The Backstreet Boys live in concert on their 20th anniversary and In A World Like This Tour on August 20, 2013 in Raleigh, NC.

Steve Sykes/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Do you remember the Backstreet Boys’ names?

Can you name all five Backstreet Boys?


Kahron Spearman


The Backstreet Boys, often known as BSB, are more than just a “boy band.” They’re a global phenomenon with roots that can be traced back to 1993 in Orlando, Fla. Their journey from being local talents to international superstars is as intricate as the harmonies they produce. It’s no wonder, then, that many original fans know the Backstreet Boys’ names.

But what if you weren’t one of those? See if you can do it. (Justin Timberlake’s not one of them, by the way. He was in the other boy band sensation from the era.)

@backstreetboys Coming in at #2 on our list of top moments in BSB History, on its 24th birthday, is our album Millennium! This album has solidified its place in our hearts forever. Thank you. 🤍 #BSB30 ♬ Larger Than Life – Backstreet Boys

Members of the Backstreet Boys

Here are the Backstreet Boys’ names: 

Nick Carter

Born on Jan. 28, 1980, in Jamestown, N.Y., Nick Carter is the group’s youngest member. Known for his distinctive voice and boyish charm, Carter started his performing career at a young age, appearing in various commercials and TV shows before joining the Backstreet Boys. As a solo artist, he released several albums and even ventured into acting. Carter’s personal life and struggles have also been widely covered in the media, giving depth to his public persona.

@nickcarter For the past 30 years, we have been on a musical journey together. Through highs and lows, you all have been consistent in your love and support and I can never explain how grateful I am. I feel so lucky that we have shared so many moments and memories together and I think it’s time that we share it with the world! I would love for you all to share your best video moments from my past tours (onstage, offstage, performing, etc.) using the hashtag #30YearsWhoIAm ♬ Chill Vibes – Tollan Kim

Howie Dorough

Howard Dwaine “Howie D” Dorough was born on Aug. 22, 1973, in Orlando, Fla. Recognized for his smooth tenor voice, Howie often took on the role of the band’s “sweet-voiced harmony.” Of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, Howie is known for his dance moves and stage presence. Outside of BSB, he embarked on a solo music career and has been involved in various charitable activities, especially those aimed at fighting lupus, a cause close to his heart after his sister succumbed to the disease.

@howied Forever grateful for the 30 years behind us, and for everything ahead of us. Happy 30th fellas @backstreetboys 🥂 #bsb30 ♬ I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys

AJ McLean

Alexander James “AJ” McLean was born on Jan. 9, 1978, in West Palm Beach, Fla. With his soulful voice and edgy look, AJ is often viewed as the “bad boy” of the group. His deep, raspy voice distinguishes him and has showcased strong vocal versatility throughout BSB’s songs. AJ has been open about his addiction and mental health struggles, using his platform to raise awareness. He’s also released solo music, often touching on personal themes and experiences

@leterryp #CapCut @ajmcleanofficial definitely still hits as an adult. #fyp #fypage #foryoupage #bsb #ajmclean #backstreetboys #stillcrushingonhim ♬ It's All Coming Back To Me Now – Céline Dion

Brian Littrell

Brian Thomas Littrell was born in Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 20, 1975. Known for his strong tenor voice, Littrell has often been the lead vocalist on many of BSB’s hit songs. His cousin, Kevin Richardson, influenced Brian’s joining the group. Littrell is also deeply religious, which led him to release a Christian music album as a solo artist. He’s been a key figure in many of BSB’s ballads and emotionally resonant songs.

Kevin Richardson

Born on Oct. 3, 1971, in Lexington, Ky., Kevin Scott Richardson is the group’s eldest member. With his deep baritone voice, Kevin often provided the rich lower harmonies for the group. He temporarily left the band in 2006 to pursue other interests but rejoined in 2012. As the elder statesman of BSB, Richardson’s maturity and wisdom have guided the group. He’s also been passionate about environmental issues and vocal about various social causes.

@backstreetempire kevin richardson: throughout the backstreet boys eras❤️ i’m aware i missed out unbreakable & this is us, but kevin wasn’t in the music videos i got the clips from #backstreetboys #bsb #bsb30years #ajmclean #brianlittrell #howiedorough #kevinrichardson #nickcarter #backstreetboysedit #backstreetempire #fyp ♬ original sound – backstreet’s back, alright✨

The last two, Littrell and Richardson, are cousins, showcasing that talent can run in the family.

Climbing the ladder of success

The group’s initial ascent to stardom began with their debut album, Backstreet Boys (1996), released in Germany. This momentum was further catapulted with their sophomore album, Backstreet’s Back (1997); the band combined songs from the first two albums released overseas for their self-titled U.S. debut.

Their fame reached a pinnacle with Millennium (1999) and its subsequent follow-up, Black & Blue (2000). Despite facing challenges like Richardson’s temporary departure and a brief hiatus, they made a triumphant comeback with albums like Never Gone (2005) and DNA (2019), which remarkably debuted at number one, showcasing their continued relevance in the music industry. 

Why are the Backstreet Boys’ names so well known?

The BSB’s success is more than just anecdotal. They have:

  • Sold over 100 million records globally, becoming the best-selling boy band ever.
  • Achieved the distinction of having their first ten albums reach Billboard 200’s top 10, a record only previously held by the legendary Led Zeppelin.
  • Been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013.

Their influence in pop culture extends beyond music. In 2015, they released a documentary, Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of, providing fans an intimate look into their journey. They further solidified their legacy with a two-year residency in Las Vegas titled “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life,” which was a testament to their enduring appeal.

Origins and formation

While today they’re globally recognized, the origins of the Backstreet Boys were modest. Howie Dorough and AJ McLean, Orlando natives, joined forces after realizing their harmonious potential, eventually recruiting Nick Carter. The trio soon expanded with the inclusion of Richardson and Littrell.

The ensemble’s formation was influenced by Lou Pearlman’s ambition to create a group rivaling the likes of 80’s/early 90’s precursor boy band New Kids on the Block. Responding to Pearlman’s ad in the Orlando Sentinel, the final group lineup was solidified by 1993.

Pearlman, however, would later run into significant issues, accused of cheating the group (as well as rival boy band *NSYNC) out of millions. He was also found to have run one of the largest Ponzi schemes in American history. He died in federal custody in 2016.

What does Backstreet Boys mean?

“Backstreet” isn’t meant to denote any idea of toughness. Orlando’s Backstreet Market wasn’t just a regular marketplace—it was a teen hangout. The group’s nomenclature anchored them to their roots and provided a mystique, making many ponder the origins of the ‘backstreet’ and why these talented young men were frequenting it.

The Backstreet Boys are not merely a boy band, but an institution in the music industry, and even meme fodder for the current President. Their journey, from Orlando’s local venues to global stages, exemplifies the timeless nature of their talent. Three decades into their career, they remain as relevant and loved as they were during their initial days, proving they’re indeed “Larger Than Life.” And now that you know the Backstreet Boys’ names, you won’t get them confused.

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The Daily Dot