The American boy-band that rocked the 90s ‘Backstreet Boys’ are the best-selling boy band in history. They are also among the world’s best selling music artists with record sales of more than 100 million. After Sade, they were the first group to have their first 9 albums reach top 10 positions on the Billboard 200. They are also the only boy-band to achieve this feat.
Story of Backstreet Boys’ Band Formation
AJ McLean and Howie Dorough who lived in Orlando, met each other as they shared mutual tastes in the same kind of music. They later auditioned Nick Carter and brought him under their wings. Kevin Richardson , hailing from Lexington, Kentucky shifted to Orlando in the year 1990. He would sing in choirs in local churches as a child. He would work at Walt Disney in the morning and practice music at night. A co-worker introduced Richardson to the aforementioned trio and the four decided to start a band.
Lou Pearlman, started ‘Trans Continental Record’ and was on the lookout for a new music group on a ‘boy band’ model. The foursome met his expectations. Meanwhile, the four band members decided to add another member, Richardson’s cousin Brian Littrell, who joined the group on April 20, 1993. The band was officially formed on April 20, 1993 and named ‘Backstreet Boys’ by Pearlman. The name echoed with an outdoor flea market at International Drive, quite a popular choice with teenagers who checked into the area.
The first show by Backstreet Boys was at SeaWorld Orlando, on May 8, in the same year. The group began performing in various venues right from malls, restaurants to shopping malls and charity gala at Fort Lauderdale. The band started growing strength to strength as they began performing in schools and colleges, building a teen base. In February 1994, David Renzer and Jeff Fenster from Zomba Records signed them their first record deal after watching the perform at Cleveland High School.
The first single was ‘We’ve got it Goin’ On’, released as a single on September 5, 1995. While the song didn’t do too well in the US, it featured in the top 5 charts of European countries like Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and France. This made the band tour extensively in Europe, where they promoted their songs aggressively. The first album ‘Backstreet Boys’ released in April 1996 and the popularity continued to grow in Europe with the song ‘I will Never Break Your Heart’ selling 250,000 copies and getting a Gold Status. With the album reaching number one position in Germany, they were called as the number one international act in the country. Soon they began touring Asia and found their songs getting a good reception. ‘Quit Playing Games’ was a game changer the fourth single released in Europe, went on to get fabulous response in Europe, America as well as Asia. It reached the number 2 position on Billboard Hot 100, earning them a platinum title for selling more than 1 million copies.
Backstreet Boys consist of AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Nick Carter. The band was formed in Orlando, Florida. The debut international album ‘Backstreet Boys’ in 1996 sky rocketed them to popularity. They backed it up with yet another successful album ‘Backstreet’s Back’ (1997). They continued the success story with a self-titled US Album in 1997, followed by Millennium in 1999 and then Black&Blue (2000).
They took a two year hiatus, after which they come up with Never Gone (2005). The album met with a lackluster reception in popularity circles as the fans were surprised because the band had changed tunes literally from their traditional pop style to adult contemporary music. On July 23, 2006, Kevin Richardson announced departure from Backstreet Boys on amicable grounds. He said that he wanted to invest emotionally in other creative pursuits. Of course, he returned in 2012. In between, there was an offer in a reality show to find another member to fit the shoes of Richardson but the band was against it.
Boyzone released two more albums ‘Unbreakable’ in 2007 and This is Us (2009). Though they were critically appreciated, they couldn’t hold a candle to the popularity swing they received in the 90s. The boy-band released their first independent album ‘In a World like This’ which was a moderate success.
Backstreet Boys came up with their first documentary movie called “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made of’ in January 2015. The documentary has received positive reviews widely because it chronicles the lives of the five members and their journey towards success.
Backstreet Boys – Net Worth
The combined net worth of the group is $250 million.