Backstreet Boys (often abbreviated as BSB) is an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The group consists of AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell.
The group rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996). In the following year, they released their second international album Backstreet’s Back (1997) along with their self-titled U.S. debut album, which continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their third studio album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). After a two-year hiatus, they regrouped and released a comeback album Never Gone (2005). After the conclusion of the Never Gone Tour in 2006, Richardson left the group to pursue other interests. The group then released two albums as a quartet: Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009).
In 2012, the group announced that Richardson had rejoined them permanently. In the following year, they celebrated their 20th anniversary and released their first independent album, In a World Like This (2013). The Backstreet Boys are one of the few boy bands to have continued success long after their peak. Their 2019 album DNA debuted at number one, more than two decades after the group formed, and 19 years after they last topped in 2000. They also became the first boy band to top the U.S. album charts in three different decades.
The Backstreet Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band of all time, and one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They are the first group since Led Zeppelin to have their first ten albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and the only boy band to do so. The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 22, 2013. The group also released their first documentary movie, titled Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of in January 2015.
The second leg of Into the Millennium Tour, which was also the first North American leg, was sponsored by Sears and was officially titled “Sears Presents Backstreet Boys Into The Millennium”. The sponsorship was a part of Sears’ new integrated marketing campaign that exclusively featured the Backstreet Boys. The campaign included a 30-second advertisement, featuring the group, which was aired from August 1 to 15, 1999. The advertising promoted a back-to-school sweepstakes which gave each of five fans the chance to win a $2,000 Sears shopping spree with their favorite Backstreet Boys member, and a trip for four to the group’s concert on December 1, 1999 in Tampa, Florida.
Carter, who was a comic fan, met comic book writer Stan Lee through his manager from The Firm in February 2000. Carter subsequently told Lee about his original concept of a six-issue series of comic books featuring members of the Backstreet Boys as superheroes called “Cyber Crusaders”. Lee was interested in the concept; however, they ultimately decided to make it into only one issue. The comic book, titled Backstreet Project, was released in 2000 and was available for purchase at their concerts and online stores in 2000–2001. In addition to the book, a series of flash-based webisodes were also published in 2000.
In January 2000, the Backstreet Boys signed a deal with Burger King. The deal included an exclusive compilation set that was only available for sale at Burger King restaurants. The compilation consisted of three CDs featuring a new song called “It’s True” and live songs from the group’s previous tours, and a VHS tape featuring backstage footage and interviews. In August 2000, it was announced that the deal would also include three TV commercials featuring the Backstreet Boys, and a promotion, which was the inclusion of an exclusive Backstreet Project Cyber Crusader toy in each Burger King Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal.
In August 2012, it was revealed that the Backstreet Boys would be starring in an Old Navy commercial. The commercial featuring the group started airing on September 19, 2012. “It was a great way to show people that we’re back,” Richardson said regarding the commercial. The group also performed at an Old Navy event “Fit For Fall Fashion Show for All” in Bryant Park, New York on September 14, 2012.
On March 12, 2014, the group filmed a series of commercials for Swedish warehouse company NetOnNet in Sweden while the group was on tour in Europe. The commercials started airing in May 2014. For the purpose of these commercials, the group recorded a song called “Lager Than Life”, which is a remake of their song “Larger Than Life” with different instrumentation. The song was also released as a single on iTunes by the company in several countries.
- AJ McLean – vocals (1993–present)
- Howie Dorough – vocals (1993–present)
- Nick Carter – vocals (1993–present)
- Brian Littrell – vocals (1993–present)
- Kevin Richardson – vocals (1993–2006, 2008, 2010–present)