If you are thinking of a Boy Band
, chances are the first that pops up in your head will be the Backstreet Boys
. Even overshadowing *NSYNC
in the day (which later brought real fame to Justin Timberlake
), they were formed in 1993 and became hugely popular after debuting in the states in the summer of 1997. The five original members were A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. Richardson left in 2006, making them a four man group. Richardson permanently returned to the band in 2012.
Basically, Lou Pearlman was inspired by the success of New Kids on the Block
and decided to start his own
clean-cut band of boys. After plenty of legal troubles, they became first famous in Europe, and then became the Boy Band
for girls to swoon over in the U.S., being a major part of late-90s pop culture
. As time went on, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys got along real well together for years and, due to that goodwill, eventually even combined into the supergroup NKOTBSB as a side project.
- Backstreet Boys (1996)
- Backstreet's Back (1997)
- Backstreet Boys: U.S. Edition (1997)note
- Millennium (1999)
- Black & Blue (2000)
- The Hits: Chapter One (2001)note
- Never Gone (2005)
- Unbreakable (2007)
- This is Us (2009)
- In a World Like This (2013)
The band has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the biggest selling groups of all time. According to Billboard 200, they are the first group since Sade
to have their first seven albums reach the top 10 on the chart.
Tropes related to the band:
- Affectionate Parody: The music video for "Just Want You To Know" is a parody of the 80's Hair Metal scene with the band playing fans of a band called Sphynkter, which they also played.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "If you want it to be good girl, get yourself a bad boy".
- Also, two words: AJ McLean.
- Band of Relatives: Brian and Kevin are cousins. Brian was brought in on Kevin's recommendation.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Kevin is the embodiment of this trope.
- Badass Longcoat: Kevin in the video for "I Want it That Way" and "The Call".
- Boy Band: Right above *NSYNC, they were the boyband of the late 90's. They are the most successful boy band of all time (although NSYNC were more successful domestically, and with social media, globalization, and possibly profitability, One Direction may surpass them).
- The Cameo: They do this at the end of the 2013 movie This Is the End. All five of them.
- Crossover: With Arthur.
- Childhood Friend Romance: The song "How Did I Fall In Love With You" is about the realization that the singer's friend is one of these.
- Fan Flattering: "Larger Than Life", "Everyone", and "Bigger".
- Friendly Rivalry: With *NSYNC. See the trivia page for more details. It's their fans that hate each other.
- Good Parents: The guys have a tune called "The Perfect Fan". The lyrics of "You showed me how to care / And you showed me that you would always be there" pretty much give the gist of the whole thing.
- Grief Song: "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely". It was supposedly dedicated to Dorough's dead older sister, and the video shows images of her and other lost loved ones of the band members, including Kevin's father, a girlfriend of AJ's who was killed by a drunk driver, and former producer Denniz PoP, who passed away in 1998.
- Also, the title track to 2005's Never Gone.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: The twist to the plot of the "Straight Through My Heart" video.
- Insistent Terminology: They are not a boy band, they are a vocal harmony group. Many fans will argue for their labeling as a 'pop group' or 'adult contemporary group' after the turn of the century, when they shifted their sound somewhat.
- Long Runner Lineup: Type 3.
- Monster Mash: In the "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" video. And thanks to that, the song became a popular choice to play at Halloween parties.
- Only Known by Initials: AJ, whose full name is Alexander James McLean.
- Perpetual Frowner: While they are capable of being light hearted and fun, such as the above page image, their video for "I Just Want You To Know", and their Dance Party Ending cameo in This Is the End, the general perception of them is that they're quite stoic and serious, in contrast to their chart rivals NSYNC, who were seen as Fun Personified.
- Put on a Bus / The Bus Came Back: Kevin, who left the band in 2006 (not out of animosity at all) and took a break — but, that didn't necessarily stop him from occasionally appearing as a guest from time to time. He then officially came back in 2012.
- Room Full of Crazy: The video for "The Call", where the band members are being stalked and offed one-by-one by a woman who appears to be the incarnation of guilt. During the chase, one of the boys passes through a room that has the words "CHEAT", "LIAR", "TRAITOR", etc. written all over the walls and ceiling.
- Sesame Street Cred: Re-recorded one of the Trope Namer's hit songs, along with Elmo. See here.
- Arthur: Appeared in the special "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll".
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" is an example. Starts with all five members sitting around on an abandoned basketball court, and then comes a sudden downpour, and they all go from singing to writhing around in wet button-down shirts.
- Silly Love Songs: Their signature style.
- Technician Versus Performer: AJ and Nick are the Performers, Brian, Howie, and Kevin were the Technicians.
- The band are also the Technician (solid and rarely strayed from their Adult Contemporary style) to *NSYNC's Performer (elaborate performances and preference for experimenting with new styles).
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Repeat offenders starting with Millennium.
- Your Cheating Heart: The subject of the song "The Call". The narrator has just cheated on his girlfriend with a girl he's just met in a club.