Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Can You Ace Our ’90s Music Quiz?

Crank up your CD player and test your trivia skills

spinner image Alanis Morissette, Ricky Martin, and Mariah Carey all holding and singing into different microphone; surrounded by blue, yellow and pink circles with question marks in them
JMEnternation/Getty Images; KMazur/Getty Images; James Devaney/Getty Images

The ’90s were full of awesome music from genres like alternative rock, grunge, hip-hop and rap. To find out if you remember your mad dance moves, pull on your flannel shirt, lace up your Doc Martens and take our fly ’90s music quiz.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

Question 1 of 10

The Grammy-nominated song that made grunge band Nirvana world-famous was named for what brand of deodorant?

spinner image Kurt Cobain playing guitar behind microphone; surrounded by blue, yellow and pink circles with question marks in them
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the breakout single from Nirvana’s 1991 album, “Nevermind.” Kurt Cobain’s ex-girlfriend, Tobi Vail, was at a grocery store with friend Kathleen Hanna when they discovered the deodorant brand Teen Spirit. Because she was amused by the name, Hanna later wrote “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit” on a wall in Cobain’s apartment. Although he later used the phrase for a song title, Cobain said he didn’t know Teen Spirit was a deodorant until after the song was released.

Question 2 of 10

Which female singer is the first artist to have a No. 1 hit in four different decades?

Mariah Carey had at least 15 number one hits in the ’90s, including “Fantasy,” “Always Be My Baby,” “Hero,” “Emotions” and “Dreamlover.” Perhaps her biggest hit of all time, however, is her holiday bop “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” First released in 1994, the song didn’t reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 until December 2019, but it stayed there until January 2020 — making Carey the first artist to have a No. 1 song in four different decades: the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s.

Question 3 of 10

Which British rock band, best known for the ’90s hit “Wonderwall,” is often compared to the Beatles?

Whether it’s the bands’ comparable vocal stylings, shared melodies or similar hair and fashion, fans and critics have associated English rockers Oasis with the Beatles. Frontman Noel Gallagher rejects the comparison, but admits that the Beatles “mean everything” to him. “Their influence is absolute,” he said in 2021. Even the band’s hit song “Wonderwall” is a nod to the Beatles — it’s a reference to George Harrison’s solo debut, the 1968 predominately instrumental “Wonderwall Music.”

Question 4 of 10

In their hit 1995 song, R&B girl group TLC tells listeners not to chase what?

spinner image Lisa Left Eye Lopes, Chili, and T-Boz standing in front of M T V Movie Awards backdrop; surrounded by blue, yellow and pink circles with question marks in them
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

“Waterfalls” was the third single from TLC’s second album, 1994’s “CrazySexyCool.” The song is a cautionary tale about harmful behaviors like drug abuse and unprotected sex. “Anything that’s self-destructive, that’s chasing a waterfall,” group member Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas told British newspaper The Guardian in a 2018 interview.

Question 5 of 10

True or false: Alanis Morissette’s ’90s album, “Jagged Little Pill,” was adapted into a  Broadway musical.

Alanis Morissette released the breakout album in 1995. Some 20 years later, screenwriter Diablo Cody turned the Grammy-winning record into a Tony Award-winning  musical based on megahits like “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket” and “Ironic.”

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?

Question 6 of 10

Before launching his solo career, which ’90s Latin heartthrob was a member of the boy band Menudo?

Before making his English-language debut with 1999’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Ricky Martin was best known as a member of Menudo, which Billboard magazine calls “the most successful Latin boy band of all time.” Menudo was established in Puerto Rico in 1977, and Martin joined the lineup in 1984 at the age of 12 and remained in the group until 1989. Although he wasn’t an official member of Menudo, Marc Anthony was a backup singer for the band.

Question 7 of 10

Singer Sarah McLachlan founded what music festival celebrating female artists?

spinner image Sarah McLachlan holding guitar, standing behind microphone; surrounded by blue, yellow and pink circles with question marks in them
ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

McLachlan established Lilith Fair in 1997. Named for the Jewish biblical figure Lilith, Adam’s first wife who refused to obey him, the all-women music festival featured artists such as Jewel, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Joan Osborne, the Indigo Girls, Lisa Loeb, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant and Sinéad O’Connor.

Question 8 of 10

In the summer of 1996, a dance craze swept the nation courtesy of which one-hit wonder?

Spanish pop duo Los Del Río originally released “Macarena” in 1993, but the song didn’t catch fire until 1995, when a Miami DJ began receiving requests for it at clubs and parties. He wanted to play it on the radio, but the station where he worked wouldn’t play Spanish-language music. So, he asked music producers the Bayside Boys to create a remix incorporating English lyrics. Their version sparked a pop phenomenon in 1996, and the song spent a record-breaking 60 weeks on the Hot 100.

Question 9 of 10

True or false: The Spice Girls — Sporty, Baby, Scary, Posh and Ginger — chose their own nicknames.

spinner image Sporty, Baby, Scary, Posh and Ginger Spice lying down with American Flag behind them and United Kingdom Flag in front of them
Ray Burmiston/Getty Images

In an interview with HuffPost Live, “Scary” Spice Girl Mel B explained, “It was actually a lazy journalist that couldn’t be bothered to remember all our names, so he just gave us nicknames,” referring to Peter Loraine, editor of the British magazine Top of the Pops.

Question 10 of 10

True or false: “I’ll Be Missing You,” released in 1997 by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and Faith Evans, is a tribute to slain ’90s rapper Biggie Smalls.

This version of a song that was originally released in 1983 by The Police, is a tribute to rapper Christopher Wallace, otherwise known by the stage names Biggie Smalls and Notorious B.I.G. Best known for his hit song with Combs, “Mo Money Mo Problems,” Biggie was murdered in 1997 in a drive-by shooting. Rapper Tupac Shakur — with whom Biggie had a famous feud — was killed in a similar fashion a year prior.

You have unanswered questions. Please go back and complete those questions to finish the quiz.

0 Correct
0 Incorrect
Oops...something went wrong. Please log out and log back in to continue.