Since I started WHOTB in December, I’ve been lucky enough to make connections with fans. I’ve heard so many stories of fans meeting the Backstreet Boys for the first time, fun times on the cruise, friends that have been made by going to different BSB events. Among these stories, there has been a common factor – the Backstreet Boys, together and separately, personally and through their music, have changed lives. Here are the stories of a few fans (among thousands) who credit the Boys with inspiring them in unexpected ways and changing them for the better.
- “My inspiration is Brian Littrell, he show how perfect life can be in spite of life’s imperfection. I learned from him how to be a fighter how to conquer your fears and Having a strong faith foundation. I am blessed that a Brian Littrell exist in this world.” – @littrellsoldier
- ” I’m a big Brian fan (fan since 1996) and I want to say how the Backstreet Boys changed my life is by their positive message in their music and they always believe in what they’re saying. I like how nice and friendly sweet they are with the fans, even though I never met any of them. Hopefully one day I’ll get to meet them in person but just by listening to their stories and watching them on TV, I can tell they’re really cool guys. Some of their music got me out of a bad situation. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and they helped me be positive and never give up. They pretty much helped me a lot and I’ll always supported them and love them! I’ll be a fan of them always, that’s all I have to say. Keep Backstreet pride alive!” – @ilovebrian4life
- “To begin with I’m not sure I’m a “typical” BSB fangirl, if there even is such a thing any more. For a brief background on me, yes I’m an “older” fan, I have a year on Kevin. 😉 I’m a full time nurse, full time student, mom to 3 college/high school teens, wife, volunteer and passionate advocate for homeless youth.I have been a fan literally since the Backstreet Boys beginning. I had friends on Ramstein Air Base in the 90’s who followed BSB around Germany/Europe as much as possible and mailed me bootlegged cassette tapes of the boys from Germany back in the day. My 3 kids have been raised on BSB and we have appreciated all the phases they have gone through as a group. The intensity of my fan love & following has shifted over the years with all the life happenings, but I’ve always loved the Boys. I’m devastated to say that my original tapes and much of the earliest BSB memorabilia I had was ruined when we had our basement flood!! :-(How have the Backstreet Boys inspired me and my life? Last year I was contemplating returning to college to finish what I started 27 yrs ago.
In my adult life I have been a licensed cosmetologist and earned 3 college degrees but never completed my RN Bachelors degree and my graduate work to be a Nurse Practitioner. I’ve been a First Responder, a Certified Medical Assistant and a surgical nurse. As I hit my mid-40’s I contemplated returning to finish my 2 more college degrees and achieve my dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, but was pretty unsure if that was the right path for me “at my age”.
Then the #IAWLT tornado hit the world. The first time I heard “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of” something just clicked for me. I went to the internet and did some reading about what they all the Boys had been doing before that album and was instantly catapulted back into being a full blooded fangirl! It occurred to me that if Kevin could leave his “stable” BSB life to follow his dreams and try all the things he did, I certainly could. So I started applying at colleges again and jumped back into college life with both feet while not giving up the rest of the things I do! In the meantime it occurred to me that I had put myself on the sidelines in all areas of my life-which can happen to us ladies while we are in the thick of raising kids, working and being moms.
So after a short waiting time and a few classes here and there to gain momentum, nursing school began again full time in January 2015. I also made a 2015 New Years commitment to myself that starting then I was going to give myself the same love and treatment everyone else in my life gets. I cleaned up my eating paleo-style, began running & lifting weights again and made myself a priority on the list with the rest of my loved ones. My goal for 2015 was to be able to show outwardly to others what I was made of, and to be able to be the best me and the best example I could. As of today I have lost 70 lbs and counting, and I continue to mentor my younger classmates, and am now signed up to begin ESL tutoring in Health Sciences programs at my college this fall to help where I can.
How can we best show what we are made of? With actions and love. So HUGE thank you to the Backstreet Boys, especially Kevin, they inspired me to keep working toward my dreams and goals. Can’t wait to meet all of you boys and so many of you BSB fans in the community on the 2016 Cruise!! It will be my celebration of my next college graduation!!
