Drew Lachey Biography

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Birth Name: Drew Lachey
Born: 08/08/1976
Birth Place: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Born Andrew John Lachey on Aug. 8, 1976 in Cincinnati, OH, to parents Cate Fopma-Leimbach and John Lachey, the young man naturally gravitated towards performing, and like brother Nick, attended the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Artists. Nick was the first to leave Ohio to pursue a singing career - he and fellow Cincinnati School graduate Justin Jeffre moved to Los Angeles to partner with Nick's pal Jeff Timmons in a pop/R&B vocal harmony group along the lines of Boyz II Men. During this time, Lachey had relocated to New York City and was working full time as an EMT. His medical career came to an abrupt halt in 1995 when Nick called him to come to California and complete what would eventually become 98 Degrees. According to Lachey, Nick taught him his vocal parts during the drive from New York to Los Angeles.

The newly completed quartet endured the usual pre-fame struggles, but finally caught a break when they gave an impromptu performance backstage at a Boyz II Men concert. From there, Lachey and his fellow band members were invited to perform on a local radio station. Their smooth harmonies attracted the attention of Paris d'Jon, who, at the time, was co-manager of R&B sensation Montell Jordan. d'Jon arranged for 98 Degrees to open for Jordan on tour and recorded several demos for them, which helped land them a recording contract at Motown in 1997. That same year, the group's first single, "Invisible Man," rose to Number 12 on the singles charts, and their self-titled debut soon followed. A second album, 98 Degrees and Rising, was released in 1998, followed by a holiday album, This Christmas, in 1999. Their third and final (to date) CD, Revelation, was released in 2000 and yielded two hit singles, "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)," and "My Everything." But despite the popularity of their songs, ceaseless touring, and collaborations with Stevie Wonder ("True to Your Heart," which was featured on Disney's Mulan soundtrack) and Mariah Carey ("Thank God I Found You"), 98 Degrees never attained the level of fanatical devotion enjoyed by similiar groups like 'N SYNC and Backstreet Boys. By 2002, all four members agreed to put the group on hiatus. Since then, they have performed together infrequently, but have never announced an official break-up.

Never quite the focus while in the band, Lachey continued to maintain his background status while brother Nick grew in popularity as the co-star of his reality series, "Newlyweds." Lachey and Justin Jeffre were frequently seen at Nick and Jessica's home - more often than not, the younger brother seemed to serve as Nick's smaller, quiet support as he sought solace in college football or ill-planned home renovations.

Also appearing with Lachey in many episodes was Lea Dellecave, his childhood sweetheart from Ohio. The two were married on October 14, 2000. Dellecave proved to be an invaluable ally for her husband when he signed on for "Dancing with the Stars." A former choreographer and dancer, she would critique his rehearsals, which were recorded with his camera phone for him to watch later.

Prior to "Dancing," Lachey got his first taste of solo stardom when he joined the Broadway cast of "Rent," playing the role of Mark Cohen, from 2004 to 2005. The experience clearly gave him the confidence to break further from his "boy band" past, and in 2006, he partnered with professional dancer Cheryl Burke to compete on the popular ABC competition dance series. Lachey and Burke quickly bested most of the other contestants (which included George Hamilton, Tatum O'Neal and Lisa Rinna) with their passionate Paso Doble and tango among other dances, setting the scene for a tight race for first place with female wrestler Stacy Keibler and football legend Jerry Rice. On the series' final episode in February, 2006, Lachey and Burke's routine - a freestyle performance that concluded with him leaping over her shoulders - clinched the win over Rice. Brother Nick was in attendance to see his sibling take home the trophy -- a trophy which, prior to winning, the champion had good-naturedly complained was "ugly."