Backstreet Boys Immortalized on Hollywood Street
(Michael Tran, FilmMagic)
If you ever wanted to walk on by -- or even step on -- the Backstreet Boys, you're in luck. The iconic '90s boy band got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday morning in front of hundreds of screaming fans. The star, the Walk of Fame's 2,495th, is located on the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard, near the Live Nation building.
Hollywood insiders know that these honors don't come out of the blue -- they're usually tied into some sort of milestone, upcoming album, tour or film. Sure enough our boys from the backstreets celebrated their 20th anniversary on Saturday with a special fan celebration in Hollywood where they previewed some songs from a new album, due later this year, as well as a trailer for a documentary about the band, that's due in 2014. Next month, the group will launch its latest world tour in China.
At the ceremony, Hollywood Chamber President and CEO Lebron Gubler kicked things off by noting the band's accomplishments, including their worldwide sales of more than 130 million albums, making them the best-selling boy band in history. Gubler was joined by superfan Lori Meono and producer Max Martin, who paid tribute to the group before the boys themselves spoke.
Meono said the band created "the soundtrack for my most memorable moments…from braces to bridal showers," and recalled going to a record signing at Tower Record in Torrance, Calif. when she was just 11, appearing in one of the group's videos two years later, and then catching them on tour in Australia as an adult.
Super-producer Martin recalled his first meeting with the band at a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden in the mid-'90s. They sang "I'll Never Break Your Heart." "I got goose bumps," Martin said, "It was amazing."
Each of the Boys took the podium to give their often tearful thank yous and reminiscences. Sporting sunglasses, A.J. McClean held back tears as he said, "Aside from my wedding day and the birth of my daughter, this is by far the best day in my life."
Brian Littrell quipped, "I worked my entire life not to be walked on, but I'm OK with this one."
Howie Dorough noted the band was being immortalized next to such influences as the Osmonds and Boyz II Men and vowed to "one day bring my family here to see the legacy the Backstreet Boys have carried on."
Kevin Richardson marveled, "Who would have thought 20 years ago, when we began this journey together that this would be a stop along the way?" He later added, "The first time the five of us sang together it was a Boyz II Men song. We picked up those harmonies and that was it. It was on." He also noted that he met his wife before the boys in the band. "I fell in love with my wife 21 years ago," he said, "She loved me when I was a Ninja Turtle at Walt Disney World."
Nick Carter recalled a trip to Hollywood with his mother when he "dreamed I could be Leonardo Di Caprio, but that didn't work out." Back then, he found Hollywood Boulevard scary and noted the people "walking down the street talking to themselves." But later added, "I never imagined, in a million years that we would be a part of this." He thanked the fans for sticking with them and encouraged them "to let the world know that Backstreet is back and we're not going anywhere!"