Thank you for the opportunity to share this with you!! Sending love and hugs from MN!!!” – Kristine (@kmaspice)
- “When I was 25 years old I almost committed suicide. I was going through depression, had anxiety as well. Most of it stemmed from one year of high school that had a lot of deaths in my family at once. I also deal with a lot at home and had no confidence in myself. I was very negative and as a result I pushed everyone away. I hated myself.BSB had been a part of my life for a long time, but I’d kinda grown out of them by 2005. From 2005 to 2009 – I call this “the dark ages.” I was sinking into a hole and I was afraid I couldn’t get myself out. Therapy wasn’t helping either. Then one day I walked into a CVS and saw Nick on People Magazine. He was talking about his weight loss and how he was depressed, how he hated himself. I bought the magazine and tool it home. For the next few years I got back into the fandom. I talked to other fans and made so many friends. I still hid my depression but it was eating away at me. One Thanksgiving, I came home from work and cried. I sat down and cried for about two hours. I was miserable. I was burnt out and exhausted. I worked 60+ hours a week but had nothing to show for it. I didn’t treat myself. I put on Nick’s solo album “Now Or Never” and just cried. If I didn’t stop and listen to that album, I wouldn’t be here writing this right now. “I Got You” calmed me down enough to where I changed my mind about killing myself. I went online and found a video where Nick mentioned Kevin giving him a self help book. I ordered a book by the same author, Norman Vincent Peale. (It’s called The Power Of Positive Thinking) That book really helped me. I also recently got into fitness and have lost 23 pounds since May 1st 2015. I keep meaning to tell and thank Nick about how he saved my life, but haven’t gotten the nerve to do so. I hope one day I will be able to tell him.Ironically enough, if I had been successful at committing suicide, I wouldn’t have met the boys for the first time two years later. The boys and especially Nick gave me something to live for. Hope. I’ve found a purpose for being here. Not just for them but for traveling, for making friends and being happy. Genuinely happy for the first time in my entire life.” – Tracy (@frickingkaos)
- “Brian Littrell has been my inspiration since I was 12. He shows how much fun in life is possible. Like he said “Life is more than just stuff” and yes it’s true. You’ll be inspired how he values his family.The biggest impact would be on my Faith. I grew up on a Christian Family but I’m not a devoted one, I don’t even go to church every Sunday. It was 2009 when a Christian friend of mine was asking for a song that he would perform on a particular Sunday Service, when I recommended “Welcome Home”. My friend dared me that he would sing it if I watch him perform. I accepted it. Then I couldn’t believe it, that Sunday would be my life’s turning point with my Christian faith… (the rest is history). It started with Brian’s “Welcome Home”. You will be inspired with Brian in every aspect of his well being.” -Schenley (@brileyholic) (Manila, Philippines)
- “Nick has inspired me so much. It’s thanks to him i went back to college to finish. Im almost done. Whenever i feel like giving up, I always think of Nick because he never gave up so I won’t give up on my dream. I love music even more because of Nick and yes the BSB most definitely. I’m going to study music and get a master’s degree. That will be my major and I owe it to Nick! He is my fave and my hero and so is Lauren. I’m trying to exercise because of her and keep healthy.” – @BSBNeverGone93
- “The Backstreet Boys changed my life. A sentence I am never ashamed to say. Ever. I’m 31 years old and have loved BSB from the first time I heard their music play in Canada. That’s a lot of years! 🙂 Here’s the cliff notes version: I grew up in a broken, alcoholic, loud yet deathly quiet home. My mom, step father, sister & myself. My step father drank morning noon and night and at times, it wasn’t pretty. When things would get chaotic, I’d tuck myself away in my room, put my headphones in and get absolutely lost. Lost in the beat. Lost in the lyrics. Lost in the most beautiful 5 part harmony I had ever heard in my life. I memorized their voices, the way they pronounced words. I got lost in it all. There were some pretty dark times in my life. Anytime I faced anything as a teenager, I knew where my safest place to hide was. To say their music changed my life is an understatement. I wouldn’t be alive today without their music. I would have given up a long time ago. The Backstreet Boys saved my life, a million times over. I am forever debted to them, their music and for what they’ve done for me. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my story.” – Janelle (@janellepineau)
