Claim to Fame: A-ha were the Norwegian kings of pop with their 1985 smash "Take On Me."
Where are they now?
A-ha have come to terms with their teenybopper-crazed past and moved past it with new music. With their chiseled good looks and pop hooks, a-ha seemed tailormade for the video-obsessed 1980s. Vocalist Morten Harket, 42, didn't see it that way -- "We didn't feel we fitted into the '80s," he told Britain's Guardian newspaper in May 2000 -- but he was in the minority. a-ha's 1985 synthesizer-fueled hit "Take On Me" won eight MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Concept Video, and the group (Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, 40, and keyboardist Magne "Mags" Furuholmen, 39) has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Furuholmen and Waaktaar-Savoy were childhood friends who formed their first rock group at the age of 11; they met Harket in their early teens. Originally calling themselves Spider Empire, they picked the new name in 1982 and by the mid-1980s had a string of U.K. hits, including their second single "The Sun Always Shines On TV," and even performed the title track for the 1987 James Bond movie The Living Daylights. But the trio were never comfortable with their swoonworthy image. "In a way we were too cutesy for our own good, because it was too comfortable for everybody to have us in that camp," Waaktaar-Savoy told Japan's Mainichi Daily News in October 2000. And by 1993, a-ha broke up to pursue their own solo projects. "It was getting quite hard to make music. It was a big machine, and you had to spend a lot of time making sure that it ran," Waaktaar-Savoy told the Mainichi Daily News. In 1994, he formed his own band, Savoy, with his wife (the Savoy). Meanwhile, Furuholmen channeled his creative energies into painting and wood-carving and doing soundtrack work, and Harket released a solo album, Wild Seed, in 1995. It took peace to get them back together -- the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, that is. To this day considered Norwegian pop royalty, the guys were asked to perform at the 1998 festivities in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Once together, the creative juices began flowing and in 2000, they released an album in Europe. Minor Earth, Major Sky did well in Europe but didn't make a splash on American shores. But the guys haven't given up on their music dreams. As for their reluctant heartthrob past, a-ha have come to terms with it. "When we tried to shed that teenybop image, our records were moving far ahead of our stature as a band," Furuholmen told Billboard in 2001. "But we're more at ease with the past now."