Nick Lachey reveals the secret to 10 years in a happy Hollywood marriage.
In his case, it helps having surpassed his silver anniversary in another key relationship – with his band 98 Degrees.
“The Masked Singer” winner is preparing to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary with actress Vanessa Lachey and noted the parallels between married life and band dynamics during an exclusive interview with ET Canada.
Nick, 47, and Vanessa, 40, tied the knot during a stunning ceremony at Sir Richard Branson’s private Necker Island in the Caribbean on July 15, 2011. Ten years later, they will mark their anniversary in another romantic island paradise, thanks to Vanessa’s new role on the “NCIS” spin-off airing on Global TV this fall, “NCIS: Hawai’i”.
“My wife just got a job in Hawaii, so we’re going to celebrate there,” Nick shared, sitting down with bandmates Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre and Drew Lachey to chat with us at Los Angeles’ Le Parc Suite Hotel.
“You can’t be quitters,” he added, about how he and Vanessa maintain a strong relationship. “It’s just like a [musical] group – you’re going to have tough days, but you’ve got to be committed, invested and communicate, so that’s what we do.”
Nick, who has three children with Vanessa, noted that everyone’s different and it’s important for couples to find what works for them. “We certainly don’t know the ins and outs of a happy [marriage] – we just do what works for us,” explained Nick, who started dating Vanessa after she starred in the music video for his 2006 solo single, “What’s Left of Me.” “Everybody’s different and for us we’ve learned how to communicate well and have a lot of pride in what we’ve built as a couple and as a family. We protect and cherish that.”
Cherishing family time is exactly what Nick has enjoyed since the coronavirus pandemic enforced more time at home after 26 years with 98 Degrees.
“The time with the kids is so special,” says the dad to Camden, eight, Brooklyn, six, and Phoenix, four. “The pandemic taught us to appreciate what we have. You don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone, then you realize, ‘Wow, we took that for granted.’”
Nick’s brother Drew has also relished the pandemic’s “silver lining” of more time at home. Drew has two children – 15-year-old daughter Isabella and 11-year-old son Hudson – with his wife of 20 years, Lea.
“The best thing has been the time with family,” says Drew, who also keeps busy with “#DrewItYourself” DIY endeavours, which he chronicles on Instagram. “We were still touring and spending time away from home, so I missed my daughter’s plays and dance recitals and my son’s gymnastics meets. This year, even though those things weren’t happening, we had uninterrupted time to discover [our children] and spend time with them.”
Drew, 44, adds that the pandemic gave him greater appreciation for the role Lea plays keeping home life ticking along while he’s traveling with 98 Degrees.
“You definitely have a new perspective when the kids aren’t at school and you’re homeschooling and trying to figure out the virtual thing!” he says. “The past year either made people’s relationships stronger or broke people, so I feel fortunate it made my relationship stronger.”
Extended periods at home also allowed the musicians to pursue interests they previously had little time for. Drew learned guitar, while Nick sharpened his booze knowledge.
“I learned a lot about bourbon,” Nick jokes. “And, about red wine.”
“He learned he can’t tell the difference between a good bourbon and a bad bourbon,” quips Drew.
For father-of-five Jeff, the extra time allowed him to delve into business ventures and acting projects. Having previously starred in Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter’s boy bander-filled 2016 movie “Dead 7”, Jeff has wrapped portraying a pastor in romantic comedy “Baking Up Love,” releasing via Pure Flix on 1 September. He’s now preparing to shoot a Christmas movie.
“I’ve been spoiled in the past because we could be with our families during the week and go be pop stars in weekends,” says Jeff, 48, who’s been married to wife Amanda for 10 years. “But the last year gave me the opportunity to hang with my family more – although they might say it was enough before! – and get into other things I never had time to explore.”
Of course, like everyone, the singers faced difficult moments throughout 2020, with Justin, 48, struggling with extended periods at home following more than two decades of frequent travelling.
“There wasn’t much anyone could do – you couldn’t spend time with friends and family, go see shows or travel,” he says. “Normally, if I knew I was going to have time off, I would’ve planned a bunch of stuff, but we just couldn’t.”
Which is why Justin and his bandmates were thrilled to reunite in Las Vegas to record their first new non-holiday music in eight years. The foursome, who released their album 2.0 in 2013, followed by Christmas record Let It Snow in 2017, safely formed a “bubble” at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, recording in lavish suites which hosted late Elvis Presley during his Las Vegas residency days.
The new songs include summer banger “Where Do You Wanna Go,” which drops on July 9 and will be followed by a music video later in the month. The group also remixed old favourites like “The Hardest Thing” for an upcoming remix EP, Summer of 98.
As you can see, we recorded this new single in a bit of an unconventional setting because of the pandemic. Shout-out to the incredible team that helped bring it to life! Can’t wait for you to hear it this Friday! 🎶🎧🎙 #98DaysOfSummer #Day27 pic.twitter.com/wlUGlmvonE
— 98 Degrees (@98official) July 7, 2021
The releases are part of the group’s 98 Days of Summer campaign, which features new photos, music and footage being rolled out daily, including fun throwbacks from the band’s early days. It was an era during which they were frequently compared to other boy bands like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, but the group felt different to their peers and feel any rivalry between the acts was generated by fans.
As for whether Nick and Drew felt any brotherly rivalry, Drew cracks: “I think he just knows I’m better than him.”
“We got to do a lot of cool things with the band, so the fact I got to share those experiences with my brother, who’s my best friend – you couldn’t have scripted it better,” offers Nick on a more heartfelt note.
“We’ve always been really close,” agrees Drew. “And these two chucklebutts became like brothers too, so it wasn’t like it was just me, Nick and these two other weirdos. The four of us became brothers, so the same nonsense and competitiveness I feel with Nick – whether it’s playing basketball or beating him at
Madden – we felt between all of us.”
“Don’t feel bad,” adds Jeff. “I lost to [Nick’s] son in Madden, so badly I was getting angry!”
As well as new music, the band will perform at the Great New York State Fair on 21 August and are scheduling further concerts. Nick, who was unveiled as the musician behind the piglet costume when he won The Masked Singer in May, says that after being forced off the road by COVID-19, he has new appreciation for the ability to jump on stage for fans.
“It’s hard to have that taken away and be told, ‘You can’t do this,’” he says. “The pandemic taught us to appreciate what we have and the freedom we all take for granted.”