Happy 20th anniversary, Backstreet Boys!
Break out your BSB concert shirts, ladies! The Backstreet Boys are back in a big way. In addition to celebrating 20 years of pop-churning glory, the group was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We take a look at the boy band’s larger than life career over the last two decades.
Ah, the year was 1997 — the faces were fresh, and the fashion was questionable… at best! Nonetheless, a mere four years after the Florida-based group formed, The Backstreet Boys achieved international success following the release of their first two albums.
After a rough couple of years which found band member Brian Littrell undergoing open-heart surgery and Howie Dorough's sister passing away, BSB recovered in a major way in 1999 with the single "I Want It That Way" — a hit that topped the charts in over 25 countries and led to deafening buzz over their third album, Millennium. Proof they'd arrived? Why, a "Got Milk?" ad, of course.
After they made it into a milk ad, it was only natural that superstardom would follow. And what happens when you become so famous reality can't even contain you? Well, you get animated. In 2002, Kevin, Nick, Brian, A.J. and Howie appeared as cartoon versions of themselves in a one-hour special of the cartoon Arthur.
We couldn't have been happier for Brian when, after struggling to overcome a congenital heart defect for years, he found love — even if it meant our beloved boys were, in fact, outgrowing their teen icon years. Here, Brian marks a milestone in his life: his engagement to Leighanne Wallace.
Hmm, had we not had our Backstreet Boy beer goggles on back then (in other words, we were so inebriated on them everything looked better than it was), perhaps we would have realized something was up when Nick and A.J. posed for the paparazzi at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2004, conspicuously without any of their bandmates. Shortly after, Kevin left the group to pursue other interests.
When the boys announced a special collaboration tour with New Kids on the Block, it was all we could do to still our rapidly beating hearts — and dust off our acid wash denim vests! But, as much as we loved the NKOTBSB tour, things simply weren't the same without Kev. When news broke he was rejoining Nick and the gang for good in late 2011, fans worldwide swooned.
Yay — Kevvy came back! Happy holidays to us all. In 2012, the newly reunited gang performed at the 10th Annual Hollywood Christmas Celebration at The Grove in Los Angeles. We couldn't think of a better way for the guys to bring in the new year than by spreading Christmas cheer.
Surviving 20 years in the music biz is nothing to shake a stick at, and — aside from some embarrassingly bad hair moments and the occasional party boy behavior (ahem, Nick!) — the Backstreet Boys have done so with grace. For their achievement, they earned a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, you know, in our hearts.