The Backstreet Boys came in with a force in '90s - back in the day where there wasn't single streaming and downloading, you actually had to go out and buy the physical copy of the CD itself...remember those days before our iHeartRadio app, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora...all of that?
Well that's where the album success of the Backstreet Boys comes in. They released their first single in 1995 (which they still perform to this day!), "We've Got It Goin' On." While it only peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, it soared to the top ten in many European countries. They had massive success overseas almost instantly, but it wasn't until 1997 where they started charting in the US with "I'll Never Break Your Heart", "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)", "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)", "As Long As You Love Me", and "All I Have to Give."
They were starting to become a force to be reckoned with but people outside of teenage and young girls didn't really take them too seriously until they released "I Want It That Way" in 1999. That changed their entire career.
With the release of that single, came the release of what I believe to be, the greatest boyband album of all-time. Fight me.
Millennium entered the Billboard 200 chart at number one with first-week sales soaring past 1.133 million. That's physical copies that you had to go out and buy. Not just download. Millennium went on to become the best-selling album of that year and added another 30 MILLION copies worldwide.
I wasn't even all of 8 years old, watching them on TV, seeing what they were doing and it blew my mind. I'm 27 now and looking back at all the footage from their career truly makes me realize how much they alone shaped the pop music world.
So, let's take a look back at the album that helped make them history's best-selling boyband of all time (you literally can't fight me on this - it's just pure numbers) with one of the biggest albums of all-time and the 8th best-selling album of the 1990s (they also hold the 10th best selling-album spot with their predecessor, self-titled Backstreet Boys).
**Side note, if you're wondering why these videos all have behind-the-scenes facts, it's because the Backstreet Boys decided to re-release their 4 singles from the album for the fans with extra facts**
Their first single off of Millennium, that I promise can start playing anywhere, anytime, and 98% of people know all of the words. Yep. It was THAT much of a powerhouse. The best part about this video? OBVIOUSLY the all white suits. ICONIC.
Oh, and if you ask any of them what the song ACTUALLY means, they legitimately don't have an answer.
Next up was their MASSIVE hit, "Larger Than Life," which their Vegas residency's theme, because still, after 26+ years, they truly are still, what the title says they are.
This was the first music video that was made entirely on a green screen and cost $2 MILLION to make (it's actually the 14th most expensive music video in history). Looking at it now, you're probably wondering HOW it cost that much because the effects aren't great, but in 1999, you couldn't get better than this. Trust me. And the dance number? COME ON. Still, ICONIC.
"Show Me The Meaning (Of Being Lonely)" became the third single from the album, and actually earned the Boys their first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with vocals - and was a tribute to lost family and friends. Every piece of the video was dedicated to the members - Brian had open heart surgery in 1998 to fix a murmur, which otherwise, he may not be here without it. AJ has a photo of a friend he lost that passed away from a car accident. Kevin's watching old footage of a father and son, tributing to his late father who had passed away from cancer. There's a girl running towards Howie, which is a tribute to his sister who had recently passed away from Lupus. It's their most emotional video to date.
And finally, the fan favorite, "The One." It wasn't even intended to a be a single, but the fans pushed for it with a little help from Nick Carter, calling into MTV's massive hit show, "TRL", where because of this album, helped them actually SHUT DOWN Times Square. So many people showed up to just SEE the Boys through the window.
ANYWAYS: The "Millennium Tour" was one of the fastest-selling tours in history. Every ticket on the second leg sold out on the FIRST DAY. The reason I say this is because back then, artists didn't usually put an entire tour on sale at one time - it was normally a few shows one week, a few shows the next. It wasn't anything like it is today. But, because of the ticket sales for this tour, it changed how tickets were all sold. The show at the Georgia Dome on this particular tour, is the FIFTH MOST-ATTENDED CONCERT IN AMERICA'S HISTORY.
This video gives us a small look at just how much they ruled the world at this point in music history.
And now, here we are.
26+ years later, and the Backstreet Boys (contrary to popular belief, have NEVER broken up. They've risen past the 'boyband curse'. Yes, Kevin took some time off after their 2005 album, Never Gone, but he made his glorious return for their 2013 album, "In A World Like This," and ever since he's come back, the Backstreet Boys have gone on to have one of the fastest and best-selling Vegas residencies in HISTORY (once again), have one of the biggest selling albums of this year thus far with the number-one selling release of DNA (and have embarked on their biggest tour in 18+ years, the DNA World Tour which follows their first number one album in nearly 20 years since 2000's Black and Blue).
So please. When you tell me the Backstreet Boys "aren't relevant anymore" I won't be able to hear you over the 20,000 screaming fans that will be with me at their DNA World Tour stop in DC, which kicks off their North American run, on July 12th. You can grab tickets HERE if you haven't already, because we're truly gonna party like we're back in the Millennium days.
So Boys, here's to another 26+ years. It's like you said, "...as long as there'll be music we'll be coming back again."💙
Oh, and if you want to question my love for them and how long I've truly been a fan, see below. The Backstreet Boys made me want to get into music in some capacity, so I owe what I do, what I love, all to them. I count my self blessed that I've grown up seeing what they have done and what they continue to do, be the absolute best😉