The Backstreet Boys are an American pop band. The band is comprised of five members, A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, and Kevin Richardson. The band formed in 1993 in Orlando, Florida. The group came together at the direction of Lou Pearlman, who put an ad in an Orlando newspaper looking to put together a vocal group.
The band released their first album, Backstreet Boys, on Jive Records in 1996. The album reached the top spot in Canada, Germany, and Switzerland, and sold 10 million copies worldwide. A year later, they released Backstreet’s Back still on Jive to even greater success, claiming the top spot in a number of countries, and selling 28 million copies worldwide. In 1997, Backstreet Boys was released in the United States to incredible success. The album peaked at the number four spot on the Billboard 200, selling more than 10 million copies and was certified platinum 14 times over.
In 1999, the Backstreet Boys followed up their previous two albums with Millennium. On Millennium, singles such as “I Want it That Way,” “Larger than Life,” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,” each of which cracked the top-25 of the Billboard Hot 100. Millennium was their highest selling album, reaching the top spot in a number of different countries including their first American number one album. The album went on to sell 30 million copies and was certified 13 times platinum.
In 2000, the band released Black & Blue, another album that reached the top spot on the Billboard 200, and was met to similar commercial success. The album was certified platinum eight times over and sold more than 24 million copies worldwide. After the release of Black & Blue, the band went on a whirlwind 100-hour global tour, stopping in Stockholm, Tokyo, Sydney, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, and New York.
After a hiatus from 2002 to 2003 as band members dealt with personal issues with substance abuse, the band returned with Never Gone in 2005, which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200, and sold 10 million copies worldwide. The band has since released two subsequent albums, Unbreakable in 2007 and This is Us in 2009, both of which have received a far more subdued response commercially.