The Backstreet Boys are responding to talk that late boy band impresario Lou Pearlman held back *NSYNC in order to maximize BSB’s success.
In his new documentary, Boy Band Con, *NSYNC’s Lance Bass discusses the two groups’ rise to success in the '90s, during which Pearlman launched the Backstreet Boys and then went about forming a second and similar group, *NSYNC. Bass claims Pearlman then held his group back so that they wouldn’t impede the Backstreet Boys’ rise to fame.
“It's funny that Lance said that because Lou told us it was advantageous for them to manage *NSYNC because we thought we were going to be a family -- because you have two groups of similar genre,” Kevin Richardson told ET’s Lauren Zima and Z100 host Elvis Duran at Thursday's iHeart Radio Awards. “He would tell us, ‘Well, it's better that I manage them than someone else.’”
“So, that's interesting that Lance said that, but as soon as they started managing *NSYNC, we got in a lawsuit with our management company and left them, so I don't know if that actually happened,” Richardson continued. “I hope not, but I don't think that happened.”
Added Howie Dorough: “And, by all means, if they were held back, they caught up very quickly.”
Regardless of the drama that may have gone on at the time, these days, members from both bands are close buddies, having attended each other’s weddings, worked on music together, enjoyed barbecues at each other’s homes and even starred alongside each other in Nick Carter’s 2016 zombie horror, Dead 7.
And, while *NSYNC parted ways in 2002, the Backstreet Boys are still going strong, having recently released their chart-topping new record, DNA, and now preparing to rock the final leg of their Larger Than Life Las Vegas residency in April before hitting the road on their worldwide DNA tour, which begins in the U.S. on July 12 in Washington, D.C. They also earned a 2019 GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for DNA’s first single, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
“It was just an honor,” Nick Carter said about the nomination. “Hopefully we get another next year with the album.”
While they may not yet have a GRAMMY win under their belts, the quintet has achieved perhaps an even bigger feat -- surviving more than a quarter of a century together! April will mark 26 years since the five youngsters first met in Orlando, Florida.
“When we started this, we wanted to have a career -- that’s what we always talk about, so we're still here, still kicking, still making it,” Brian Littrell said. “And, we've got a lot of people out there. A lot of fans that love us and we're proud of that.”
“Next month it'll be 26 years together,” AJ McLean added. “To have a number one album after 26 years is a blessing. Brand new world tour starting in May. Finishing up Vegas next month after two years in Vegas. Life is good, man. We are blessed.”
See more on the Backstreet Boys and their 26 years together below.