Adult Contemporary

As long as you love them: Backstreet Boys mark 30th anniversary

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Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images

All you people, can’t you see, can’t you see … that you’ve kept the Backstreet Boys going for 30 years?

The record-breaking boy band formed on April 20, 1993, when the last member to join, Brian Littrell, flew to Orlando to join his cousin Kevin Richardson, as well as Nick CarterAJ McLean and Howie Dorough. Lou Pearlman, who put the group together, dubbed them Backstreet Boys after a popular Orlando teen hangout: Backstreet Market.

In 1994, they signed their first record deal and were on their way to becoming the bestselling boy band of all time, with more than 100 million records sold globally.

BSB is marking the momentous occasion by counting down the “top 30 moments in Backstreet history,” as voted on by their fans, at BSB30.com.

As for why Backstreet has endured, Howie thinks it’s a combination of timing, hard work and staying together, despite challenges like Kevin temporarily leaving the group or AJ going to rehab.

We hit it at a time where I think the world was ready for a group like us,” Howie told ABC Audio. “We were just coming out of a grunge rock scene … people just needed some good, feel-good music.”

In addition, he noted, they cultivated a “lifelong fan base” through their “grassroots approach.”

“We went around the whole world. We put the time in … we carried the torch. And even when Kevin took a break … we kept on going,” he said. “Lots of people thought that we weren’t even together anymore, not knowing that we were still out there … still providing for our fans.”

“And I think that’s why our fans know that we do this, not only for the enjoyment of ourselves, but for the enjoyment of what we bring to our fans.”

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