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Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys were, in many ways, a contradictory band. Comprised entirely of white middle-class Americans, the group sang a hybrid of new jack balladry, hip-hop, R&B, and dance club pop that originally found its greatest success in Canada and Europe, with their 1996 debut album charting in the Top Ten in nearly every country on the Continent. Ironically, success in their native land did not follow until nearly two years later, when teen pop enjoyed a commercial explosion in America. Along with such artists as *NSYNC and Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys rose to the forefront of popular music during the turn of the 21st century, with albums like Backstreet's Back, Millennium, and Black & Blue enjoying worldwide success.

The core of the Backstreet Boys was comprised of cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, both of whom hailed from Lexington, Kentucky. The two began singing in local church choirs and festivals while they were children, performing doo wop and R&B songs in the style of Boyz II Men. Two of the group's other members, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean, were natives of Orlando, Florida, who met each other -- as well as transplanted New Yorker Nick Carter -- through auditions for local commercials, theater, and television. At one audition, the three discovered that they shared an affection for classic soul and could harmonize well together. Inspired, they formed a vocal trio. Shortly thereafter, Richardson moved to Orlando, where he became a tour guide at Disney World and concentrated on music at night. Eventually, he met Dorough, Carter, and McLean through a co-worker, and the four decided to form a group, naming themselves after an Orlando flea market. Littrell was later invited to join, thus turning the group into a quintet.

With the help of Louis J. Pearlman (who would later rise to mogul status on the strength of his teen pop acts), the Backstreet Boys secured management from Donna and Johnny Wright, the latter of whom had managed New Kids on the Block during the 1980s. The Wrights put the group out on the road and enlisted several A&R reps to attend the performances, which eventually resulted in a contract with Jive Records in 1994. Jive set the Backstreet Boys up with producers Veit Renn and Tim Allen, who helped shape the group's eponymous album. Released throughout Europe in late 1995, the record enjoyed considerable success, spending several weeks in the Top Ten in most Continental countries where it charted. In the U.K., the Backstreet Boys were named Best Newcomers of 1995 at the Smash Hits Awards thanks to their international hit single "We've Got It Goin' On." After scoring another European hit with "I'll Never Break Your Heart," the group released its album in Canada. Despite the Backstreet Boys' popularity in Europe and Canada, "We've Got It Goin' On" stalled in the lower reaches of the U.S. charts in 1995.

Combining their international singles with new tracks (which also formed the centerpiece of that year's European-only album Backstreet's Back), the American version of Backstreet Boys finally jump-started the group's success at home. "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" and "As Long as You Love Me" proved to be popular singles, with the former track climbing to platinum status. The album continued to spin off hits well into 1999, with "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," "I'll Never Break Your Heart," and "All I Have to Give" all landing on the charts. Both the former and the latter were platinum Top Five hits, and the album eventually sold an astounding 14 million copies in America alone.

In the meantime, the group saw its share of turmoil as Littrell underwent surgery in early 1998 to correct a congenital heart defect. Additionally, the Boys became embroiled in lawsuits against Pearlman and the rest of their management over royalties. When the dust settled, Pearlman remained the group's manager -- though the rest of the team was fired -- and the Boys began work on their follow-up album. Millennium was released in the summer of 1999 and debuted at number one, with first-week sales topping one million copies. Buoyed by songs like "I Want It That Way," "Larger Than Life," "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely," and "The One," Millennium shattered a number of records, including the highest amount of shipments in one year and the most copies sold during an album's inaugural week. The group released its Christmas Album before the end of the year, by which time Millennium was well on its way to sales of 12 million copies in the U.S. On an international level, the album eventually sold more than 40 million units.

Once again, the group struck immediately after its previous album stopped producing hits, issuing Black & Blue in fall 2000. More Top 40 singles followed, including "The Call" and "Shape of My Heart," and Black & Blue followed its predecessor by selling over one million copies during its first week. A popular tour supported the album, but after seven years of nonstop touring and recording, the band agreed it was time for a break. Brian Littrell became a father while Kevin Richardson tried his hand at Broadway and took a starring role in the musical Chicago. Nick Carter released his solo album Now or Never in 2002, Howie Dorough did charity work for the Dorough Lupus Foundation in honor of the sister he had lost to the disease, and A.J. McLean made headlines with his stint in rehab.

