Ricky Martin Leads the Latin Explosion
The biggest star to emerge in 1999 was easily Ricky Martin. Thanks to the catchy, hip-shaking single, “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Martin was the man every woman wanted to be with and every man wanted to be. Still unknown at the time, his charm and charisma won over an entire audience at the 1999 Grammy Awards and helped usher in the Latin Explosion. Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Shakira all followed soon after.
Sean Parker Releases Napster
If there’s one thing the record industry never saw coming, it was the power of the internet. Sean Park (and team) helped revolutionize the way fans consume music thanks to the release of Napster. It wasn’t until 2000 that the downloading service became subject of lawsuits, national attention and the ire of the record industry. But it did more to advance the industry (for better or worse) than anything else in the internet era.
“Mambo No. 5″ Is The “Gangnam Style” of 1999
There was no more insufferable hit of 1999 than the mambo song by Lou Bega. It. Was. Everywhere. And then suddenly it was gone. Whew.
Justin Timberlake & Britney Spears Start Dating
As if decreed by the gods of pop music, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears quietly started dating at the beginning of 1999 and quickly became the pop prince and princess of 1999 and 2000. Their matching outfits, chart-topping singles, magazine covers, hand-holding, shared performances, bubble gum sweetness, “virgin-until-married” message was everything that was and could be. Too bad it all came shattering down when Wade Robson seduced Spears, leading to rumors of cheating and eventual breakup of the greatest couple of pop.
The Day Music Dies
One of the darker moments in 1999 belonged to Woodstock. The second large-scale revival of the festival (following Woodstock ’94) was meant to be a celebration of music but quickly turned into a mix of corporate greed and disillusioned youth. Thanks to oppressive heat, poor conditions, expensive food and water, the crowd quickly turned on the festival. Fires broke out, a number sexual assaults were reported, seven people were arrested and at least six injured due to fires.