Backstreet Boys Biography

Backstreet Boys, is an American pop group formed in Orlando, Florida (E.E.U.U.). Composed by Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, A.J. McLean and Brian Littrell. Richardson left the band in 2006, but returned to the group in 2012. They rose to fame with their debut album, Backstreet Boys in 1996. The following album, Backstreet’s Back continued with the group’s success throughout the world. They reached stardom with their album Millennium and the next album, Black & Blue.

After a break of three years, the band has released five albums: Never Gone, Unbreakable, This Is Us, NKOTBSB (along with the New Kids on the Block) and In A World Like This. The group has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the groups with the highest recorded sales in the history of music.

The beginning

The dream of the Backstreet Boys starts in the American city of Orlando, Florida, when A.J. and Howie D. they worked as models and actors, each in different advertising agencies, until one day in 1992, they met during a contest for young talents from that city, the Latin Carnival, although they had already seen each other in the various castings of modeling and acting. In this way A.J. and Howie began to talk about their projects in the breaks of the contest, identifying with one another, thanks to their congenial tastes and dreams; among them the passion towards music and sports, as well as the work they performed at that time. In the midst of the auditions they attended, they met another boy, Nick Carter, with whom they immediately got along.

Blue Street magazine published a call to participate in auditions, where producer and talent scout Louis J. Pearlman was looking for young people, for the formation of a musical group.

The boys did not lose opportunity and auditioned, but the producer proposed that instead of being a trio, there were five members of that group that they would integrate. Pearlman began the search by contacting Johnny Wright, who introduced him to Kevin Richardson, who came from Kentucky and worked at Orlando’s Disney World as an animator.

The advance by numbers of candidates was notoriously fast, but still missing a member for the group, Kevin immediately called his cousin Brian Littrell, as another possible member of the group, without hesitation the producer calls him during one of his history classes and he participates in the project.

The trio and the two new members joined quickly and formed a great friendship tailored to the multiple essays and presentations. Now all that was missing was the name for the group, making presence of different names, like “Orlando Boys”, “Florida Boys”.

On the occasion of a shopping center located in the center of Florida, called Backsteet Store, the five members decide to put the group Backstreet Boys.

Pearlman hired former New Kids on the Block manager Jhonny Wright, who along with his wife Donna, would be responsible for subjecting the boys to hard vocal and dance training, as well as studio recordings and performances in small venues.


The first single, of what would be his self-titled album, was “We’ve Got It Goin ‘On” which was sent to the radio in August and released as a single on September 4, 1995. The song was a minor hit in the The United States, reaching No. 69 in December, however, enjoyed a great success in Europe of entering the top-5 in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Netherlands.

European success sent them on a summer tour, and changed the promotion of Backstreet Boys is done mostly in Europe. In November 1995 they recorded their second music video of their second international single, “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”, which was only released in Europe on February 12, 1996. They finished recording their first Backstreet Boys album in April 1996 and filmed his music video in fourth place, “Get Down (You’re The One For Me)” in Germany.

On May 6, 1996, his debut album was released internationally, with the exception of the USA. and Canadian markets, however, was later released in Canada on October 14, 1996.

Backstreet’s Back

The album Backstreet’s Back was released in February 1997. They released “Anywhere For You” as the last single from their international album on February 17, 1997. The single “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”, released on May 5. In 1997 for his next US debut album, he managed to climb as high as No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, eventually winning a platinum award for selling more than a million copies.

His debut album was re-released in the USA. on August 12, 1997, which contained songs from Backstreet’s Back. It reached No. 4 on the list of US albums, which sold 14 million copies at home. Meanwhile, the second international release of Backstreet’s Back had already reached number 1 in Europe.

In 1997, Brian Littrell filed a lawsuit against Lou Pearlman and Trans Continental stating that Pearlman has not been justified on the income made by the group. The following year, McLean, Richardson and Dorough joined the demand that ultimately resulted in a series of settlements.

In February 1998, they performed at the XXXIX International Festival of the Song of Viña del Mar in Chile, causing the delirium of their fans and total success.

On the US tour of 39 cities, Brian Littrell underwent open-heart surgery (which had been postponed twice in the past). Littrell had been struggling with a heart murmur since he was born. Soon after, they canceled a show in Minnesota after learning that Howie’s sister had died of lupus.


Millennium was the group’s third studio album. Released on the market by the record company Jive on May 18, 1999. It broke several records, and is one of the best-selling albums in history, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide, its greatest success to date. In the United States, it has the record of collection in a year, with 11 million in 1999. It was nominated for five Grammy awards and won four top 40, including the single “I Want It That Way”.

The album set a record of more albums sold in its first week in the United States, selling 1.2 million copies in a week. He also obtained platinum records in at least 45 countries and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. It is the second best selling album of the nineties and one of the best selling of all time.

The successful single worldwide “I Want It That Way” reached the top of several lists in many countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, New Zealand. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 1, and it managed to sell 1,134,000 copies in its first week of release. Three more singles were released:, and “The One”.

In October of 1999, the Backstreet Boys faced new problems declaring their current contract of Jive null, and then getting one of the largest deals, worth $ 60 million with Jive.

Black & Blue

A trip to the Bahamas was made by the members of the band in May 2000 to write songs for their album. That same year they recorded the new songs in Stockholm, Sweden. A song was completed during the recording sessions in July, “It’s True”, was released on Monday, August 28, 2000 to a compilation sold by Burger King.

