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25 years ago, the Backstreet Boys burst on to the scene: Check out how they're doing these days

A quarter of a century into the Backstreet Boys' career, here's a glimpse of how far they've come, where they were once, and what they're up to today.
UPDATED JAN 14, 2020
The Backstreet Boys (Source : Getty Images)
The Backstreet Boys (Source : Getty Images)

If you're a millennial and reading this, prepare to have a massive reality check. As of this day, The Backstreet Boys have been "together" for 25 years. Feel old yet? 

On Friday (April 20), the iconic boy band—which is made up of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson—celebrated their 25th anniversary with a shout-out to their fans who've been supporting them through bad hair decades, awesome costumes and lots and lots of great music.

The band took to Twitter to express their own disbelief at the fact that they're still making music 25 years after their formation on April 20, 1993. 

The Backstreet Boys formed a quarter of a century ago, when Howie D., A.J. McLean, and Nick Carter joined up with cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell with the help of Lou Pearlman, who was looking to form a musical group. While they became famous first in Europe (particularly Germany), their self-titled debut album 'Backstreet Boys' rose to number four in the U.S. Billboard charts in 1997, and featured the classic 'Quit Playing Games With My Heart,' which went on to be one of radio's heaviest heavy rotations in the 90's! The band's subsequent albums, Backstreet's Back, Millennium, Black & Blue, and more cemented the band as bona fide superstars. 

To celebrate the Boys' 25th anniversary (relax, you're not that old), let's take a look back at the Boys and see how far they've come along today:

Nick Carter


Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter (L) with his younger brother Aaron Carter in the year 2000.  (Photo by George DeSota/Newsmakers)


Since the Backstreet Boys, Nick has also launched a successful solo career. He released the album 'Now or Never', which hit the Billboard 200 charts in 2002. He was also on the show House of Carters, which followed the Carter family around during 2006. In 2015 he came in second place on Dancing with the Stars. Just recently, on April 19 2018, Nick Carter celebrated his son Odin's 2nd birthday.

Howie D.


Backstreet Boys' Howie D. in the year 2000 (Photo by Chris Martinez/ Getty Images)


The "D" in "Howie D" stands for Dorough by the way, which maybe something you don't remember from your childhood. Like his fellow bandmates, Howie began working on solo projects, and put out his first solo album 'Back to Me' in 2011, although it didn't see the sort of success that Carter's release did. He also married the band's webmaster, which is a pretty interesting way to meet your partner. The couple are proud parents of two children now.

Brian Littrell


Brian Littrell in the year 2001. (Photo by George De Sota/Getty Images)


Brian Littrell may be most famous for Backstreet Boys, but that is far from his only musical project. Brian is also a devout Christian and released his first Christian music album, 'Welcome Home', in 2006. If you're not familiar with the Christian Pop scene, then you might not realize that Brian is massively successful in this arena, with his album placing in the Top 5 on the Christian album chart. Brian has been married to Leighanne Littrell since 2000, and the two have a son, born in 2002, who, at the age of 14, was recently in a Broadway musical in 2016!

A.J. McLean 


A.J. McLean arrives at the Backstreet Boys' 'Black and Blue' record release party at Times Square November 21, 2000 in New York City. (Photo by George DeSota/Newsmakers/Getty Images)


Native to Orlando, FL, A.J. McLean was the first official member of the Backstreet Boys. As the story goes, A.J. was the bad boy of the group, a designation which got all too real when it was revealed that A.J. was suffering with an addiction, which he has worked hard to overcome. He went to rehab in 2001 (and again in 2002) following an intervention by bandmate Kevin Richardson. McLean described addiction as the hardest thing he has ever had to go through, stating it is something he battles with every day.  McLean married Rochelle Deanna Karidis, a makeup/hair stylist, whom he credits for helping him overcome his addiction, in December 2011. The couple now have two daughters.

As a solo artist, A.J. sometimes performs under the name Johnny NoName, who he claims is his alter ego. The character has similarities to McLean; for instance, both had single mothers, and lived with their grandparents from a young age. There are also differences – Johnny has been to prison whereas McLean has not. McLean has occasionally performed in rock/metal clubs around New York as Johnny No Name.

Kevin Richardson


Kevin Richardson at the Super Bowl XXXV half-time performance in 2001. (Image Source: Brian Bahr/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)


The oldest, and most mature of the Backstreet Boys, Kevin Richardson was the one Backstreet Boy who kept a relatively low profile. Post-Backstreet, Kevin has been on Broadway in 'Chicago', has modeled for Versace, and has acted in several indie films, including 'The Casserole Club' for which he picked up an Independent Vision Award for Best Actor. Richardson has also made appearances on several hit TV shows including Arthur, Sesame Street, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and This Is the End.

Richardson married Kristin Kay Willits, a dancer, actress, photographer and model in 2000, she also featured in one of the Backstreet Boys earliest videos 'I'll Never Break Your Heart'. They have two sons aged 10 and 4.