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Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik is “shocked” but “grateful” for continued popularity of “Iris”

ABC/Randy Holmes

On this day in 1998, Goo Goo Dolls released what would become their biggest album, Dizzy Up the Girl, which includes their biggest hit, “Iris.” Twenty four years later, “Iris” is still winning new fans: Pop superstar Demi Lovato is performing a snippet of it on their current tour, and it recently hit a billion streams on Spotify. Goo Goo Dolls singer John Rzeznik says he’s surprised at the song’s continued popularity, considering not everyone loved it back in the day.

Demi wrote one of their new songs, “4 Ever 4 Me,” after being inspired by “Iris” and has been singing a bit of it during their show. John tells ABC Audio, “I’m grateful that that they’re doing it. And I’m really sort of shocked, you know? Because even though the song became a massive, massive hit, at the time, it got a lot of criticism for being sappy.”

He laughs, “But, I mean…20 years later, it’s like, ‘Whoa! Okay!'”

John’s equally surprised at the Spotify milestone for “Iris,” which was written for the movie City of Angels, about an angel who falls in love with a human.

“That’s an amazing thing…I guess that’s a real big accomplishment in that world,” he says. “Not that I had anything to do with it, but it’s pretty exciting to think about that!”

“Iris” and Dizzy’s other hits, “Slide,” “Black Balloon” and “Broadway,” will likely be on the band’s set list on Saturday when they wrap up the current leg of their tour in their hometown of Buffalo, New York.

“I get more nervous playing there than I do anywhere else,” John admits, adding, “It’s just a question of just, like, doing a really good show. That’s the biggest pressure. Like, ‘Make sure we all know what the hell we’re doing tonight!'”

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