tradition of their predecessors New Kids on the Block, the
Orlando-based Backstreet Boys use dance-club pop,
fresh-faced good looks and sexy choreography to whip up
their pre-teen fans into a hormonally charged frenzy
wherever they perform.
transplant Nick Carter and Florida natives Howie Dorough
and A.J. McLean were performing as an a cappella trio in
Orlando before they hooked up with Kevin Richardson and
his cousin Brian Littrell, recently relocated from
Kentucky. Soon the Backstreet Boys, who took their name
from an outdoor Orlando market, were performing at gigs
throughout central Florida.
quintet soon came under the control of former New Kids on
the Block managers Donna and Johnny Wright, who helped
shape the group into a polished pop dance outfit. The
Backstreet Boys eventually signed with Jive Records in
1994 and released their debut album in Europe and Canada
in early 1996. The album hit big on the European charts,
and the Backstreet Boys became overnight sensations
abroad. When the CD was released in the United States one
year later, American teens, drunk on Hanson and the Spice
Girls, were primed for its arrival. The album debuted at
No. 29 on the album charts on the strength of the hit
single "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)." All
in all, Backstreet Boys has sold more than 10
million copies (and counting) worldwide.
much-anticipated BSB follow-up, Millenium, hit
record store shelves in the spring of 1999.