Backstreet Boys

Missing image
Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys, or BSB, are one of the best selling musical groups of all-time. The boy band and pop group, began formation in 1992 by manager Lou Pearlman, and grew to considerable popularity in the late 1990s. Though the Backstreet Boys often competed for the same audience that popularized rival boy bands *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, and O-Town, BSB has outsold all rivals combined 2:1 and was the only group to find mass international popularity.



The popular group took its final shape on April 19, 1993, when Brian Littrell joined the group after a phone audition. They immediately went into action with their first concert on May 8. Their first performance in front of 3,000 teenagers was just a taste of what was in store for the boy band. They would have to work hard for American recognition, however.

After a possible Mercury Record deal failed, the band was spotted in Cleveland, Ohio by Zomba/Jive in February 1994. By June they were recording their first single "We've Got It Goin' On". The following year, the boys had a setback when their single only climbed to #69 on the Billboard charts, however in Europe, they were beginning to get recognition when they earned their first Gold disc in Germany.

1996 marked a big change for the boys as European popularity grew. The boys earned their first Platinum record in Germany (500,000 CDs sold) and toured the Far East, Canada and various parts of the world.

By 1997 after 8.5 million discs sold worldwide, the Backstreet Boys had their eyes set on American success. They began to record a new album for American release and released "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" as their new single. The single quickly climbed to #2 marking a great turnaround. By the middle of the year, the boys released their first American album which peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts and went on to sell 9 million copies in 1997. By December 1997, the boys embarked on a 60-city, 20-country tour.

1998 marked a tough year for the boy band as Brian Littrell underwent surgery to correct a congenital heart disorder. Howie Dorough's sister died of Lupus and the boys struggled with their manager filing a law suit, and rumors of a breakup. At the end of 1998, the boys had sold an additional 8 million copies of their self titled album and were working on a followup.

By February 1999, the boys received their first Diamond award by the RIAA for shipment of 10 milion copies of their album. After a strong first single, "I Want It That Way", from their new album Millennium, the boys' sophomore album sold over 1.1 million units in its first week setting a record for most albums sold in its debut week. The boys were now at a super star level. In August, they sold out a 39-city tour in less than a day. By the end of 1999, the Backstreet Boys met new problems declaring their Jive contract null and void, soon striking the largest record deal ever valued at $60 million with Jive.

In 2000, two of the boys found love, Brian and Kevin confirming their engagements to their fiancees. In the end of the year the boys released their new album Black & Blue, the title of the album acting as a metaphor for how the boys felt they were beat up by the media and others. The album debuted with 1.6 million units sold in the first week in America, setting a record of the first artist to have two albums sell a million or more in its first week. They also set the record for the first week worldwide record selling 5 million.

In 2001, the Backstreet Boys were put on hold as one of their own, A.J., checked himself into rehab to battle drinking, drug addiction, and depression. Another tragedy struck as the terror attack of September 11 occurred, killing a friend, Daniel Lee, and sparking the cancellation of all overseas tours. In October 2001, the boys released Chapter One and disc of their greatest hits as well as their last single, "Drowning", until their return in 2005. By the end of 2001 and into 2002, it was clear the Backstreet Boys were on an extended break.

After a 5 year hiatus, the Backstreet Boys are currently staging a comeback to the music world. The brand new single, "Incomplete", was released to radio stations on March 28, 2005. It has done very well, getting requested by many of the not-so-young fans they used to have. It was even redone on American Idol by Anthony Fedorov. The group is currently touring club venues hoping to reconnect with their fans.

On June 14, 2005, the Backstreet Boys made their critically acclaimed return to the pop landscape with the release of their fourth studio release, "Never Gone". It debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts with a total of 291,000 copies sold in its first week.

Missing image
Incomplete, 2005



Worldwide albums charts

  • Debut Date: The first date in which the item appeared on the chart (US dates unless specified).
  • Peak: Top position the item achieved. Number in brackets indicate how many weeks and item spent at the #1 position.
  • Certification: US RIAA album certification for units shipped. (eg. 2x Platinum mean 2 million units shipped)

US Billboard 200 Albums Chart UK Albums Chart
Debut Date Album Highest Chart Position Chart Run Certification Highest Chart Position Chart Run WW Sales
8/30/1997 (UK: September 1996) Backstreet Boys 4 133 weeks 14x Platinum 12  ?? weeks  ??
8/30/1997 (UK) Backstreet's Back -- -- -- 2  ?? weeks  ??
6/5/1999 (UK: May 1999) Millennium 1 (10 weeks) 93 weeks 13x Platinum 2  ?? weeks  ??
12/9/2000 Black & Blue 1 (2 weeks) 42 weeks 8x Platinum 13  ?? weeks  ??
11/17/2001 The Hits: Chapter One 4 24 weeks Platinum 5  ?? weeks  ??
7/2/2005 (UK: 25/6/2005) Never Gone 3 1+ weeks -- 11 1+ weeks  ??
  • 1996/1997 Backstreet Boys
    • The Backstreet Boys' worldwide debut album, which didn't top the US charts, but gave them their highest certified album to date (it was released in September 1996 in the UK).
  • 1997 Backstreet's Back
    • The Backstreet Boys' second UK (non-US) album, containing some tracks from the first, as well as some new/different tracks.
  • 1999 Millennium
    • The Backstreet Boys' sophomore US album, which set a record of 1.1 million units sold in one week according to SoundScan.
  • 2000 Black & Blue
    • With this album, the Backstreet Boys became the first artist to have two albums sell more than a million units in its first week. This being their third US album, sold 1.6 million copies in its opening week.
  • 2001 The Hits: Chapter One
    • The Backstreet Boys didn't want to release a greatest hits album, but they were forced by their record label. This album was the result, and from it they released their last single until their return four years later.
  • 2005 Never Gone
    • The Backstreet Boys' comeback album, with this being their first studio album after nearly five years.