- “My name is Robyn I have been a fan since 1995. In 2011, I entered a Facebook contest for the BSB cruise, to my surprise I won. I had an amazing time on the cruise and met ppl that I will be friends with the rest of my life! It was awesome. In 2013, I went to LA for the 20th anniversary party and the star ceremony. On April 20th, while at the party, I got a call from my family telling me my dad was in the hospital. I told my family I would come home early from my trip but they told me it was not serious, my dad was released the next day. But I still came home right after the star ceremony. A week or so later the doctors said there was nothing more they could do so my daddy was put into in home hospice care. I took a lot of time off work and spent it with my daddy. On May 20th, my daddy went to Heaven. That day I got in my car and of course BSB was in my cd player, the first song I heard was “Never Gone” – it was the perfect time for me to hear it. I’d heard it before of course but this time it really hit. After I lost my daddy, I was in a mass depression. Then the boys came to Phoenix for IAWLT and I did platinum vip and told the guys how “Never Gone” helped me. At the concert I could feel my dad there with me and it felt like he was happy I was there. That was when I finally started to really come out if my depression. That is biggest way Kevin Nick Brian Aj and Howie changed my life. Sure I would have hopefully come out of the depression eventually but who knows how long that would have taken. Someday I hope to tell them this story and thank them in person!” – Robyn Stucks aka @RockinRobyn282
- “I’ve been a fan since ’97. I’ve never been a religious person until 2012 when I feel I kind of had to turn to God and Brian helped me. In 2012, my son was diagnosed with cancer at 9 months old. The day I found out I had this strange urge to reach out to Brian via Twitter. To my surprise he responded and he said “everything has a purpose and every moment should be savored, I’m so very sorry my family will pray for your son” Those words replayed in my mind at every clinic visit, every chemo treatment, surgery, and transfusion. I also started to pray ALOT. My son is about to turn 4 in August and I’m proud to say he’s been off treatment for 2 years and he’s in remission!” – Melissa Lamb
- “At the age of 10, my parents divorced and I had to live with my father. Sadly, it turned out he and his girlfriend were emotionally abusive. They insulted me, humiliated me in front of their family and friends, lied to me, isolated me and made me feel like the most horrible person in the world. I had no confidence and I was negative about myself. I just wanted to disappear from the world, to stop the pain. When I discovered the BSB, I immediately had a thing for Nick. As I discovered more about him, I realized that he went through some similar things as me. It comforted me and made me feel less… alone, understood even. I’ve always looked up to him because of what he’s gone through, similar personality he has and how he’s dealt with his demons, always striving to be a better person and stay healthy. The BSB have given me hope for brighter days. They’ve also given me strength to go on, fight for what I believe in and fight to show people and myself what I’m made of. I’d listen to their music and find comfort in their positive messages. Their voices calmed me down. Their music, their attitude towards life and fans showed me to be kind, respectful, believe in myself, enjoy life, not be ashamed of myself, follow my dreams, never give up and always, no matter the situation, stay true to myself. Whenever I’d feel down, I’d listen to them and think about the things they’ve showed me and thank whatever is watching us from above that the Earth is so blessed to have five wonderful angels like them.” – Loriane
- “I am the proud, single mother of two beautiful children. I work a full time job and when they were younger, ran both kids to sporting events, to friends houses, birthday parties, and all the fun things kids do during childhood. I did it all happily because I’d do anything for my kids to have a happy, memorable childhood. The only problem was, with all that came NO time for myself. After a while, I started to feel depressed and right before my mother moved in with me (my father passed away in 2001 and other than my kids, we are the only family we have), I was near a breakdown. About that time, I started really getting into the Boys and their music. I started hanging out on LD quite a bit and made some really good friends and we started making plans for New York trip for the Boys Unbreakable CD signing . This was the start of my saving grace. I struggled a lot with that trip, feeling a LOT of guilt about leaving my family at home to go off and see NYC without them. Little did I know that trip was going to be the first of many more and in time, it also helped me realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty about going on trips to see the Boys. I started to realize that I deserved something for myself. My work, homelife and my kids were well taken care of. The Boys have brought so many friends in my life and provided an escape from all the pressures in life, to go and have fun with friends from all over the globe. Made me realize, why wait until I retire to go and do things I want to do, when I’m healthy enough and have the means to do it NOW. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us. The time to enjoy life is NOW. The Boys helped me realize this and I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful to them for it. Being a part of this fandom is truly one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.” – Jen (@JennayHeartNick)
If the Backstreet Boys inspired you to do something huge in your life, feel free to send it my way and I’ll add your story as well!