Today, the Backstreet Boys celebrate 27 years officially together as a band.
In those 27 years, they’ve achieved massive success worldwide. They’ve broken multiple records, won countless awards, sold out arenas and amphitheaters, churned out album after album, sold out cruises, kept reinventing themselves, crossed genres, and so much more than the music industry ever thought they would be able to achieve. Personally and professionally, Kevin, Brian, AJ, Howie and Nick have not only remained a group, but a family.
But they’re not the only ones.
On April 20, 1993, five guys came together (every fan knows the story) to form the Backstreet Boys. They worked hard day in and day out and became the very definition of hustle. They made it in Europe, they made it in Canada, they finally made it in the U.S and things have never been the same.
Not a fan? It doesn’t matter. The chances are high that you know the words to at least “I Want It That Way” or “Everybody”. You know what Nick Carter’s hair looked like in the 90s because every guy you went to school with had the same cut. They’ve taken the stage with legends like Elton John, Aretha Franklin, and Sting. They made the term “boyband” a respectable label, whether you like it or not.
But we’re not here to argue those points. We’re here to tell you what the Backstreet Boys have done to impact our lives.
When we were young, some of us saw five guys that were cute, could dance, and had great music. Some of us saw something to hold onto to. Some of us saw a band that would bond us with our best friends. Some of us found out our parents weren’t so bad when they sang along to the songs, surprised us with magazines, took us to concerts and recorded their appearances while we were at school.
The Backstreet Boys, to us, were never just a band.
They were a connection to a world that most of us hadn’t yet delved into. For the majority of fans, they were the beginning of adventures. If we hadn’t stayed up till midnight on an album release night, we might have never learned the value of making memories at the oddest times. If we hadn’t convinced our parents to let us buy the album before school, we might have never learned the power of persuasion or that some things are worth waiting up for.
They were a connection to people that we might have never met otherwise. Whether love for the Backstreet Boys gave you common ground with girls at recess or a friendship with someone you would have never otherwise talked to, these guys were the reason some of us finally fit in somewhere. Without knowing it, they gave us a “home” in the years when we didn’t know who we were yet – we just knew what we loved.
And boy, did we love. They had voices that became so familiar to us, faces that we would know anywhere, and there was a security in knowing that they were never going to let us down. They got us through celebrations, failures, the smallest of victories and the biggest of breakups. Before most of us even had a chance to see them live, they were an integral part of who we were and who we were becoming.
They were never our role models… but by being fans, we learned a lot. From the beginning, the Backstreet Boys never lied about the hard work it takes to achieve success and the even harder work it takes to maintain a normal life after success. They’ve taught us to fight for what we believe we deserve and to never settle what you’re handed. Ultimately, because of the Backstreet Boys, we learned that nothing feels as good as earning something.
And here we are today…
Just like they did when we first became fans, Kevin, Howie, AJ, Brian and Nick are still giving us a “home”. We’re still connecting because of them, we’re still finding comfort in the familiarity and we’re rooting for them every step of the way…because between the time 27 years ago and now, the road has been long, it has been tough, and we’ve all survived. Together.
We owe a lot to the Backstreet Boys. It’s not easy to stay putting in long hours at the same job for over two decades and we certainly (a lot of the time) haven’t made it any easier on them, but here they are and here they’ve stayed. We couldn’t…and don’t want to…imagine a world without them because, for us, they’ve only made it better. We could write a million thank yous and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Forgive us, Boys, for all of our endless requests, questions, etc. What sounds like a constant need or want is really just us making sure that you all know that we still need you around. No matter what the future holds, we have been so blessed to live in a time where the Backstreet Boys exist. We are so lucky that, against all odds, you’ve all been a constant. You don’t know how much it means to us.
Will anyone who has never been a fan of someone or something understand all of this? Maybe not. But if you don’t understand, you’re missing out on something great. Being a fan of a band doesn’t mean you have to worship them or think about them 24/7. It just means that you’re lucky enough to have something to go back to when life seems to hard, a song to turn on when you need to sing along, and moments in your life that make really good stories in the midst of all the “normal”.
We’ve been irrevocably changed… For the better. Because of five guys and a lot of years.
Happy 27 Years, Backstreet Boys. Thank you for everything. Always.