Imagine for a brief moment about a time when you could just leave the house and that was it. No one could find you. Carrying music around was a chore. And whatever was popular in fashion came from maybe two sources of popular media: one of them being MTV. It's called the 1990s and now 20-something years later it's viewed as iconic — far enough away, too, that many of the looks are back in style. Full force.
And while there are plenty of heavyweights from that era still in the game (and still making marks on fashion), we've picked out a few that might not make many "Remember When" lists around the web.
It was hard for any artist in the 1990s to get anywhere close to the impact on music and fashion Björk did. The challenge was that she appeared so ostentatious and out there with it all. The Lady Gaga before Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga, if you will.
Her influence began much earlier than the ‘90s as a prominent musician in her home country of Iceland, though she’d blow up to stratospheric heights and become one of the most important icons of the decade after her debut album — simply titled “Debut” — was released and sent platinum almost instantly. Couple that with her pixie-styled demeanor and penchant for risk in fashion and it’s a recipe for glory.
Currently in her fifth decade of making music, Björk is still at it appearing in films and on stage. She also recently told the Los Angeles Times that she’s finishing work on her tenth studio album and “it will definitely come out this year (2022).” Her fashion hasn’t missed a beat either, with the singer/songwriter consistently appearing in her unique style — colorful, whimsical and goddamnit, simply unbeatable.
Some of you young’uns might think Kylie Minogue’s first go in music was when her hit single “Can’t Get You Out of my Head” hit the tubes in 2001. But, you’d be wrong. This sizzlefest was actually making hits long before that. Like 1980s long. You ever heard that perpetual earworm “The Loco-Motion”? Yep, Minogue.
And with her long-standing worldwide domination of pop music came with her a parade of iconic fits. Like decades upon decades worth of hot neighbor elegance.
At 53 years old, Minogue is (like Björk) still getting after it. Throughout the pandemic, she worked on an album that she had been meaning to do for a long period of time, something in line with a pop-disco feel, she said. In November of 2020, it was released and aptly titled “Disco” — the fifteenth studio album from the prolific artist.
And yikes, she’s still hitting the fits too. Maybe a little more toned down now because she’s older but … no wait, nope, still flaming as ever.
IIIIIII’ve been kissed by a roooose on a somethin’ somethin. Admit it, you belted that. Loud. And now it’s in your head and will be for at least another two to three days. That’s the power of a 1990s Seal, one of the biggest and flyest artists practically ever. Still relatively unknown in the earlier part of the ‘90s, Seal’s fate wouldn’t be … sealed … until 1994 when “Kiss from a Rose” was released (and then re-released a year later as part of the "Batman Forever" soundtrack).
The dude would go on to drop several more albums and become supermodel Heidi Klum’s wedded arm candy in 2005. Through it all, he maintained an understated style that complimented his smooth demeanor.
We all wanted to be Seal so bad!
Though no longer married to Klum as of 2014 (So you’re saying there’s a chance?), Seal appears to have aged a total of maybe five days in 15 years. His latest album is titled “7” and was released in 2015. He still does live shows, every so often, but has spent most of his time recently doing charity work or voice-over acting. Still as fit as ever though, he appears in recent photos rocking his same downplayed, gentleman af elegance.
Like, why even make a list of pop artists and not mention Jamiroq … Jamir … ugh … Jamiroquai. Get bent, spellcheck.
Formed in 1992, the London based pop meets acid jazz band went berserker after its 1996 hit single “Virtual Insanity” hit the airwaves — made even more popular by lead singer Jay Kay’s bigger than life signature hats and a music video that turned the media format on its head. At the time, it was one of the trippiest things stoners had ever seen. He remained a fixture in fashion for several more years, nothing hitting as big as that one banger single though.
Kay and company created and released music over the pond in the UK for several years but nothing really took bite in the zeitgeist of 2000s Americana. In 2010, the band went on a years long hiatus and sort of flamed out in the conversation altogether. That was until 2017 when it released its eight studio album and went on tour. On stage, Kay still wears fancy headgear and says it’s all part of the persona and gives him a spiritual power.
Jamiroquai is the third best selling UK act of the 1990s behind the Spice Girls and Oasis. Respect.