The Backstreet Boys are one of the few bands in history to achieve initial success on other continents, primarily in different parts of Europe and Canada.
This boy band did not enjoy commercial success at first, and it took them about 2 years to get started talking about them.
By that time, the Backstreet Boys had already led the European charts several times and had become one of the biggest boy bands in the world.
Along with the popular stars of the time, such as Britney Spears, NSYNC, Westlife and Boys II Men, Westlife came to the forefront with their albums enjoying the international success that was simply enviable for others.
The Backstreet Boys, consisting of members AJ Maclean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and Nick Carter, have become one of the best-selling boys in history, with over 130 million records sold.
THE BEGINNING AND YOUTH OF THE Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys ‘ road to fame began in high school after Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, and A. J. McLean ran into each other during local auditions in Orlando.
Backstreet owes much of its success to boy band creator the late Lou Perlman, who died in prison in August 2016 at the age of 62; he was serving a 25-year sentence for a $ 300 million fraud. It was he who brought the boy band together, and was also responsible for creating NSYNC, later in 1995.
Before the Backstreet Boys became a popular vocal group in the ‘ 90s, each of the performers had already discovered their passion for performing in their own way. For example, Kevin Richardson was already singing at Disney World, and Brian Luttrell was already an energetic and experienced performer.
Nick Carter auditioned for local TV commercials, and pursued an acting and singing career from the beginning, while Howie and AJ worked for Nickelodeon.
The band was formed by Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, cousins from Lexington, Kentucky, who had previously performed cover versions of Boyz II Men and doo-wop at local festivals.
Howie and A. J. lived in Orlando, Florida, while Nick lived in New York City before moving to Orlando to join A. J. and Howie. Kevin and Brian joined the band later, moving permanently to Orlando as well.
Backstreet Boys ACHIEVEMENTS
Lou Perlman is credited with bringing together five largely unknown teenage singers and turning them into a decent musical group. Lou also hired Wrights, who previously ran “New Kids on the Block” in the ‘ 80s, to manage the band.
Thanks to Backstreet joining Donna and Johnny Wright, they were able to sign with Jive Records in 1994. Jive then introduced the band to producers Tim Allen and Veit Renn, who helped the band find a direction and a distinctive sound style to create their first album.
Their music consisted of a mix of hip-hop, R&B, ballads, and dance-pop, which probably helps explain why he found initial success in Europe rather than the US. The first album was called Backstreet Boys and was released all over Europe, around the end of 1995.
The album was a success and spent several weeks in the top ten charts in various European countries. The band was awarded Best Newcomers of 1995 for their single “We Got It Goin ‘On”. After “I’m Never Breaking Your Heart” became another massive hit in Europe, the band released the album in Canada, where it also began to enjoy great success.
Backstreet Boy’s self-titled album has sold over 11 million copies worldwide but has struggled to find a place in the US market as well.
To promote their music in America, the label focused its marketing efforts on teenagers and underage girls, through which they distributed the band’s music to fan camps, as well as hosted free CDs.
The strategy proved effective, and the band rose to the top of the US charts with new singles such as “ Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”, “As Long as You Love Me” and “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”. The American version of Backstreet Boys has sold over 14 million copies in America alone.
In 1999, the Backstreet Boys released Millennium, which debuted at number one on the charts in its first week, reaching one million copies sold. It also broke the record for the most records and the most sold parts in the first week of an album.
The album has sold over 40 million copies internationally, while it has sold 12 million copies in the US. They contained such hits as “The One”, “I Want It This Way”, “Larger Than Life” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely”.
Backstreet Boys has been called the best American boy band of all Time by many and has been nominated for 5 Grammys, including Best Album. At the same time, fellow bandmate and somewhat rival Pearlman NSYNC was gradually gaining popularity, unfortunately for Backstreet.
In 2000, Backstreet released Black & Blue, which contained the hit song “ Shape of My Heart”. The album sold 5 million copies worldwide in its first week, which was not bad by any standards; but for Backstreet, sales were a bit disappointing, especially since NSYNC was performing much better and the albums were selling a lot more.
After 7 years of continuous touring and performances, Backstreet took a break, as a result of which each of the members took up solo projects. In 2004, the band reunited to release Never Gone in 2005 and Unbreakable in 2007. In 2006, Kevin left the band, and the others stayed to work on their album This Is Us, which was released in 2009.
The band’s career remained fairly stable and continued until 2013, when all the members, including Richardson, reunited to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a world tour and a documentary release. In May 2018, Backstreet released their first single in several years, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” — which had 18 million views on YouTube at the time of writing.
Secret Facts about the Backstreet Boys
- All the guys in the band were in love with Madonna.
- Their choreographer says that A. J. catches and makes dance moves faster than anyone else, and B-Rok is sometimes lazy.
- Nick likes to spend time on the beach, in the pool, on his boat, and he also likes to go fishing.
- Nick once danced with his fly open.
- Kevin once had his chestnuts ripped open on stage.
- Nick sometimes calls fans who send him their phone numbers, but the trouble is, they never believe it’s him.
- Howie wants a Catholic wedding and three kids.
- A. J. admits that he is still nervous before the performance starts.
- Kevin’s secret nicknames are Mash-Up and Pumpkins.