The Boys are back! What's all the screaming about?
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Date: Nov 11, 2099
Thursday, November 11, 1999 More Showbiz headlines
The Boys are back!
By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun
TORONTO -- In case you haven't heard -- Backstreet's back! Tonight!
Okay, so the lyrics are "Backstreet's back! Alright!"
The point is that the good-looking, smooth-sounding pop quintet, Backstreet Boys, play a sold-out show tonight at SkyDome in support of their third album, Millennium.
"I've never been to a concert like that before," says Toronto fan Caroline Kent, 11, who got her much-in-demand floor ticket as a birthday present from a friend. "I said to my friend (the other day) -- 'Thursday!' And she looked at me like I was insane at first and then she started screaming."
No wonder. The Toronto show sold out in a mere 28 minutes and scalpers have been asking as much as $1,000 per ticket.
Lucky for Kent, her favourite group member, 27-year-old Kevin Richardson, will be on stage tonight singing and dancing alongside his brothers-in-pop -- A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Nick Carter. Richardson dislocated his shoulder in a snowboarding accident last month but hasn't missed a show yet.
"I think he's cuter than the other ones," says Kent of Richardson, just named "sexiest pop star" by People magazine.
Canadian fans are also getting a little something extra. This afternoon the Backstreet Boys will host a 45-minute press conference in Toronto consisting of about 75 contest winners, fan club members and special needs kids, who will get to ask A.J., Kevin, Nick, Brian and Howie D. questions.
45 million albums sold
"It's something that they, with their management, have put together," said Stephanie Robertson, director of national marketing for Zomba Records in Canada. "And I believe this is only the fourth one they are doing in the tour."
One good query might be what's next for the group, who have sold a total of 45 million albums worldwide.
"Obviously, there will be growth probably in terms of side projects or things like that, but they show no signs of disintegrating or certainly no signs of inner turmoil that sometimes sweeps through a group," says Larry LeBlanc, the Canadian editor for Billboard magazine. "They seem very tight."
There was, however, supposed to be a 1999 Christmas album, which never was recorded. A video release has been delayed, also, and the current leg of their North American tour wraps up in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 6.
"I think that they will be touring well into next year," said Robertson. "I don't have any specifics at this point. They will probably be announcing some dates shortly."
Talk is the Backstreet Boys will hit the road again in mid-February -- with the possibility of another local stop -- to be followed by a fourth album.
Fans will also be gladdened to hear that the prognosis is good for a long shelf life for this particular teen group as they -- and their fans -- get older.
"The question will be whether they can make the transition -- I think they can," said LeBlanc."Whether they do it together as a group or decide to work in separate careers, that will be a question. But Backstreet Boys is a franchise and it's a franchise I think they would be very careful not to upset."
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