The 90’s were a magical time when four guys could team up to take over the hearts and minds of every tween girl in the world. The Backstreet Boys hit levels of success that many in the music industry dream of, and they did it all with a smile.
Groove out to these 43 facts about The Backstreet Boys.
1. Backstreet’s Born, Alright!
The Backstreet Boys formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993 and consists of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and Brian Littrell. They got their name from a popular Orlando flea market called the Backstreet Market.
2. A Whale And A Band
The Backstreet Boys’ first performance together was in 1993 for 3,000 people at SeaWorld. They were the opening act for Shamu the killer whale. I wonder if they got the whale’s autograph.
3. Backstreet Never Left
The band has been together for 24 years and counting. Having started together in 1993, the band has only take brief time off, but they continue to perform to this day.
4. Thank The Queen
The Backstreet Boys made it big in Canada and Europe before their popularity in America Hit its peak.
5. Bust A Move
Howie is the only member of the band to have professionally studied dance.
6. Commander In Chief
Kevin had a dream of being the President for a day. He never got there, but he was the resident ladies' man as he received the most fan mail. I’m sure that’s better and less stressful.
7. That's Bad, Mmkay
Band member AJ used to smoke, but quit when he concluded that it was destroying his voice.
8. Backstreet Burgers
The band collectively came up with their own fast-food burger, which consisted of combining a regular burger with a fish sandwich. They called it "Surf and Turf". They also did a promotion with Burger King where they released an exclusive track through a CD that came with the Backstreet Boys Whopper. Remember CD's?
9. All This Money, I’ll Eat Like A King
AJ’s favourite food on the road was McDonalds. You’d think steak or lobster, but never doubt a clown with food.
10. King Of The Seafood
Before making it big with the band, Brian worked in the kitchen of the fish-n-chips fast food chain, Long John Silvers. The night is darkest just before the dawn.
11. The Member That Almost Was
AJ lived in the same building as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling in 1992. While playing basketball with Ryan one day, AJ asked if he’d like to join his band. It obviously never happened, but Ryan responded with a simple nod.
12. Show Me The Money
The boys earned very little in the early parts of their career. They would routinely play stadiums and arenas for $100 or less, which was barely enough to cover living expenses. This was largely because their manager, Lou Pearlman, was ripping them off. He was actually running a 300 million dollar ponzi scheme for which he is now serving 25 years in prison.
13. Fly Boy
Right before being offered a spot in the band, Kevin was preparing to join the United States Air Force. It seems there was a higher call to serve the public through song and dance.
14. The House Of Mouse
Nick turned down an offer in 1991 to star in the Disney Channel’s popular show, The Mickey Mouse Club. He could have been sharing the stage with future starts Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears,Ryan Gosling, and Christina Aguilera.
15. Turn A Negative Into A Positive
While in Montreal, AJ sprained his ankle when caught in a mob of charged up fans. He still performed that night and later allowed a local radio station to auction off his cast for charity. One day, that cast will make it onto Antiques Roadshow.
16. Hands At 10 And 2
Throughout the bands successful run, AJ never got his drivers licence. He was never able to make time to go write the test with the busy touring schedule. I wonder if he told this story to his many chauffeurs.
17. If It Wasn’t Weird Before
Beyond hanging out together, apparently the crew enjoyed watching naughty videos as a group. They claimed they found the DVDs in their manager, Lou Pearlman's, collection and it was strictly for entertainment. That’s an intense bonding experience.
18. Its-a Me, Mario
Nick and AJ got in a fight with each other during a heated game of Mario Kart. The story told is that Nick got mad while playing and threw the controller at AJ, thus starting the fight.
19. Father Figure
Nick is a full decade younger than the bands oldest member, Kevin, and 5 years younger than Brian. Carter was known to look up to Littrell as a father figure, but their relationship grew apart once Brian got married. Apparently the bro-code means nothing to him.
