11 Popstars Whose Careers Survived The Turn Of The Millennium

Written By Sam Murphy on 05/24/2017

The turn of the millennium was a hopeful but also frightening time. Popstars were excited by the prospect, dropping songs left, right and centre that referenced the new millennium but there was also the daunting chance of the millennium bug striking. The Y2K bug was a computer-related bug that was associated with the formatting and storage of calendar data. While it did cause several problems, it didn't exactly end the world like some thought it may. Popstars predicted that the '00s would see us flying into space and wearing metallics but that wasn't to be. Futuristic pop was basically killed off at the strike of midnight, on the 1st of January, 2000.

While that died, so too did the careers of numerous iconic '90s popstars who failed to translate their success into the new millenNium. Shania Twain, Five, Spice Girls, Vengaboys, Savage Garden, Jewel, NYSNC and heaps more all left their heyday in the '90s. There were also numerous popstars though that survived Y2K to clock their greatest hits in the '00s.

We'll be celebrating all these artists and heaps more at our Millennium Bug early 2000s party which sees us through the '00s with some of the biggest hits and one-hit wonders of our generation. It's all going down in Sydney at Hudson Ballroom on 6th October where we'll dance into the new millennium all over again, or should we say Willennium?

Grab ya tix here, RSVP here and see the popstars who survived the millennium below.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has had more career up and downs than a lift technician but not only did she survive the millennium, she's still managed to remain relevant in 2017. She grabbed her first hit in 1999 with If You Had My Love, counting down to the new millennium in her music video and up to 2015, she had a top 30 hit nearly ever year. She entered the 2000s strong with Love Don't Cost A Thing and entered her Ja-Rule period with the J.Lo album - a nickname coined by Diddy that she unsuccessfully attempted to ditch once their relationship diminished. In 2011 after her Brave album flopped and her film Gigli was labelled one of the worst of all time, she bounced back with On The Floor, a Pitbull-starring, Latin, EDM crossover that catapulted her straight back into the charts. From Ben Affleck to Drake to Pitbull, J.Lo has always had a knack of choosing an appropriate 2IC.

Britney Spears

Britney's 2016 record Glory may have fallen flat and her 2007 antics attempted to stop it all for her, Britney entered the millennium as the biggest popstar in the world. 1999 saw ...Baby One More Time hit number one and she wasted no time in popping out Oops, I Did It Again after we clocked over into the 2000s. For the next five years she was unbreakable. Her first four albums went to number one in the US, her movie Crossroads was a box office hit and Toxic became one of the hallmark pop songs of the decade. Of course, that all came to a screeching halt when she shaved off her hair and wielded an umbrella as a weapon in 2007 but she bounced back clocking three more US number ones after that.

Christina Aguilera

Like Britney, Christina burst onto the scene in 1999 with her debut Genie In A Bottle which was only the start for the big-voiced singer. Xtina, as she affectionately named herself in the 2000s, was the quintessential popstar of the time. She tried every look, went dirty, went vintage and then looked towards the future with not one album sounding the same. Her hallmark record came in 2002 with Stripped. The record sold 13 million copies worldwide and established her as one of the strongest figures in pop music. The record moved from feminist anthems (Can't Hold Us Down) to self-empowerment bangers (Fighter) with ease. Back To Basics carried on that success but Bionic blew it all up.


Madonna survived the '80s, '90s and '00s nabbing number one hits in all three decades. In 1999, you could argue that her pop power was waning though. Her Austin Powers soundtracker Beautiful Stranger was one of her weaker singles and her previous album Ray Of Light hadn't managed to pop out a huge hit, the likes of which she'd had time and time again. Madonna wasn't done yet though. When the clock ticked over to the '00s she reinvented herself as a country queen sending Don McLean's American Pie back up the charts and donned cowboy boots for the Don't Tell Me. It kicked-off a wild period of reinvention for Madge as she went from country star to undercover spy (Die Another Day) to disco club queen long before the EDM period was upon us. Her last few albums may have fallen on deaf ears but you've gotta hand in to her. In 2015, she still managed to collaborate with Diplo and SOPHIE, two of the most genre-bending producers in music.

