.

The movie actually spent 15 consecutive weeks at No. 1, but two of them were in 1997.
Paramount Pictures

The movie actually spent 15 consecutive weeks at No. 1, but two of them were in 1997.

3. The Titanic soundtrack (of course, fueled by Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On") was the biggest-selling album of the year.

It sold an impressive 9.2 million copies.
Sony Music

It sold an impressive 9.2 million copies.

4. Titanic also took home the Academy Award for Best Picture at that year's Oscars.

It won 11 awards out of its 14 Oscar nominations.
Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty Images

It won 11 awards out of its 14 Oscar nominations.

5. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for their film Good Will Hunting.

Hal Garb / AFP / Getty Images

6. Harrison Ford was named People's Sexiest Man Alive.

People Inc.

7. Brandy and Monica's iconic duet, "The Boy Is Mine," was the song of the summer and spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

WMG

8. Next's "Too Close," Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy wit It," and Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" all topped the charts in 1998.

Arista/ Sony Music/ Hollywood Records

9. The Goo Goo Dolls had a big alternative rock crossover hit with "Iris."

WMG

10. Lauryn Hill released her seminal debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Sony Music

11. Madonna released Ray of Light and the Beastie Boys released Hello Nasty.

Warner Music, Capital

12. Britney Spears released her iconic debut single, "...Baby One More Time."

Sony Music

13. Teen People published its very first issue with teen queen Jennifer Love Hewitt on the cover.

People Inc.

14. Seinfeld aired its final episode.

Around 76 million people tuned in for the finale.
Getty Images

Around 76 million people tuned in for the finale.

15. Sex and the City premiered on HBO...

Getty Images / HBO

16. ...Dawson's Creek premiered on the then-WB network...

Sony Television

17. ...and MTV premiered TRL.

Scott Gries / Getty Images

18. Disney released its 36th animated feature, Mulan.

Disney

19. Pixar released its second full-length feature, A Bug's Life.

Pixar

20. The very first trailer for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was released in theaters.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

And many Star Wars fans bought tickets to movies they didn't care about just to catch the trailer.

21. Cher released her comeback single "Believe," which was the first big song to use Auto-Tune.

WMG

22. Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls while they were in the middle of a world tour!

The remaining members released a new single, "Goodbye," a few months later.
Frederick Brown / AFP / Getty Images

The remaining members released a new single, "Goodbye," a few months later.

23. NSYNC released their American debut single, "I Want You Back."

The song had been released in Europe two years earlier.
Sony Music

The song had been released in Europe two years earlier.

24. Apple released its revolutionary and now iconic iMac.

At the time Apple wasn't doing well and the iMac would save the company.
Getty Images

At the time Apple wasn't doing well and the iMac would save the company.

25. Abercrombie & Fitch started to become more controversial — even then-first lady Hillary Clinton weighed in.

Abercrombie & Fitch/ ebay.ca

26. The Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard interrupted Shawn Colvin while she was receiving her Grammy for Song of the Year, to give his infamous "Wu-Tang is for the children" speech:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Dirty was mad that Wu-Tang had lost out to Puffy for Best Rap Album earlier in the show.

27. Furby was the hottest toy on the market.

Probably what every kid wanted for Christmas or their birthday that year.
Getty Images

Probably what every kid wanted for Christmas or their birthday that year.

28. Gillette released its three-blade razor, the Mach3 — which was a big game-changer at the time.

29. The oh-so-delicious cereal Oreo O's hit supermarket shelves.

30. Viagra was approved by the FDA.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

31. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published for the first time in the US, while The Chamber of Secrets was published in the UK.

Getty Images, Scholastic Corporation

32. Brink! and Halloweentown both premiered on the Disney Channel.

Disney Channel

33. TGIF's most popular shows were Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Boy Meets World.

ABC

34. Monica and Chandler hooked up in the season finale of Friends.

It was "The One with Ross's Wedding" in case you forgot the name of the episode.
NBC/ Warner Bros. Television

It was "The One with Ross's Wedding" in case you forgot the name of the episode.

35. The Barenaked Ladies released "One Week," which probably had the most confusing lyrics of any song that year.

WMG

36. Jesse Camp won MTV's "Wanna Be a VJ" contest.

Viacom

37. Bill Clinton was embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

38. And finally, Time magazine named Kenneth Starr and Bill Clinton its Men of the Year.

Time Inc.
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