Real name: AJ MacLean, Nick Carter, Howie D, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell
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On June 23, 2006 the band issued a statement regarding Kevin Richardson's intention to leave the Backstreet Boys. The reason stated was his wish to pursue other interests that he could not while in the group. The rest of the Backstreet Boys wished him the best of luck in the future and they have no plans on replacing him. They noted that he would always be welcome to return should he wish to do so. Since then, Kevin returned to the role of young hotshot lawyer named "Billy Flynn" in the Broadway musical Chicago for a short engagement in Toronto, Canada in late 2006.
After a possible Mercury Records deal failed, the band was spotted in Cleveland, Ohio by an executive from Jive Records in February 1994. By June, they were recording their first single; an urban pop song written and produced by Denniz PoP and Max Martin called "We've Got It Goin' On." The single struggled in the US and reached only #69 on the Billboard charts; but it sold well in Europe, later earning the band their first Gold record in Germany. In the summer of 1996, the band's first self-titled album was released in Europe and Canada, going gold within weeks in Europe. Jive and Pearlman kept the band busy overseas for the next two years, sometimes putting on tours for five straight months.
In 2000, the Backstreet Boys graced the pages of the new millennium's first issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Burger King made a deal with the boys for tour sponsorship, videos, and CDs with unreleased live tracks that were available for sale at Burger King restaurants in August and September. In February, Littrell and Richardson confirmed their engagements to their fiancées.
In 2001, the Backstreet Boys kicked off the 1st leg of their "2001 Black & Blue World Tour", in which they were to perform on five continents within the span of 100 hours. The tour also had extremely expensive production costs. The tour was featured on a CBS TV special, The Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life. To coincide with the special, TV Guide issued six different covers of the boys: five individual shots and one group photo.
In 2002, Nick Carter's solo album "Now or Never" was released. The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold."Now or Never", 2002.This image is a candidate for speedy deletion. It will be deleted after seven days from the date of nomination.
After a three-year hiatus, their new hit single, "Incomplete", was released to radio stations on March 28, 2005 and quickly became the #1 most requested song in top markets in both U.S. and overseas. The drastic style change drew negative criticism from magazines such as Rolling Stone (who gave the album only 1 star) who thought they should have stayed true to their traditional pop sound. Fans did, however, applaud their effort on the album.
The Backstreet Boys have set an October 30th release for their new album "Unbreakable" (title confirmed by Brian and AJ during an interview at 104.5 on August 13th). The final track-listing, however, has not yet been decided. The group's follow-up to 2005's Never Gone will be the first effort since the departure of longtime member Kevin Richardson last summer.
"Any Other Way", an uptempo pop/rock song from the Backstreet Boys upcoming record was leaked to music rating sites at the end of May. The song was produced by Dan Muckula, who wrote and produced their 2005 hit single "Incomplete." It was written by Dan Muckala, Jess Cates, and Lindy Robbins.