What Former Teen Pop Stars Are Up To Now

Not every pop star you grew up and squealed over can grow up and remain as popular as ever. For every Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Zamfir Master of the Pan Flute, and Christina Aguilera, there are countless more who entered your childhood, defined it with one or two catchy hits, and then seemingly disappeared back to their home planets. Except their home is here, and they're all still kicking (somewhat). Here are what some of your here-and-quickly-gone favorites are up to today.

Tiffany and Debbie Gibson

Late-'80s pop had Debbie Gibson, who could sing, play instruments, and write her own music; and Tiffany, who could...find her way around a mall. While you'd think that means one has a bustling career and the other doesn't, the sad truth is pop music cares less about talent than youth, something nobody can conquer. So, after a couple hit albums, both girls petered out and found themselves struggling for relevancy.

While both still record music, much of their artistic output has been reality TV and cheesy B-movie schlock. Tiffany appears on shows like Celebrity Fit Club and Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling (she was cut in Week 1, significantly reducing the chances of Tiffany ever main-eventing WrestleMania), and her movie career includes such gems as Mega Piranha and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Additionally, Tiffany does stuff like the "Klondike Celebrity Challenge," featuring the saddest full-circle ever: Tiffany singing in malls again, 25 years after she stopped. We're sure the 15 people who still mallhop were thrilled to hear "I Think We're Alone Now" again played the way God intended it.

Gibson, meanwhile, has juggled new recordings and a decent Broadway career with tripe like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, and...Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, where she and Tiffany fought each other like Captain America and Iron Man (both wound up monster reptile food, by the way). She was also fired by Donald Trump in Celebrity Apprentice, and appeared on Skating With Celebrities and Celebrity Ghost Stories, where she regaled us with the spooky story of meeting Liberace's ghost.

Basically, if you want to enjoy seeing celebrities without enjoying the reason they became celebrities, these ladies got you covered.

Anyone in N'Sync not named Justin

By now, most people know N*SYNC as "Justin Timberlake and the Whoevers," without thinking of what the Whoevers have been up to since Justin rocketed to super-fame. While none are unemployed, they're certainly underemployed for having both redefined pop and making it dirty again.

JC Chasez

JC Chasez is probably the most successful non-Justin (which makes sense, since even Justin thinks Chasez was the best singer in the entire group). While his solo career didn't pan out, he's found his calling as a songwriter/producer, even writing songs for his old rivals the Backstreet Boys. He also found time to play Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, alongside thespians like Incubus's Brandon Boyd and the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten. That tour failed, and we have no idea why.

Chris Kirkpatrick

Chris Kirkpatrick's post N*SYNC career peaked after Eminem called him out for petty reasons. He's done some voiceover work for shows like the Fairly Oddparents, recorded a country song for a reality show called Gone Country, and founded a new band called Nigels 11, who was so popular they have no Wikipedia page, their website doesn't exist, and their MySpace page won't play their music.

Lance Bass

Lance Bass almost had the coolest post-N*SYNC gig of all—going into space. Bass signed up for the Soyuz program, trained for months, got certified by both NASA and the Russian Space Program, set up sponsors, and was ready to blast into orbit. He even had an official cosmonaut photo taken, but unfortunately for Bass Lightyear Space Ranger, complications arose in the form of sponsors chickening out. At least one outright feared the PR of a famous person dying on their watch, so they pulled their funding, leaving Bass stuck on Earth forevermore.

Joey Fatone

Finally, there's Joey Fatone, who's making money in every cheesy-host way imaginable. He hosts the Las Vegas version of The Price Is Right, a couple of Food Network shows, and spent a year announcing Steve Harvey's arrival on Family Feud. As far as fading fame goes, you can't get much more "bye bye bye" than that.

Anyone In The Backstreet Boys, Period

At least N*SYNC had one guy out of five change the world. The Backstreet Boys? They went 0-for-everything. They're still touring together, praying that everybody gets confused and assumes it's 1997 again, but what did they do in between? Not a whole lot.

AJ McLean

AJ McLean had several drug and alcohol rehab stints, which we're not going to joke about. We will, however, joke about his early-2000's identity crisis. He created a Ziggy Stardust-style alter-ego called Johnny No-Name, who was almost exactly like AJ except he'd been to prison before becoming a singer. That fared about as well as you'd expect, because—hold on to your seats for this mind-blowing hot take—AJ McLean is no David Bowie.

Nick Carter

Nick Carter responded to his younger, Shaq-beating brother's success by riding his coattails—post-fame, the pair teamed up for a reality show called House Of Carters, which was literally about the Carters trying to become famous again. Eight episodes and a cancellation later, it's safe to say that plan didn't work out. Carter met with similar success in his other reality venture, I Heart Nick Carter, where he and his girlfriend tried to make their relationship work. Eight episodes and a cancellation later, it's safe to say that plan didn't work out.

Kevin Richardson

For a second, it seemed like Kevin Richardson would be the "edgy" Backstreet Boy, after commenting that the attacks of September 11 might have been a result of America "provok[ing] this action." After much backlash, Richardson kept quiet and focused on not having a career until he rejoined the Backstreet Boys in 2012. He now has somewhat of a career.

Those two other guys

There are a couple other Backstreet Boys too, whose post-fame careers can be summed up with "life's okay." Howie "D" Dorough runs Sweet D, Inc., the real-estate company he started in 1997, and he once voiced Santa Claus in an episode of Dora The Explorer. Brian "L" Littrell pursues a solo career as a Christian singer and runs the Healthy Heart Club For Kids charity, which he founded in 1999 after open-heart surgery. It's no Total Request Live, but it certainly beats homelessness and destitution.

Fabrice Morvan (Milli Vanilli)

Of all the beloved childhood pop stars you'd expect to still be kicking after all this time, the one surviving member of Milli Vanilli would be at the bottom of that list. But Fabrice Morvan, decades after lip syncing his way to international shame, is actually attempting a comeback, this time using his real, actual voice. His first attempt, shortly after Milli Vanilli crumbled, fared super-poorly, in that their album sold maybe 2,000 copies. The wound was still too raw, and too deep, for the world to want to hear anything Fab had to actually say.

In 2003, Fab gave it one more whirl, with an album called Love Revolution, where he wrote, sang, and produced every single song himself. It was truly a labor of love and proved that, after all this time, Fab had finally learned how to sing. It didn't sell very well, probably because this was around the time people stopped buying music. Also, because it was the Milli Vanilli guy and jilted music lovers aren't good at forgiveness. Still, he put it out there, proved his point, didn't mouth along to his label's press releases, and that's all anyone can ask from him at this point. Good on you, Milli. Or are you Vanilli? Whatever.