In 2004, the Backstreet Boys re-formed and began work on a new album. The result, Never Gone, was released in June 2005 to platinum sales, followed by Unbreakable in 2007. The latter was the first album not to feature all five original members, as Kevin Richardson had quietly exited the group in 2006. It was also the group's first album not to go platinum, a fact that seemingly cemented the end of the Backstreet Boys' heyday. Accordingly, the singers enlisted some serious star power for their next album, soliciting help from the likes of Ryan Tedder, Max Martin (who had penned "I Want It That Way" ten years prior), Dr. Luke, and T-Pain. When songs from their recording sessions were leaked online, the group took the setback in stride, using their fans' feedback to help steer the remainder of the recording process. This Is Us was ultimately finished in mid-2009 and released in that October. The Boys supported the album with an extensive tour.

The Backstreet Boys split from Jive Records in 2011, then embarked on a co-headlining tour with New Kids on the Block. The tour was dubbed NKOTBSB, as was the joint Backstreet Boys/New Kids greatest-hits collection released that year. In 2012, Richardson rejoined the Backstreet Boys -- he had been performing live gigs with them on occasion -- and as the group worked on a new album, they released a holiday single called "It's Christmas Time Again" that November. The Backstreet Boys intended to celebrate their 20th anniversary in grand fashion in 2013, releasing a new album called In a World Like This -- their first to feature Kevin Richardson since 2005's Never Gone -- which was then supported by an international tour and a documentary scheduled for release in 2014. This wasn't the only silver-screen appearance for the anniversary-minded Backstreet Boys; they also appeared in Seth Rogen's 2013 summer comedy This Is the End. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: In A World Like This

1. In A World Like This

2. Permanent Stain

3. Breathe

4. Madeleine

5. Show 'Em (What You Are Made Of)

6. Make Believe

7. Try

8. Trust Me

9. Love Somebody

10. One Phone Call

11. Feels Like Home

12. Soldier

x

Track List: This Is Us

1. Straight Through My Heart

2. Bigger

3. Bye Bye Love

4. All Of Your Life (You Need Love)

5. If I Knew Then

6. This Is Us

7. Pda

8. Masquerade

9. She's A Dream

10. Shattered

11. Undone

x

Track List: Unbreakable

1. Intro

2. Everything But Mine

3. Inconsolable

4. Something That I Already Know

5. Helpless When She Smiles

6. Any Other Way

7. One In A Million

8. Panic

9. You Can Let Go

10. Trouble Is

11. Treat Me Right

12. Love Will Keep You Up All Night

13. Unmistakable

14. Unsuspecting Sunday Afternoon

x

Track List: Never Gone

1. Incomplete

2. Just Want You To Know

3. Crawling Back To You

4. Weird World

5. I Still

6. Poster Girl

7. Lose It All

8. Climbing The Walls

9. My Beautiful Woman

10. Safest Place To Hide

11. Siberia

12. Never Gone

x

Track List: The Hits - Chapter One

1. I Want It That Way

2. Everybody (Backstreet's Back)

3. As Long As You Love Me

4. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely

5. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)

6. All I Have To Give

7. Larger Than Life

8. I'll Never Break Your Heart

9. The Call

10. Shape Of My Heart

11. The One

12. More Than That

13. Drowning

x

Track List: Black And Blue

1. The Call

2. Shape Of My Heart

3. Get Another Boyfriend

4. Shining Star

5. I Promise You

6. The Answer To Our Life

7. Everyone

8. More Than That

9. Time

10. Not For Me

11. Yes I Will

12. It's True

13. How Did I Fall In Love

x

Track List: Millennium

1. Larger Than Life

2. I Want It That Way

3. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely

4. It's Gotta Be You

5. I Need You Tonight

6. Don't Want You Back

7. Don't Wanna Lose You Now

8. The One

9. Back To Your Heart

10. Spanish Eyes

11. No One Else Comes Close

12. The Perfect Fan

x

Track List: Backstreet Boys

2. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)