20. Time To Clean Up The Streets
Marvel founder and nerd god, Stan Lee, turned the Backstreet Boys into a comic book. It was called the "Backstreet Project" and only one issue was ever released. Nothing says superhero like a boy band.
21. From The Background To The Backstreet
Nick Carter had a minor background role in the movie Edward Scissorhands. If you look closely during a shot of the neighbourhood, you can spot Nick as one of the kids playing on a slip-and-slide.
22. All In The Family
Band members Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell are cousins.
23. Guinness Would Be Proud
The Backstreet Boys hold the distinction of being the best-selling boy band of all time. Having sold over 130 million records over the bands lifetime, they have overtaken the likes of N*Sync to hold the number one spot.
24. Cooking Up A Storm
AJ loves to cook and was often in the kitchen during his spare time between recording and touring. His specialty is spaghetti sauce made from scratch. If he had sold this recipe in stores, tweens throughout the 90s would have ate it up. Literally.
25. Stay Off My Lawn
At one point, Nick’s father installed a fence at the family’s house to keep obsessed fans from taking clumps of grass and flowers from the garden as souvenirs.
In August 2011, a full 12 years after it came out, the hit song "I Want It That Way" was banned in China. This, plus another 99 songs were added to a list of songs to be removed from Chinese Internet. The list included songs by other top artists like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Katy Perry.
27. Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere
Metallica inspired the acoustic guitar intro and faint vocals at the beginning of "I Want It That Way". According to the song’s producer and cowriter, the song "Nothing Else Matters" was the main inspiration.
28. Whose Line Is It Anyway
Known for being the party animal of the group, AJ first tried coke the same day the band was scheduled to shoot the music video for "The Call". It is rumoured that that is the reason why he wears glasses in the video. Not so innocent after all.
AJ had rock star status around the world, but particularly back home in Orlando. With special access at Florida strip clubs, AJ would often go shirtless bowling with exotic dancers and regularly went streaking down hotel hallways while on tour.
30. Fan Fiction
With lots of crazy fan stories out there involving the hit band, many of them are hard to confirm. One true story involves a group of fans that noticed the boys leaving the stage before their band stopped playing. They rushed to the backstage area, knocked on a door and were treated to Kevin Richardson in a bathrobe. He thought it was his wardrobe assistant, but the screaming girls made sure he knew it wasn’t.
31. The Happiest Place On Earth
Before joining the band, Kevin found work as a model for Versace and also played Aladdin at Disney World. Now, picture him modeling as Aladdin and try not to laugh.
32. Backstreet Boyz II Men
The group is on record as stating that they wished they could have harmonized with popular R&B group, Boyz II Men.
Howie was known to cover up with a baseball hat when he didn’t want to be spotted in public. That may work now, but I can’t see it working at the height of the bands success. Maybe he added a fake moustache?
34. Nightly Routine
Howie never goes to bed without completing a workout routine of stomach crunches and push-ups.
Howie is known as the calm and collected member of the group. He would constantly settle arguments between band members and was given the nickname "Mr. Mediator" by AJ.
36. More Nicknames
Kevin is known amongst the group members as "Boo" and "Pumpkin".
During the Backstreet Boys most recent tour, Nick played drums, Kevin played keyboard and AJ played bass guitar. Howie could already dance, so what was Brian’s excuse?
38. Oh Canada
The Backstreet Boys first triple platinum award came thanks to the sales and support of Canadian fans.
39. Kevin's Pieces
Kevin can’t resist and food containing peanut butter. Too bad that Reece's promotion never happened.
40. Life At Home
When away from band commitments, Howie likes to go clubbing, Nick draws comic book characters, AJ stays home on the phone and internet, while Brian is most likely to be found in church on Sundays.
41. Butterflies In My Tummy
AJ admits that he still gets nervous anytime the band starts playing a song to a live audience.
42. Intense Fans
The Backstreet Boys were banned from three major hotels in Europe after their fans were deemed too disorderly. Don’t underestimate the damage a screaming tween in the 90’s could cause.