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    Gianna S.
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    Pubs & Clubs Australia article

    Post by Gianna S. on Wed 30 Jan 2008, 4:47 pm


    Backstreet Boys Have Come Of Age …

    [Wednesday 30, January 2008]

    They were undoubtedly the biggest boy band of the late ‘90s – the Backstreet Boys have enjoyed worldwide fame thanks to hits including Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), I’ll Never Break Your Heart, All I Have To Give, Larger Than Life and I Want It That Way. With their special hybrid mix of new jack balladry, hip-hop, R&B and dance club pop and following some headline-making incidents over the years including a five-year break, the boys are back on the streets of fame.

    So how did the Backstreet phenomenon begin? Born in 1978 in West Palm Beach, Florida, Alexander James ‘A.J.’ McLean quickly took an interest in performing, as well as working as a child model. After meeting future bandmate Howie Dorough at a talent competition in 1992, the duo began to run into junior high student Nick Carter at local acting auditions; the three became friends and formed a singing
    group. A.J., Howie and Nick then decided to expand, so when they met up with cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, who both hail from Lexington, KY, the Backstreet Boys became one of Florida’s hottest live acts and were signed immediately.

    “Our music has evolved with our fans. We were young pups when we started. With each album we’ve had the
    opportunity to grow more mature, lyrically and vocally. We’ve also had the chance to educate ourselves about the business, about artistry and becoming real musicians. I hope that shows with each step we’ve taken.”
    … Howie Dorough, Backstreet Boys

    Backstreet Boys released their first single, We’ve Got It Goin’ On in 1995; an urban pop song that took off in Europe, UK and across the
    world – BSB’s brand of R&B/pop was gaining a foothold. In Europe they entered a market which was familiar with ‘boy bands’, but unlike a
    lot of the other groups, BSB’s were more than just a bunch of pretty guys – they could sing. Their live shows proved it with sweet a’capella harmonies and smooth moves that drove the audiences wild. Meanwhile, their second single, I’ll Never Break Your Heart climbed the charts.

    Their 1996 self-titled debut, released by Jive Records, reached the Top 10 in most countries, especially Canada and Europe, whilst in the US word of the Backstreet Boys obtained a mild yawn. The American re-release came the following year and slowly but surely, the
    band’s rise to the top began and their success story was set in motion. Their first album release in the US was ‘Backstreets Back’
    and in the summer of ’98 the group undertook their first major US tour with sell-out shows. In the meantime, the group underwent its share of turmoil; Littrell underwent surgery in early 1998 to correct a congenital heart defect and the Boys became involved in lawsuits
    against record producer Pearlman over royalties – when the dust settled, Pearlman remained the group’s manager and work began on their next album.

    ‘Millennium’ was released in 1999 and included the hit, I Want It That Way; this album sealed the group’s status as one of the world’s biggest pop acts ever. It sold over 20 million copies in 43 countries and achieved multi-platinum status in 28 different countries. Once again striking immediately after their previous album stopped producing hits, the Backstreet Boys issued ‘Black & Blue’ in 2000. A
    tour supported the album, but after seven years of non-stop touring and recording, the band agreed it was time for a break.

    “When we took a break from 2002 to 2005, it was such a blessing to step outside of our own spotlight and focus on the value of something other than being a pop star. We needed to go through that character building in order to maintain respect for what we all have as a group.” … Howie Dorough

    Kevin Richardson tried his hand at Broadway and took a starring role in the musical Chicago whilst Brian Littrell became a father; Nick Carter released his solo album ‘Now Or Never’ in 2002, Howie Dorough did charity work and A.J. McLean made headlines with his stint in rehab battling alcohol and drug addiction. In 2004 the band rejoined and began work on a new album; the result ‘Never Gone’ was released in 2005 and produced the single, Incomplete – although this album displayed a drastic style change that created some negative criticism, it was certified platinum in the US and four singles were released.

    Ten years after taking over the pop chart with their 14 times platinum debut album, the Backstreet Boys are indeed back and in fine form after the release of the album ‘Unbreakable’ in 2007; they still manage to keep the momentum going on ‘Unbreakable’, but with a catch: this is their first album since Richardson exited the band in 2006.

    “The dynamics of the group are different, with Kevin gone, Kevin was a perfectionist, which, maybe at certain times, prohibited a creative atmosphere." … Nick Carter

    A lot has changed since 1997, when the Orlando, Florida-based unit of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Kevin
    Richardson began their impressive run. Today, like so many of their fans that bought those 75 million albums and helped them score a dozen Top 40 Hits, they’ve grown up and started families.


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