Also, professional race car driver Bobby Labonte won NASCAR’s NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Country music star Shania Twain brought her “Come on Over” tour to Atlanta in November in one of the first concerts to Philips Arena, now State Farm Arena.
The Backstreet Boys also performed in Atlanta that year. In June, the group’s second world tour had the fitting name “Into the Millennium” and came to Atlanta in November. They were awarded “Most Creative Stage Production” by Pollstar.
Music Midtown was in its fifth year in 1999, starring Salt-N-Pepa, Destiny’s Child, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson. Some other artists that also performed in Atlanta that year: Elton John, the Cranberries, Ricky Martin, Cher, Lenny Kravitz and Billy Joel.
Songs that topped the charts included Cher’s “Believe,” TLC’s “No Scrubs,” and Monica’s “Angel of Mine.”
The year also saw the first new movie in the “Star Wars” franchise since 1983: A prequel, “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace,” would earn more than $430 million at the box office.
The 79th governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, who originated the popular HOPE scholarship, ended his term in 1999. Roy Barnes, who succeeded Miller, made his first executive action to change the Georgia state flag, removing the Confederate battle emblem.
1999 saw the opening of Philips Arena, which replaced the Omni. The $213 million arena became the home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta’s brand-new NHL franchise, the Atlanta Thrashers.
This was the year the Mall of Georgia had its debut and became the largest mall in the Southeast with around 200 stores.
Atlanta’s airport, called Hartsfield International Airport in 1999, gained the title of the busiest airport in the world, with 73 million travelers the previous year. The airport was renamed Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2003 to honor former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who died earlier that year.
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