They released the first single from the album, “Shape Of My Heart,” to the radio stations on Monday, October 2, 2000. They subsequently released Black & Blue on November 21, 2000, and to promote the release of the album, the boys traveled around the world in 100 hours to Sweden, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and the United States; 55 of the hours were used in the journeys and 45 were dedicated to make public appearances.

The album made history selling more than 5 million copies in its first week of sales. In the United States, it sold 1.6 million albums in its first week, making them the first artists since The Beatles to achieve the feat. The following singles were “The Call” and “More Than That”. In January of 2001, the Backstreet Boys began their first stage of their tour The Black & Blue Tour, in which they were going to perform in the five continents. The tour also had very high production costs.

The second part of the tour was suspended when it was reported that A.J. McLean had been admitted to rehabilitation for his battle with alcoholism, cocaine addiction and depression, days after Richardson had had an intervention for him at the Boston hotel. Tickets for Air Canada Center sold out in three shows, which were postponed until September.

On Sunday, January 28, 2001, the Backstreet Boys played the national anthem in front of a Super Bowl XXXV audience at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The Hits: Chapter One, was released on Tuesday, October 30, 2001, as a collection of the group’s classic hits plus an unreleased song, “Drowning.”

Never Gone

His fifth record production, Never Gone, was released on June 14, 2005. The album varies musically from his previous albums, with a pop rock sound. Unlike their previous albums, the album featured only live instruments.

The first single of the album is “Incomplete”, followed by “Just Want You To Know” and “I Still …”. The disc was certified platinum in the US It sold 293,000 copies during its first week, and debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. In Japan, it sold 528,000 copies and was the second largest western music album of 2005.

Kevin Richardson’s departure

After finishing the Never Gone promotion tour, in June 2006, Richardson left the band to pursue other interests, issuing a statement on the band’s page on June 23, 2006. In it he stated: “After 13 years of What can be described as a dream come true, I have decided that it is time to leave the Backstreet Boys. It was a very hard decision for me but it was necessary to move forward with the next chapter of my life. ”

Richardson focused on his acting career and his family life with his wife Kristin, with whom he had two children, Mason and Maxwell.

Unbreakable and This is Us

Two days after the announcement of Richardson’s departure, the Backstreet Boys entered the studio to record their sixth album. The album, titled Unbreakable, was released on October 30, 2007. It received positive reviews, and debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200, selling 81,000 copies in its first week of release.

They released two singles from the album, “Inconsolable” and “Helpless When She Smiles.” The group toured worldwide to promote the album, beginning in Tokyo, Japan on February 16, 2008. The tour included concerts in Australia, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Canada, the United States and South America.

On October 6, 2009, the group released their next album, This Is Us. Going back to their original sounds pop dance, beats and contains more R & B. The album debuted at no. 9 on the Billboard 200, selling 42,000 copies in its first week of release. It reached number 2 in Japan and was certified as a Platinum record for the transfer of 250,000 copies. Two singles were released from this album: “Straight Through My Heart” and “Bigger”.

A few days after the promotion of his new album and filming the music video for “Bigger” in Japan, Littrell was infected by swine flu, causing the group to cancel the show at the Hard Rock Café in New York.

With this album, a tour was made that began in October 2009 and ended in March 2011 touring Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America.


In May of 2011, the group announced that they had left Jive Records. In the same month, they embarked on a joint tour with New Kids on the Block as NKOTBSB. Before the tour, they released a compilation album of their greatest hits, also titled NKOTBSB, which also includes a mash-up and two new songs.

At the end of 2011, the tour that was ranked 17th in the annual Billboard “Top 25 Tours”, winning over $ 40 million with 51 shows. The Tour lasted until June 2012, which included 80 concerts in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. During the show at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, in July 2011, Richardson joined the group on stage.

In a World Like This

The Backstreet Boys finally announced 2 surprises during a concert in London on April 29, 2012, one of which was that AJ would be a father for the first time, and the other, Kevin’s return to the group.

A few days later, McLean and Littrell revealed on several occasions that Richardson had already returned since 2010, before the “NKOTBSB Tour” started, but that he had decided to stay out of the NKOTBSB project.

The Backstreet Boys celebrated their 20th anniversary on April 20, 2013, and held a celebration event for fans in Hollywood that same day. During the event, they made a pre-release of several songs from their new album, In a World Like This, which was published on July 30, 2013. They also showed a teaser of their documentary film, which would be released in 2014.

The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 22, 2013, and it was declared as Backstreet Boys Day. In May 2013, the group embarked on a world tour (In A World Like This Tour) that began in China.

The group released the first single of their eighth studio album, digitally on June 25, 2013. The song, also called In a World Like This, was later released as a physical CD in Japan, on July 3, 2013 and on the radio on July 22, 2013. The album was released in the USA. on July 30, 2013 and other countries within a few days. It reached the top 5 in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.

In 2015 they premiered the documentary Show Em ‘What You’re Made Of, which tells the individual story of each of the group’s members before they became part of the Backstreet Boys.

It also tells the story of the band from its inception to the recording of their most recent album In A World Like This, which they recorded in London in July 2012.

In 2019 Backstreet Boys tour has been scheduled for the USA and Canada.