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In the 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.

New York 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.

The 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.

The much-anticipated BSB follow-up, Millenium, hit record store shelves in the spring of 1999.



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