A beginner’s guide to @BackstreetBoys for new fans (Updated 6.9.19)

Originally posted: Nov 26, 2017
Last Updated: June 9, 2019

So you’re a new Backstreet Boys fan? While the group has been around for almost 26 years, you have just seen the light and realized the greatness that is Kevin, AJ, Brian, Nick, and Howie. Well, guess what? You’ve come to the right place for a quick and easy guide for new fans.

So how did you become a fan? Were you a casual fan in the ’90s? Did a friend drag you to a Florida Georgia Line or Backstreet Boys Vegas show and you saw Nick Carter ask if he was sexual and, of course, you said yes? That’s what happened to me in 1998.

So the first thing you need to know is … who are the Backstreet Boys?

The Backstreet Boys consist of five guys:

Kevin Richardson

Born Oct. 3, 1971 in Irvine, Kentucky. He moved to Orlando and worked at Disney World, where he met his wife, Kristin.  They have two sons, Mason and Maxwell. He took a break from the group for a few years to focus on acting.

Howie Dorough

Born Aug. 22, 1973 in Orlando, Florida. He attended college just before joining the Backstreet Boys. He is married to Leigh and they have two sons, James and Holden. He works a lot in real estate with his brother on the side. 

Brian Littrell

Born Feb. 20, 1975 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was called in the middle of school by his cousin Kevin to join the Backstreet Boys. He’s a Christian and is married to Leighanne who he met on the set of “As Long As You Love Me.” They have one son, Baylee.

AJ McLean

Born Jan. 9, 1978 in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was always known as the bad boy in the group. He is married to Rochelle and they have two daughters, Ava Jaynes and Lyric Dean. He was the official first member Backstreet Boys.

Nick Carter

Born Jan. 28, 1980 in Jamestown, New York, but grew up in Tampa, Florida. He has released several solo albums, wrote and directed a movie (“Dead 7”) and almost won “Dancing with the Stars.” He is married to Lauren and they have a son, Odin Reign.

Where did they start?

AJ, Howie and Nick all knew each other from the acting circuit in Orlando all while Kevin worked at Walt Disney World. The four answered a newspaper advertisement to form a boy band by the late Lou Pearlman. The four were picked by Lou, but Kevin called his cousin Brian, who was sitting in history call, on April 20, 1993. Brian flew to Orlando the next day and the rest is history.
So that’s a very important date – April 20, 1993. Remember that. There might be a test.

Did Backstreet Boys come before ‘N Sync?

Yes, absolutely. While the Backstreet Boys were busy touring and releasing music in Europe, Lou Pearlman helped form ‘N Sync behind the Backstreet Boys back. Then anything the Backstreet Boys turned down, Lou would give ‘N Sync the opportunity. That happened with the 1998 Disney Special that put ‘N Sync on the map in the U.S. The Backstreet Boys were offered the special, but with Brian Littrell having open heart surgery after the 1998 Grad Nite concerts at Walt Disney World and before their U.S. tour, they passed.

Albums in order of sequence:

Backstreet Boys (1996)

Known as the red album and only released in Europe and then Canada. Basically, almost everywhere besides the U.S.

“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”
“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”
“Get Down”
“Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)”
“Anywhere For You”
Backstreet’s Back (1997)

The boys’ second worldwide release.

“As Long As You Love Me”
“All I Have To Give”

Backstreet Boys (1997)

The boys’ first U.S. released which included songs that were on their first European album, “Backstreet Boys,” and “Backstreet’s Back.” Sold over 24 million copies worldwide.

“We’ve Got It Goin’ On”
“Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)”
“As Long As You Love Me”
“I’ll Never Break Your Heart”
“All I Have To Give”
Millennium (1999)

Sold over 24 million copies worldwide and holds the record for most shipments in one year with 11 million (1999).

“I Want It That Way”
“Larger Than Life”
“Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely”
“The One”

 Black & Blue (2000)

Sold over 1.6 million copies in it’s first week of release. Has sold over 24 million copies worldwide.

“Shape of My Heart”
“The Call”
“More Than That”
Chapter One: Greatest Hits (2001)

Featured the hits, plus a new song, “Drowning.”


Never Gone (2005)

Last album to feature Kevin Richardson before his break. Debuted at No. 3 on the charts.

“Just Want You To Know”
“Crawling Back To You”
“I Still”
Unbreakable (2007)

First album without Kevin Richardson. It has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

“Helpless When She Smiles”
This Is Us (2009)

The boys’ last album for Jive Records. Debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

“Straight Through My Heart”

In a World Like This (2013)

First album back with Kevin Richardson and on first on their label, K-BAHN. The album has sold over 800,000 copies worldwide and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

“In A World Like This”
“Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”
DNA (2019)

The boys’ 10th studio album, released on their own K-BAHN imprint with RCA Records was released on January 25, 2019.

– “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (2018)
– “Chances” (2018)
– “No Place” (2019)



Note: Backstreet Boys also released an album with New Kids on the Block in 2011 called “NKOTBSB,” which featured the single “Don’t Turn Out The Lights.”

