They were the Australian boy band of the ’90s. Starting off as an a capella and doo-wop group inspired by Motown, they transformed into the Down Under answer to ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys before a ceremonious return to their roots.
Then, the 2000s happened and we haven’t really heard much from Human Nature since. The odd Christmas album here, a greatest hits compilation or covers album there, maybe an appearance on Carols By Candlelight or that one they have in Sydney’s Domain (what’s that one called?).
But while for the most part they may no longer be on the radar of most Australian music lovers, Human Nature aren’t doing too shabbily. In fact, hard as it may be for some of you to believe, they still rank among Australia’s most successful entertainers.
As News Corp reports, the homegrown former pop sensations recently extended a very lucrative Las Vegas residency for another three years. Their new Vegas show, Jukebox, sees them performing a selection of Motown hits as well as more contemporary cuts.
Their new residency is set to kick off in late March at the Venetian and will keep them under contract at the Vegas staple until 2018. The group have spent the last seven years in Vegas playing shows five nights a week.
“We pinch ourselves as four Australians to be so heartily embraced by American music fans,” Human Nature’s Phil Burton said. “We’ll be playing music from all eras, and we’ll throw in some Motown and some music from our pop career and the ‘boy band’ days.”
“We’ll be highlighting what ‘boy bands’ have been like through the ages — not only a guilty pleasure but a jukebox unto themselves.” The new contract comes as the boys celebrate 20 years since they unveiled their debut album, which sold over 200,000 copies in Australia.
So Human Nature are clearly beloved in Vegas and they love it there too, and we’ve all heard about the ridiculous salaries commanded by some Las Vegas residency acts like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Carlos Santana, and Alice Cooper.
How do our guys stack up? Not too poorly, in fact. According to BRW‘s Top 50 Entertainers list, in 2013 Human Nature’s residency at The Venetian saw them take home a very respectable $4.3 million.
The deal made them the 13th highest paid entertainers to come out of Australia, beating out Hollywood stars like Guy Pearce ($4.2 million), radio hosts Alan Jones ($4.0 million) and Hamish & Andy ($4.0 million), and moguls like Eddie McGuire ($3.8 million).
“We rolled the dice,” Andrew Tierney said of the band’s move to one of the entertainment capitals of the world in a press release promoting the band’s Vegas-inspired album, Vegas: Songs From Sin City.
“We came over here not really sure what was going to happen. It’s a pretty competitive town, but we felt confident about ourselves and our show. We hoped word-of-mouth and the strength of the show would be enough, because no-one knew who Human Nature was over here.”
Despite having absolutely no name recognition in Vegas, or indeed anywhere else in the States, the band have managed to do incredibly well for themselves. So the next time you think to yourself, ‘Whatever happened to Human Nature?’ rest assured they’re doing alright.