the charts throughout the world, have gone multi-platinum in 16 countries
and sold over 10 million records worldwide. They've scored 4 Top Ten
singles, including the number one sensation "Quit Playin' Games (With
My Heart)." They've also racked up numerous awards, including the 1996
MTV Europe Viewers Choice Award, beating out Oasis, Spice Girls and
They are the Backstreet
Boys (BSB) and they may well be the biggest pop group you've never heard
of. . . until right now.
is the long awaited eponymous American debut from a group that has already
made its mark on the international music scene. The brand new American
release contains all the hits from BSB's self-titled European debut
along with new cuts that find BSB collaborating with some of the biggest
names in music: PM Dawn, (a startling remake of "Set Adrift On Memory
Bliss") and Robert Mutt Lange ("If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get
Yourself A Bad Boy)). Armed with powerful harmonies, groove friendly
beats, passionate ballads, a dynamic stage show and charisma that will
not be denied, Backstreet Boys are ready to show their native land what
the rest of the planet has already figured out: that they are more than
a phenomenon, they are here to stay.
incredible saga 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 scouring
Orlando 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 write the first chapter of their story.
At first the group
did some of their favorite cover tunes, a practice that continues even
today. Laughs Brian, "We still do Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love," but
eventually they began to find their own distinctive sound. Stressing
their strong harmonies and a blend of pop and R&B, the fivesome 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 six months of forming, 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 lay down tracks and 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 hit #1 in Austria. By February, the up tempo jam had entered into
video and radio rotation in Montreal. BSB's sold out shows, with hordes
of screaming fans, soon became legendary throughout Europe and Canada.
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 embarked on a sold out 57 date headlining European
tour. By the time fall came BSB fever had swept Asia, the Pacific Rim
and Australia. The year continued with BSB wrapping up a second European
tour and earning the coveted 1996 MTV Europe Viewers Choice Award. Then
it was off to Canada, where their CD has gone six times platinum and
hit the number one spot on the charts. BSB'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."