Anyone who remembers the music from 2000 can likely repeat lyrics to Sisqó’s “Thong Song.” The 20th anniversary of the R&B singer’s album, Unleash the Dragon, is near, bringing “Thong Song” full circle, including the impact the hit had on the retailer, Victoria’s Secret, according to Sisqó himself.
Who is Sisqó?
The Baltimore native, born Mark Althavean Andrews, came onto the scene in the late ’90s as the lead singer of the R&B group, Dru Hill. They released two hit albums, Dru Hill and Enter the Dru before the band broke up and “Sisqó” ventured off on a solo career.
Sisqó quickly rose to the top of the charts in 2000 with “Thong Song” and “Incomplete.” The album, Unleash the Dragon, sold millions of copies, solidifying Sisqó as one of the more memorable artists of our time (of only for “Thong Song’s” popularity).
Sisqó released a follow-up album in 2001, Return of the Dragon, but to lesser success. The artist appeared on numerous reality TV shows, such as Celebrity Wife Swap, and Celebrity Big Brother.
Still touring and making music, Sisqó married his longtime love and mother of his two children, Elizabeth Pham, in 2018. At his reception, he serenaded his new bride with, what else, “Thong Song.”
“I initially sang ‘Thong Song’ about the first thong that I ever saw, so it was only right to sing it about the last one I will ever see… in private, that is,” Sisqó told The Baltimore Sun. To round things out, fellow members of Dru Hill joined Sisqo to also perform their song “Beauty.”
Why does Sisqó credit ‘Thong Song’ for Victoria’s Secret sales?
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Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans that have supported me.As we approach the 20th anniversary of my debut solo album”Unleash The Dragon”🐲I’m sharing my new EP”GENESIS” in celebration of it!Blessings to you and yours & please stay tuned for more from both me & my group Dru Hill!🐉
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sisqó’s solo album, he spoke with Def Jam Recording. In the interview, he discussed how the release of “Thong Song” boosted Victoria’s Secret thong sales.
“Once I realized how big the song was, I was like we need to go and talk to Victoria’s Secret. But everything was moving so fast, it got away from us,” he said.
“By the time the song had blown up, we went to go have a meeting with Victoria’s Secret. They were like, ‘As much as we love the song, and you seem like a great guy…but thong sales have already gone up 80%.’”
He added, “They had got their bag already. But fast forward 20 years later and we laughed all the way to the bank too.”
Could a hit song lead to a sales hike? the Securities and Exchange Commission archives for Victoria’s Secret revealed their numbers only jumped from $423 million in the first quarter of 1999 to $499 million in the first quarter of 2000, which is an 18 percent increase, not 80.
What inspired ‘Thong Song’?
As for the song itself, Sisqó described how it all came about saying, he’d never written a song down before. Freestyle was more his way of creating. When he got stuck, he decided to go out on a date for inspiration.
“I’m rounding second base and next thing you know she starts to come up out of her clothes and I see this… this… THING. I was like, ‘What is that?!’ She was like, ‘It’s a thong!’ I was like, ‘A THONG?!’” Sisqo said.
“The next day I call all my boys and I’m like, ‘Gather around let me tell you [a] tale. I saw this THING. It was like dental floss, but it was underwear.’”
He explained that the next day he and his friend came up with some of the famous lines while discussing Sisqó’s date. And just like that, a hit was born.
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