Worldwide singles charts

  • Debut Date: The first date in which the item appeared on the chart (US dates unless specified).
  • Peak: Top position the item achieved. Number in brackets indicate how many weeks the item spent at the #1 position.
  • Certification: US RIAA album certification for units shipped. (eg. 2x Platinum mean 2 million units shipped)
  • Certification 2: (as of 2004) Due to the lack of impressive sales of singles, the RIAA has changed its format. Gold meaning 200,000 shipped and platinum 400,000 shipped with the respective multiple.

US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart UK Singles Chart
Year Of Release Single Album Highest Chart Position Chart Run Highest Chart Position Chart Run WW Sales (US Cert.)
1995-6 "We've Got It Goin' On" Backstreet Boys 69 20 weeks 54/3 8 weeks .195 million
1996 "Get Down (You're the One For Me)" Backstreet Boys -- -- 14 8 weeks .15 million
1997 "Anywhere For You" Backstreet Boys -- -- 4 8 weeks .2 million
1997 "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" Backstreet Boys/Backstreet's Back 2 43 weeks 2 10 weeks 2.4 million (Platinum)
1997 "As Long As You Love Me" Backstreet's Back -- -- 3 19 weeks .235 million
1997-8 "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" Backstreet Boys/Backstreet's Back 4 22 weeks 3 11 weeks 2.1 million (Platinum)
(1995) 1997-8 "I'll Never Break Your Heart" Backstreet Boys/Backstreet's Back 35 2 weeks 42/8 11 weeks .65 million
1998-9 "All I Have to Give" Backstreet Boys/Backstreet's Back 5 21 weeks 2 12 weeks 2.3 million (Platinum)
1999 "I Want It That Way" Millennium 6 31 weeks 1 (1 week) 14 weeks 1.1 million (Platinum)
1999 "Larger Than Life" Millennium 25 19 weeks 5 14 weeks .9 million
2000 "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" Millennium 6 24 weeks 3 12 weeks 1.1 million (Gold)
2000 "The One" Millennium 30 15 weeks 8 8 weeks .6 million
2000 "Shape of My Heart" Black & Blue 9 20 weeks 4 9 weeks 1 million (Gold)
2001 "The Call" Black & Blue 56 2 weeks 8 5 weeks .5 million
2001 "More Than That" Black & Blue 27 20 weeks 12 5 weeks .8 million
2001-2 "Drowning" (sample: Windows Media ( Greatest Hits: Chapter 1 28 20 weeks 4 7 weeks .7 million
2005 "Incomplete" (sample: Windows Media ( Never Gone 13 11+ weeks -- -- .25 milion (Gold)

The Backstreet Boys currently have had fourteen singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Six of those singles have managed to reach the top ten. "We've Got It Goin' On" was on the Hot 100 for twenty weeks until it was retired due to its weak performance (Any single that stays under position 50 (51-100) for twenty weeks must be removed).

Presently, the Backstreet Boys new single "Incomplete" has been on the charts for a few weeks, after the group's four year hiatus.

Interesting facts:

  • The Backstreet Boys spent 84 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100 between January 30, 1999 and September 2, 2000 with five various songs.
  • "As Long As You Love Me" is one of the several songs that reached the top five on the airplay charts (it reached #4) but never charted the Billboard Hot 100.
  • "All I Have to Give" reached its peak position in its second week. It debuted at 57 and shot to 5 in week two, staying in the top ten for nine weeks.
  • After an impressive #1 debut of "Incomplete" on the Australian ARIAnet charts with sales exceeding the 35,000 gold limit, Backstreet's definitely back and full throttle, with this being their first ever #1 single on that chart.


  • 1998 All Access Video (6x Platinum) (1.5 million copies)
  • 1998 A Night Out With the Backstreet Boys (3x Platinum) (.75 million copies)
  • 1999 Homecoming Live in Orlando (3x Platinum) (.75 million copies)
  • 2001 Around the World (Platinum) (.25 million copies)
  • 2001 The Hits (Platinum) (.25 million copies)
  • Certification:
  1. IRMA gold certification for a minimum of 125,000 units or a dollar volume of $9 million at retail for theatrically released programs, or of at least 25,000 units and $1 million at suggested retail for nontheatrical titles.
  2. IRMA platinum certification for a minimum sale of 250,000 units or a dollar volume of $18 million at retail for theatrically released programs, or of at least, 50,000 units and $2 million at suggested retail for nontheatrical titles.

SoundScan Era

The Backstreet Boys is one of the top selling artist in the SoundScan era. They have sold over 40 million albums in the U.S. alone and 75 million worldwide.

In 1999 they set a record of most albums sold in its debut week with Millennium. That record was later overtaken by rival group *N Sync's No Strings Attached. In 2000, the group set another record being the first artist to have two albums sell more than a million records in its first week with Black & Blue. It sold 1.6 million. They also set the record of most albums sold in the world in one week with 5 million.

See also

External links

he:בקסטריט בויז nl:Backstreet Boys sv:Backstreet Boys


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