3. As Long As You Love Me

4. Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Extended Version

5. All I Have To Give

6. Anywhere For You

7. Hey, Mr. DJ (Keep Playin' This Song)

8. Anywhere For You

9. Darlin'

10. Get Down (You're The One For Me)

11. Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

x

Track List: In A World Like This (Deluxe World Tour Edition)

1. In A World Like This

2. Permanent Stain

3. Breathe

4. Madeleine

5. Show 'Em (What You're Made Of)

6. Make Believe

7. Try

8. Trust Me

9. Love Somebody

10. One Phone Call

11. Feels Like Home

12. Soldier

13. In A World Like This (Live In Japan)

14. Show 'Em (What You're Made Of) (Live In Japan)

15. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (Live In Japan)

16. Love Somebody (Live In Japan)

17. The One (Live In Japan)

18. Breathe (Live In Japan)

x

Track List: In A World Like This - The Remixes

1. In A World Like This

2. In A World Like This (Manhattan Clique Club Mix)

3. In A World Like This (Adam Rickfors Remix)

4. In A World Like This (Varun Remix)

5. In A World Like This (Drezo Remix)

6. In A World Like This (DJ Lynnwood Remix)

x

Track List: Inconsolable

1. Inconsolable

Comments

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I wish you where 6��Nick
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MARRY ME BRIAN! I looooove you!!!
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I love you Nick love Amanda +Cynthia. Krivacic❤️��
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Their TV Special with Shania Twain thrilled the whole family!
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I love them
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The obsession of my teen years. These songs still give me the feels and bring back good memories. AJ you sexy beast.
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I LOVE YOU NICK
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I still have a crush on every one of themmm. ❤������❤
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"The kingdom of God has come near you."
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sheffield57
Wonderful heart u have. That's is all I see and it is beautiful
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Cool backstreet boys rock on lefty in the house.
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�� the BSB! Brings back so many memories...
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I love this song
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F**k One Direction I got Backstreet Boys
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like this one as well as all of the others
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Lovvvvvve
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I always loved you guys songs I grow up listing to you! Thank for a great childhood !
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Absolutely love this song
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lizanva
Love you so much

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U guys are magnificent love u all my life you guys never gone keep
Singing
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I don't care how and who u are. If u are with me everything is really wonderful.
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Boys
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olcpvideos
Love them!
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Nice guys finish last
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Backstreet Boys songs is I Want It That Way!
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My favorite song Sharp Of My Heart
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Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Repost this on 5 other
Look under your pillow
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I could listen to their music all day!! And I have a MAJOR crush on Howie!! By the way I'm only 11��
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Absolutely love this song Sharp Of My Heart...
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I love you guys and I am only 10 while everyone at my school judges while I keep it a secret.
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I was boy bands fan since I was a teenager.
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Nick carter I love you so much you so sexy ������������
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Gosh this song bring backs so many memories
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EVERBODY I love THAT SONG NICKY LOVE ME
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I mean it just please nick
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NICK CAN I HUG THE POOOOOP OUT OF YOU I LOVE YOU AND THE SONG EVERBODY ������������ � I hate you wife I just want you can you make that happen please NICK PLEASE MY MOM SAYS YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR ME CAN YOU CHANGE THAT PLEASE I LOVE YOU NICKY ������������ � can you ditch her for me I'm 12 years old nick
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Favorite group since the 90's generation still love them been a fan forever
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Love the backstreet boys
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I still have the Backstreet Boys CDS
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I have all the Backstreet Boys CDS
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Love song "Madeleine"
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I love the backstreet boys
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I have to get there CD's and listen to them every day and night
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I love the BackStreet Boys a lot ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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You are so cool
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One of the best songs the Backstreet boys have..
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gypsyme3
Shape of my heart .. You stole !!
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gypsyme3
Shape is b gee whiz ETERNITY ..
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gypsyme3
What do I do really without YOU ??
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@celestegalv a n 2 0 7 3 go to sleep ...
Show more

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