Album Sales

The Backstreet Boys, as of 2015, have sold more than 130 million albums worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band of all-time and one of the biggest selling artists in history. They are the first group since Sade to have their first nine albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and the only boy band to do so.

As the top-selling boy band of all time, The Jackson 5 comes in second with 100 million albums sold, New Kids on the Block with 80 million sold, The Osmands with 77 million and the Bay City Rollers with 70 million.


“From 1999 to about 2002 we were the biggest band in the world. No one thought it was going to be as big as it was, then it just stopped. And what do you do when you’re a full-grown man in a boy band?” 

Brian Littrell

If you are a new fan, the first thing you should do before even reading this blog post is watch their documentary, “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of,” which came out in 2015. It was shot over the span of two years, including footage of the band traveling to each of their hometowns, recording for the first time with Kevin in eight years and living in London for a few weeks.

It also has a lot of old footage and the guys discuss their start in the business and along with the visits to their hometowns, you learn more about where each guy came from.

Along with recording their new album recording and writing for their new album, and the upcoming world tour, the documentary goes into detail about something most Backstreet Boys fans have noticed the past few years – Brian’s voice. He suffers from vocal cord dysphonia and dystonia, which is a neurological problem.

Las Vegas

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe this is where you were introduced to the five amazing guys that make up the band, the Backstreet Boys have signed with Planet Hollywood to perform at the Axis Theatre, the same place that Britney Spears has been playing the past few years.

The group began their Vegas residency on March 1, 2017 and continued into 2018 and 2019. The Vegas residency ended in April 2019.

2019 World Tour

The Backstreet Boys embarked on their first solo arena tour in nearly 18 years (since Black & Blue) in May 2019, beginning in Europe. The tour moves to North America in July 2019 and will last until sometime in September. In the Fall 2019, the DNA World Tour will travel to Asia. According to Brian, the tour will head to South America in 2020. The tour is called the DNA World Tour after their 10th studio album.

There’s a Backstreet Boys cruise?

The Backstreet Boys went on their first cruise in 2010 and have followed suit in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 and their sixth cruise took place in May 2018. The boys partner with a company called Rose Tours who handles cruises for fellow boy banders, New Kids on the Block.

On the cruises you get to mingle with other fans and the boys themselves. There are game shows and other events such as karaoke, beach parties and the big highlight, the deck parties where there is usually a theme each night.

Some of the cruise themes the Backstreet Boys have used in the past are We’ve Got It Goin’ Con, Fast Times at Backstreet High, Millennium Night, Neon Night, Prom Night, 50 Shades of Grey, Casino Royale, ABC (Anything But Clothes), Halloween, Spynkter (80’s) and Bachelorette night.

Want more about the BSB cruises?

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

On May 17, 2018, the Backstreet Boys released their first new single in five years, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” The song’s music video hit one million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours and hit 5 million in less than five days. As of this post’s update on October 22, 2018, the video has nearly 33 million views.

The song has also given the Backstreet Boys their first Grammy nomination since the 2002 Grammy Awards. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is nominated for Best Group/Duo Pop Vocal Performance. The hit single from the movie “A Star Is Born,” “Shallow,” performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper won the award.

The CNNs of Backstreet Land

While back in the day (1998-2004), there were a ton of Backstreet Boys sites. The main one, Backstreet.net, was updated hourly, but since then, fans have gotten real jobs and do it as a hobby. There are a few of us that try to keep things going and also write for the official fan club.

Here is a list of several fan sites where you can get fun content and the latest news:


The Backstreet Boys have a great fan club and I’m not just saying that because I write stuff for the website and help monitor things. They have a great team behind them with a company called Wonderful Union and have one of the best staffs that I’ve seen working with artists.  There are several different fan club packages you can get and they usually switch i tup every other year.

Important Dates

Remember when I said to remember April 20, 1993? This is why – it is probably the most important date in Backstreet Boys history. It’s the day that changed everything. But there are some other important dates in the BSB fandom.

  • October 7 – Official Backstreet Boys Day in Orlando. (The day they received the keys to the city in 1998)
  • May 5, 1993 – The Backstreet Boys perform their first show at Sea World.
  • May 18, 1999 – “Millennium” was released.
  • June 6, 2006 – The day Kevin Richardson announced he was leaving the group.
  • November 21, 2000 – “Black & Blue” was released.
  • April 29, 2013 – Announcement during the London NKOTBSB tour that Kevin was coming back to the group.
  • January 25, 2019 – Their 10th album, “DNA,” is released on RCA records and goes to number one the following week.

So new Backstreet Boys fans, I hope this post helps you learn a little bit more about the fandom and the group itself. Got a question about the boys? You can always #AskTheFangirl and I will answer in a post on the site.

3 thoughts on “A beginner’s guide to @BackstreetBoys for new fans (Updated 6.9.19)

  1. Sarah Perkins says:

    I been in love with the bsb since I’m a little girl I’ve been to all the concerts but I never got to meet them in person I would like to meet them it would be a dream come true


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