Legendary boy band The Backstreet Boys recently celebrated their 25th anniversary just before releasing their first single in five years.
With a quarter century in the spotlight and more than 100 million records sold, they’ve managed to succeed where so many other boy and girl bands have failed – but things haven’t always been so smo.
AJ went to rehab, Kevin quit, there was a huge legal wrangle with a former manager, Brian had to undergo open-heart surgery and Nick’s solo career caused a huge rift.
Speaking exclusively to the Mirror in Downtown Los Angeles, Nick reveals Brian refused to speak to him for more than a year after he released his first solo album, Now or Never, in 2002.
“It was me and Brian who had the biggest fall out,” the 38-year-old admits.
“It was after I released my solo album and Brian was mad at me.
“We didn’t speak for a year or so.”
Brian chimes in, “Yeah, Nick would call me and I would be like ‘nah’. I’d see his calls and just not answer.”
But Brian, 43, eventually came around and the pair made up. Now they laugh about it.
Mocking Brian, Nick jokes, “I’m not ready yet! Im not ready yet! I’m still crying!”
The reason they’re still together and still making music? Because they’re genuinely great friends who often holiday and hang out together when there’s no music involved.
The biggest difference now is that they’re all parents and their fans no longer have posters of them plastered over their bedroom walls, but apparently they’re still just as obsessed.
“They’re still screaming but they’ve got a baby on their hip. And they’ve got wine,” Kevin, 46, jokes.
Howie, 44, says even now they still get asked to sign “interesting” body parts at their meet and greets.
Talking about their kids, AJ tells us: “My oldest is five so she’s really understanding and getting into it. Whenever daddy goes to work she’s like, ‘Are Howie, Nick, Kevin and Brian going to be there?’
“And I’m like, ‘Yes baby. That’s what it means when daddy is going to work.’
“She loves the new single and loves the new video. She has all the choreography learned already. It’s pretty awesome to have your kids look up to you.”
Brian says his 15-year-old son Baylee is a big BSB fan too. “We were coming home from dinner last night and they were playing a Post Malone song on the radio and the DJ comes on and says, ‘Yo this is a new one from my boys the Backstreet Boys. And my son, who is 15, is like, ‘Dad! They’re playing your song, they’re playing your song!’
“So it’s cool if you’re up there with Post Malone and the guys that my son listens to.”
During the interview they joke about Nick’s relationship with ex-girlfriend Paris Hilton, the time they turned down a meeting with the Pope, and AJ getting rebuffed by Gwen Stefani.
“I used to have a really big crush on Gwen Stefani and she was backstage talking to James Hetfield from Metallica and I walked up to meet her and introduced myself and said, ‘I think you’re awesome,’ and she said, ‘Thanks,’ and turned and just kept talking as if I wasn’t even there. That kind of broke my heart for a second.
“It’s all forgiven now though and Blake [Shelton] and I have become friends, so it’s all good.”
The band’s Las Vegas residency runs until the end of November, but it won’t signal any slowing down – despite Justin Timberlake recently describing Vegas residencies as a “retirement plan”.
“Starting our own tequila brand is in the works,” Nick reveals. “And also a Backstreet barbeque restaurant.”
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