Mariah Carey

Of all the popstars listed her, the turn of the millennium threatened Mimi's career the most. 1999's Rainbow gave her the Jay Z-featuring Heartbreaker but the wheels came off momentarily after that. In 2001, she released Glitter, a movie that could make J.Lo's Gigli look like an Oscar winner, and while she really attempted to regain her throne with 2002's Charmbracelet it was a far stretch from her '90s success. Most would have written her off as she took a lengthy break but in 2005 she became one of the biggest popstars in the world again with The Emancipation Of Mimi. From We Belong Together to Shake It Off, the record defined mid-'00s RnB and ushered in a period of candlelit slow jams.

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias may be the most unexpected names on this list but, particularly in Latin music, he's still one of the biggest names. 1999 saw his first foray into English-spoken music and immediately gave him his first number one with Bailamos. He really hit his stride with 2001's Escape featured big hits like the title track, Hero and Don't Turn Off The Lights. Then from 2003 to 2010, he failed to manage one top 20 hit in the US, UK and in Australia until he linked up with Mr. Worldwide on I Like It to take him, well, worldwide again. It might interest you to know that since 2013, he's had five number ones on the US Latin charts.

Jessica Simpson

Yesterday, we all learnt that Jessica Simpson has a $1 billion company and can't hold her liquor, but in 1999, she was a burgeoning popstar. This is probably going to be the only list where you'll see Mariah, Madonna and Britney listed alongside Simpson in terms of pop success but for a while she was the 'It' girl. In 1999, she gave us I Wanna Love You Forever, a ballad that would almost certainly fall on deaf ears in 2017, and entered the '00s firing. Irresistable is quintessential, throwaway millennium gold but it was 2003's In This Skin that made her a household name. "The real me is a Southern girl," she sang on With You, as an endearing girl next door. That image was only perpetuated by her show with Nick Lachey Newlyweds that fell to pieces when the couple split. A cover of These Boots Were Made For Walking and a starring role in The Dukes Of Hazard extended her career further into the '00s that it ever should've gone but her ill-fated A Public Affair record marked the end of her commercial success.

Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys may be the quintessential '90s boyband but while NSYNC dissolved in that decade, Backstreet Boys carried own, releasing some of their most memorable hits after 1999. They marked the turn of the millennium spectacularly with an album aptly titled Millennium, channelling all things space and almost seemed disappointed that the '00s weren't more futuristic with the far more minimal Black & Blue. Like Mariah, they disappeared for a little bit but joined her up the top of the charts in 2005 with the grassroots Incomplete off Never Gone which ultimately became their last ever hit.

Robbie Williams

Britpop on an International scale really didn't hit until after the '00s. There was no Adele, Sam Smith, Lily Allen, One Direction or Calvin Harris but there was Robbie Williams. Robbie was the ultimate egotistical popstar with the US never really understanding his appeal. The Brits and Australia got it though and in 1995, fresh out of Take That, he started making huge hits. Angels was his first big one, quickly followed up by Let Me Entertain You. He also aptly tipped his hat to the new millennium with Millennium. Once the '00s started, he was on a roll. Not even a whispy jazz cover with Nicole Kidman could stop him from chart success nor could a song that's opening line was literally, "do the rudebox, shake your rudebox." From 2000-2010, he averaged a hit a year and even in 2017, he's not done just yet.

Kylie Minogue

Kylie & Robbie teamed up for one of the '00s biggest duets Kids which was appropriate given they were two of just a handful of popstars to survive the turn of the millennium. Like Madonna, Kylie has nabbed hits in four separate decades but right before the '00s, things weren't looking good. Impossible Princess was her least accessible album and a relationship with Nick Cave signalled a move into the alternative. Thankfully, Kylie understood the disco needs her and she came back in 2000 with one of her most iconic records Light Years. Spinning Around and On A Night Like This were glossy staples of the '00s and the next year she unbelievably backed it up with additional hits on Fever. That was her first album to chart in the US top 10 while she's only ever had one album chart outside the top 10 in Australia.


While Snoop Dogg, Jay Z and The Game all managed to keep careers through the turn of the millennium, Eminem's the only one who has managed to operate in the pop world for all that time. Em's first commercial success The Slim Shady LP came in 1999, introducing the Detroit rapper to the world as a comical, autobiographical and aggressive rapper. It was '00s The Marshall Mathers LP that really solidified his place as one of the best rappers in the world though. At the time, he was one of few rapper clocking hits and garnering commercial acclaim too. 2002 was his biggest year, dropping The Eminem Show and also his movie 8 Mile which spawned his biggest hit Lose Yourself. Even now, the prospect of Em dropping an album holds huge potential.