Whatever Happened To Mark McGrath?

Sugar Ray first landed on the music charts with their song "Fly," which was released in June of 1997 and was an instant summer anthem. For the next several years, the band released three more successful singles and became a 90s staple. Their lead singer, Mark McGrath, was also rising to fame in his own right (he was even named the sexiest rock star in 1998 by People). Now that it's almost 20 years later, the spiky-haired singer is rarely in the spotlight. So, what ever happened to Mark McGrath?

He co-hosted Extra

McGrath put his solo fame to good use in 2004 when he joined Extra as a co-host. Even though he had this regular gig, he didn't leave Sugar Ray. The band continued to tour and record new music for the four years McGrath was a host but eventually, Extra got a new host in Mario Lopez and McGrath's time as a news correspondent was over. According to a press release obtained by the NWI Times, McGrath left the show of his own free will because he wanted to spend more time making music with his band.

He became a game show host

When Don't Forget the Lyrics! got a reboot in 2010, McGrath was ready to make his return to syndicated TV. The popular game show was moving to VH1 and, according to a press release, McGrath and the show were going to let contestants "live out their ultimate rock star fantasy and win a fortune just by knowing the lyrics to five of the biggest hit songs ever recorded."

It sounded like a recipe for success but, in early 2011, the show was canceled. Two years later, McGrath returned as a game show host when he signed on to host the eight-episode second season of TruTV's Killer Karaoke.

He became a dad

The Connecticut-born singer got two huge blessings in 2010 when he and his then-fiancee, Carin Kingsland, welcomed twins on April 29. The news came not long after they announced they were expecting thanks to IVF. Kingsland gave birth to the babies, a boy and a girl, via a c-section.

"We are so lucky," McGrath gushed of Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace. "I don't think you can prepare for the love we are feeling."

He got married

After the birth of their twins, McGrath and Kingsland made it official. In 2012, the couple got hitched in southern California in front of 60 people and it was a long time coming. "After 18 years of breakups, makeups, beautiful twins and an unwavering love that provided some pretty damn good song lyrics, we are happy to announce that we are finally married!" the couple told People.

The couple's twins even got to participate in the wedding, walking down the aisle as the flower girl and ring bearer. The nuptials came after a three-year engagement. McGrath popped the question on New Year's Eve in 2009, at the Viper Room, where they met in 1994.

He helped create the Summerland Tour

With the help of Art Alexakis, of Everclear, McGrath created a 90s summer tour. The Summerland Tour had an impressive bill with Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit, Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground all ready to bring back 90s rock.

"The 90s nostalgia factor is kinda coming into play now," McGrath told Rolling Stone a year after the tour. "It's great to be at the point where we're at the receiving end of it. The idea was to go out and play a show that was top-to-bottom hits. I mean, literally, in the first five minutes of sitting in your seat, Marcy Playground are playing 'Sex and Candy.' That's arguably one of the most psychotic hits of the era."

"It was great, and it proved to me there's a market for this kind of thing. We weren't reinventing the wheel. Every decade has their tours. There's the 60s, the 70s, the 80s... But nobody had done the 90s yet, so Art Alexakis and I kinda got together and did it."

Alexakis and McGrath didn't exactly see eye to eye though. McGrath told Rolling Stone, "Unfortunately, Art and I have different ideas about what the tour is about. He's doing his own thing now, and I put together a tour called Under the Sun."

He also created the Under the Sun Tour

Following his creative differences with Alexakis, McGrath created another 90s-centric tour. Prior to the tour, he described it to Rolling Stone by saying, "It carries out a similar vibe [as the Summerland Tour]. If you had a hit in the 90s, you are welcome to play it. I can see Naughty by Nature playing as well as En Vogue and the Gin Blossoms. The 90s were sort of the Lollapalooza age where people just threw aside genres of music ... Sugar Ray is obviously more pop-leaning, so that's how I see the Under the Sun tour. En Vogue is welcome to play. Smash Mouth, too. If you had a hit, come on it."

The tour launched in 2013 with Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Smash Mouth, Vertical Horizon and Fastball. It lasted for a couple of years and brought out 90s fan favorites Better Than Ezra, Uncle Kracker and Eve 6 in the final run.

He got sued by his bandmates

McGrath has always been a slightly controversial pop star, and that controversy heightened in 2013 when he was the subject of a legal battle with his former bandmates. Matthew Murphy Karges and Charles Stanton Frazier, original members of the pop band, sued their previous frontman. According to Courthouse News Service, Karges and Frazier sued McGrath for "a series of self-serving and vindictive actions." All together they filed 29 complaints against McGrath including defamation on Twitter and scamming them out of money.

"Not content to simply misappropriate the Sugar Ray trademark by licensing it to a newly created shell corporation or unlawfully divert an additional 48 percent of the band's revenues into his own pocket, McGrath spent the last year engaging in a bitter campaign to destroy the personal and professional reputations of Frazier and Karges," the lawsuit read.

He was the subject of a death hoax

McGrath found himself at the center of an internet hoax a couple of years ago when Twitter thought he was dead. According to Billboard, it all started when Prismatics sent out a press release saying the pop singer had been killed. The music magazine quotes the press release as reading, "Musician Mark McGrath has died at the age of 46. McGrath was on set filming the second season of entertainment show Hot Package, when he was confronted by a masked gunman and shot several times. The former Sugar Ray frontman died in the arms of his co-host Derrick Beckles on the Hollywood set of the show."

The rumors got out of control on the internet and Prismatics then tried to correct themselves saying, "Tomorrow night on the season two premiere of Hot Package, Mark McGrath is killed by a masked gunman and dies in the arms of his co-host Derrick Beckles. It's important to note that Mark McGrath is alive and well in real life."

Rumors kept spiraling and many people speculated the press release was sent out to spark interest in the show. When McGrath learned of his alleged death, he took to Twitter to set the record straight. "Final word on the death hoax thing, I knew nothing about it and found out the same time you did...sorry about any confusion," he wrote.

He went solo

In 2015, McGrath released his first solo endeavor, a five-track EP called Summertime's Coming. He went an interesting route with the EP, crowdfunding it through Pledge Music.

"I'm excited to announce that I'll be releasing my debut solo EP... In order to make this EP, and forthcoming releases special, we've decided to include you in the entire Mark McGrath recording and music experience," he wrote on his pledge page. "I've been so inspired to write music again with my friends in the band, so much in fact, that that the idea is to release an EP every six months... We found a great place to do that very thing right here at Pledge Music, and an even better place to take you all along for the ride."

But he's still playing with Sugar Ray

Although Sugar Ray hasn't released an album since 2009's Music for Cougars, that doesn't mean the band has broken up. The remaining members of Sugar Ray still play festivals together and those set lists include the band's most well-known songs. "We never once skip the four hits from Sugar Ray, and we play them in their original capacity. No jazz exploration on "Fly" like Sting or something. Never," McGrath explained.

And will headline the I Love the 90s Tour

McGrath is continuing his 90s nostalgia with the I Love the 90s Tour that begins in July 2017. He's flying solo but he's in really good company. TLC are headlining the summer dates and McGrath is a special guest along with Naughty by Nature, Montell Jordan, Blackstreet, Coolio and more. According to New York Daily News, "Every show of the tour will feature up to eight of the groups performing their classic hits."

While we're not sure if McGrath will return for another I Love the 90s Tour run, we wouldn't be surprised if we saw him on another nostalgic tour to perform hits like "Fly" and "Every Morning."