Backstreet Boys incredible career began four years ago in Orlando, Florida. It was there that high school students AJ McLean, Howie Dorough and junior high student Nick Carter began to run into each other at local acting auditions. The three young men became friends and formed a singing group, inspired in part by Boyz II Men and Color Me Badd. The trio then decided to expand, by two. They met Kevin Richardson through a mutual friend. After looking for a fifth member, Kevin thought of his cousin Brian Littrell, who was in Kentucky. A phone call was made, Brian relocated and The Backstreet Boys were ready to hit that stage.
They started to sing Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love." Then they began to find their own distinctive sound. The backstreet Boys started to blend pop and R&B, the 5 boys began to try to secure a record deal.
"We'd go to local labels and sing acappella in their foyers," recalls Howie. "We'd sing anywhere, for anybody."
The hard work began to pay off and within 6 months of forming. The BSB had become one of Florida's hottest live acts. They played everything from a high school gymnasium, Grad Night at Sea World, to an opening slot for Brandy. With all that stage experience and an indie single "Tell Me That I'm Dreaming" under their belts, BSB started "writing the next chapter." Their manager, Donna Wright, was friends with David McPherson of Jive Records. After pleading with him to hear the band, she called him during one of BSB's dates, held up her cell phone and let him hear the pandemonium the group generated. "We got signed right after that," smiles Brian.
In 1995, BSB began to released "We've Got It Going On." The song took off in England and throughout the continent, where BSB's brand of R&B-Pop was just gaining a foothold.
"Over there they had a bunch of what's called "boy groups,' so we had a ready made market," explains Brian, "but since we were Americans, we were a fresh new sound for Europe. We had more of an edge, and unlike a lot of those other boy groups, we were more than just a bunch of pretty guys. We could sing."
In a short period of time, "I'll Never Break Your Heart" began to climb the charts. Its success laid the foundation for what was to come.
In 1995, BSB won a Smash Hits Award in London for Best New Tour Act and performed the gold single "I'll Never Break Your Heart" on Top Of The Pops.
1996 kicked off with BSB being voted #1 International Group by TV viewers in Germany. Their next single, "I'll Never Break Your Heart" went gold in Germany and got #1 in Austria. By February, their songs entered into video and radio rotation in Montreal.
BSB's sold out shows, with a million of screaming fans cheering them on. If BSB could accomplish all that with only two singles, just imagine the reaction when BSB's self titled debut album was released in April of 1996. That summer BSB sold out 57 date headlining European tour. By the time fall came BSB fever had spred to Asia, the Pacific Rim and Australia. The year continued with the Backstreet Boys going on a second tour European. Then it was off to Canada, where their CD has gone six times platinum and hit the number one spot on the charts.Backstreet Boys's 32 shows sold out in under 20 minutes as the intensity moved closer to the US.
"It was some kind of year," laughs Kevin, and it only laid the groundwork for the next part of the BSB story. The homecoming.
Now back home in Orlando, BSB spent the early part of 1997 in the studio; crafting new vibrant songs, sharpening up their vocals, taking a more active role in the creative process and eagerly looking forward to bringing their infectious sound to a home grown audience.
"We've always wanted to bring it back home," asserts Nick. "But we wanted to make sure we brought it back strong."
Their CD "Millenium" came out on May 18/99. Their next CD might come out September 2000. AJ say it might be a douple CD.