'Left of the Middle'

‘Left of the Middle’

Australia’s Natalie Imbruglia was everywhere in 1997 and 1998, thanks to her hit song “Torn,” the first single from her debut studio album, which was released internationally in November 1997.

98 Degrees' Debut Album

98 Degrees’ Debut Album

Nick and Drew LacheyJeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre joined the boy band scene in July 1997, when they released their self-titled debut, which featured the gem “Invisible Man.”

Credit: Tim Roney/Getty Images

Backstreet Boys' U.S. Debut Album

Backstreet Boys’ U.S. Debut Album

BSB’s self-titled U.S. debut, released stateside in August 1997, was actually a compilation of songs from their first and second international albums, which came out in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

Credit: L. Busacca/Getty Images

Hanson's 'Middle of Nowhere'

Hanson’s ‘Middle of Nowhere’

Hanson — made up of brothers IsaacTaylor and Zac Hanson — burst onto the music scene with this May 1997 album, which spawned their most famous song, “MMMBop.”

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’

Though the U.S. version of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book — which changed the “Philosopher’s Stone” to the “Sorcerer’s Stone” — didn’t hit shelves until 1998, British readers enrolled at Hogwarts in June 1997. (The first of the movies debuted four years later in 2001.)

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures



A then barely known Jennifer Lopez had a star-making turn as the slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez in this biopic, which debuted in the U.S. on March 21, 1997.

Credit: Warner Bros

'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion'

‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’

Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino road-tripped to Sagebrush High to show Billy Christianson what he was missing in this riotous comedy, which premiered in the U.S. in April 1997.

Credit: Buena Vista

'Spice World'

‘Spice World’

Already an international pop sensation, the Spice Girls — Victoria “Posh Spice” BeckhamMelanie “Scary Spice” BrownEmma “Baby Spice” BuntonMelanie “Sporty Spice” Chisholm and Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell — played themselves in this musical comedy, which hit U.K. theaters on December 26, 1997, going worldwide shortly thereafter.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Good Will Hunting'

‘Good Will Hunting’

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won their first Oscar (for best screenplay) for this Gus Van Sant–directed drama about an M.I.T. janitor who just happens to be math genius. The film, which premiered in the U.S. in December 1997, also earned Robin Williams his first and only Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Credit: Miramax

'My Best Friend's Wedding'

‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’

Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz fought for Dermot Mulroney‘s affection in this Golden Globe–nominated romantic comedy, which premiered in June 1997.

Credit: TriStar Pictures

'Air Bud'

‘Air Bud’

Buddy the Golden Retriever leapt onto basketball courts (and movie screens) when this beloved kids’ classic premiered in August 1997.

Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

'I Know What You Did Last Summer'

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’

Jennifer Love HewittSarah Michelle GellarRyan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. ran from a hook-wielding killer with an ax to grind in this cult-favorite slasher flick, which hit theaters in October 1997.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Men in Black'

‘Men in Black’

Will Smith made fighting aliens look good when he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones in this sci-fi comedy in July 1997.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

Sarah Michelle Gellar staked her first blood-sucker on March 10, 1997, when Joss Whedon‘s series (based very loosely on the 1992 feature film starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry) began its seven-season run on the WB (later UPN).

Credit: 20th Century Fox



This MTV animated series, which ran for five seasons until 2001, premiered on March 3, 1997.

Credit: MTV

'South Park'

‘South Park’

Trey Parker and Matt Stone‘s animated, irreverent comedy — which has won five Emmys to date — premiered on Comedy Central on August 13, 1997.

Credit: Comedy Central

'The View'

‘The View’

Barbara WaltersJoy BeharMeredith VieiraStar Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos were the original hosts of the ABC talk show — which has since gone through several cast changes — when it premiered in August 1997.

Credit: ABC

'Ally McBeal'

‘Ally McBeal’

Calista Flockhart brought sexy back to the courtroom in this talked-about David E. Kelley–helmed legal dramedy, which premiered on Fox in September 1997 and also starred Jane KrakowskiCourtney Thorne-SmithGil Bellows and (later) Lucy Liu and Portia de Rossi.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

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