They are recognised as the biggest pop group in the world of music today having dominated the charts throughout the world since 1996. In just four years BACKSTREET BOYS (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, A.J. McLean and Kevin Richardson) have accomplished this global domination by achieving Gold and Platinum awards in 45 countries, including 11-times platinum in the USA for their debut album "Backstreet Back" and have sold over 51 million albums world-wide. The group have recently been hailed as one of the fastest selling acts in South East Asia where the album "Millennium" sold in excess of three million copies.
BACKSTREET BOYS have been honoured with numerous awards and in the last twelve months alone this has included four Billboard Music Awards, five Grammy nominations, three World Music Awards, an MTV Europe Award as well as two American MTV Award nominations.
BACKSTREET BOYS' success is set to continue with the release of their fourth album "Black & Blue" in November of this year. The group members have taken a lead role in the writing and producing of the 14-track album which covers a broad spectrum of musical styles. Brian Littrell explains: "It's probably the most diverse album we have ever made and we hope everyone really likes it. This album is a little more real, it talks about life and loss, love and cheating, all aspects of life. It's a very diverse album".
So how did five boys from America rise to the top so fast? BACKSTREET BOYS' story began in Orlando, Florida. It was there that high school students A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough and junior high student Nick Carter began to run into each other at local acting auditions. The three became friends and formed a singing group. The trio then decided to expand. Kevin Richardson was the next to join the group, and soon Kevin? cousin Brian Littrell completed the fivesome. They quickly became one of Florida? hottest live acts and were signed immediately.
In 1995, BACKSTREET BOYS released their first single, "We?e Got It Goin' On", an urban pop song by writer/producer Denniz PoP. The song took off in Europe, UK and across the world - BSB's brand of R&B/pop was gaining a foothold. In Europe, BACKSTREET BOYS entered a market which was familiar with 'boy bands', but unlike a lot of those other groups, BACKSTREET BOYSwere more than just a bunch of pretty guys - they could sing. Their live shows proved it with sweet acapella harmonies driving audiences wild. Meanwhile, their second single, "I'll Never Break Your Heart" climbed the charts.
BACKSTREET BOYS kicked off 1996 by being voted No.1 International Group by TV viewers in Germany - "I'll Never Break Your Heart" went gold there and hit No.1 in Austria. By February, they had hit similar heights in Canada and BSB sold out show after show - some within 20 minutes of tickets going on sale. Hordes of screaming fans soon became the stuff of legend across Europe and Canada. If BSB could accomplish that with only two singles, imagine the reaction when the debut album saw the light of day!
That summer, BSB embarked on a sold-out 57 date headlining European Tour. By autumn, BSB fever had swept Asia and Australia. Still on the road, the band wrapped up a second European Tour before the end of the year - including 13 dates in Britain.
If 1996 was the year of International success, then 1997 was homecoming year as BSB turned their attention to the one place which had eluded them - America. They released "Quit Playin' Games" in America in the summer and it rocketed to the Top 2 of the Billboard Hot 100. Their first album release in America was "Backstreet's Back" in August and BSB have now shown America what the rest of the world already knows - BACKSTREET BOYS is a success story in motion. Summer 1998 saw the group undertake their first major U.S. Tour - sold out venues across the country from July through September.
BSB filmed three big-budget videos for their new album, all of which show the band at the height of its powers and having fun. The video for "Everybody (Backstreet? Back)", a UK No.3 hit single, was an epic drama, a special-effects laden classic horror spoof featuring BSB made up as monsters from the silver screen's vintage best. The video for second single "As Long As You Love Me" was a fun, personality piece with the Boys as you've never seen them before. "All I Have To Give" was the third single from the album. All the video's where huge hits on MTV and music video channels throughout the world.
In August 1997, BSB performed a new stadium tour of Germany and Austria. The sold-out shows, which took the BSB live experience to around 350,000 people in two weeks, featured pyrotechnics, new routines and a few surprises.
BACKSTREET BOYS mania meanwhile took off in the U.S. - their first album "Backstreet's Back" went gold soon after release and the group spent some time in September consolidating their home fanbase with a series of concerts across the USA, culminating in a memorable New York show on 30 September. In the meantime, the new album "Backstreet's Back" sold well over 1 million copies worldwide in the first week of release!
BSB spent the summer of 1998 on their first mammoth tour of their native USA which kicked off on 8th July in Charlotte, North Carolina and took the group back and forth across America for two months. After the end of the tour in September, they went into the studio to complete their third album, "Millennium". On 10 September, BSB won Best-Group Video Award at the annual MTV Music Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
"Millennium" was released in May 1999 and included the hit single "I Want It That Way". This album confirmed the group? status as one of the worlds biggest pop acts ever. This album alone has sold over 20 million copies in 43 countries across the world and achieved multi-platinum status in 28 different countries.
To coincide with the eagerly awaited release of their fourth album, "Black & Blue", BSB will undertake a gruelling four day tour, taking in six continents from Stockholm to Tokyo, Sydney, Rio, Cape Town and New York where they will experience six simultaneous release days. On each continent they will perform an acappella of the first single from the album "Shape of My Heart" for their fans.
The new single "Shape Of My Heart" has charted so far top 5 in the following countries: #1 Sweden and Norway, #1 Thailand, #1 Hong Kong, #1 Indonesia, #2 Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain, #3 Canada, #4 Switzerland, #5 Holland, Australia and Austria
BACKSTREET BOYS' fourth album "Black & Blue" will be released on Zomba Records in November 2000.