Chrissy Teigen Backstreet Boys


Chrissy Teigen wanted answers on the lyrics of this Backstreet Boys hit—and she got one

The real meaning has been revealed.


Grace Speas


Published Jun 3, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 2:26 pm CDT

Just when you think Chrissy Teigen can’t get any more clever on Twitter, she’ll use the social network to get her hands on six ripe bananas or clap back at a mom-shaming tweet. This time, Teigen tweeted in search of the real meaning of a famous hit from the Backstreet Boys—and the band did not disappoint.

Although the Backstreet Boys apparently never broke up, the band has been (mostly) off the scene for a while. Its last major hits were “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” and “I Want It That Way,” songs that were both released in the late 1990s. But the lyrics of “I Want It That Way” are so cryptic that even a romance guru would have a hard time deciphering them, and the 32-year-old Teigen pointed that out in a tweet on Friday.

Teigen raises a good point in 2018, a mere 19 years after the song’s 1999 release date. Is the person singing the song to say the relationship is full of heartbreak? And does “it” have different meanings at different points in the lyrics? The song is enough to make an English teacher tear their hair out and it’s inspired plenty of debate around its meaning, even decades later. The Backstreet Boys, though, were quick to step in the same day as Teigen’s tweet to offer clarification.

Apparently, when writers of the song are referring to “it,” it’s as a state of being in a relationship full of heartbreak and mistake. The singer is encouraging their lover to cast off any heartbreak, doubt of failure, or feelings of separation.

People were pretty surprised that the band actually answered, but then again, Teigen’s account is usually the one to garner an actual response. The mom-celebrity-hybrid has more than 10 million Twitter followers.

Nevertheless, the internet was relieved to finally have an answer to the lyrical mystery.

Even with an answer, it’s still hard to say exactly what is going on between the couple in the song.

We all wish we had the Twitter influence of Chrissy Teigen to have all of our burning questions answered. Luckily, Teigen—and maybe only Teigen—has the ability to have those age-old debates put to rest.

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*First Published: Jun 3, 2018, 11:45 am CDT