Backstreet Boys
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Backstreet's back, all right! For the first time since member Kevin Richardson retired in 2006, all five Backstreet Boys reunited for a special appearance on Oprah's stage.

Relaxed and kidding one another like brothers, the band sat down for an exclusive Q&A after the show to remember the past, discuss the present and reveal the announcement that will have all fans squealing with delight.

Joan Podrazik: So tell us a little bit about what you guys have been up to and what's coming up for the future.

Howie Dorough: Well, the four of us here actually have just been finishing up a tour. Kevin's been taking a hiatus for the last couple of albums here, but the four of us just released the record called This Is Us, and we are about three-fourths of our way into this tour. We're probably going to continue on and finish off the tour in South America early next year, and we're really excited. We're going to be going on tour next year, as well, with the New Kids on the Block for our U.S./European Tour as of right now.

Kevin Richardson: I've been sowing seeds. Since I left the group in 2006, I had a son, Mason, and I've been sowing seeds. I've been studying. I've been in class. I've been studying the craft of acting. And that's what I've been up to, and the seeds are starting to bear fruit and I got a couple of films coming out next year and hopefully you'll see them.

JP: So what do you guys remember about the first time you ever performed in public together—your first big gig?

A.J. McLean: First big gig? The first big gig would probably be grad night in '93 at Sea World. It was pretty funny: We were all wearing—back then we all wore the same outfit—we all were wearing motorcycle jackets and came running out. Nick was about that tall. You know, it was fun. We had no record deal yet. It was just us. And...

Brian Littrell: It was amazing.

A.J.: Yeah! It was the beginning of now, 18 years later. I mean, it was a really fun show. You know, here we are today.

JP: Looking back at that show, what advice would you give your younger selves?

A.J.: Don't wear leather jackets in Florida. [Laughter] I mean, now it's fine, but not motorcycle jackets. Yeah, definitely not.

Nick Carter: We enjoy where we are at right now. I mean, I don't think we would really change anything. I think that some of the guys say that there were some contracts they wish they didn't sign. But ultimately...

Brian: I didn't say that. [Laughter]

Nick: I'm channeling people right now. But ultimately, I think that we're extremely happy where we're at. What brought us here. We should be proud of that and of the people who we've developed into.

JP: So while you're on the road, how do you travel? How do you make it feel at home? Are you guys all on a bus together?

Nick: Yeah. We all have our own buses sometimes. The last tour, Howie, A.J. and myself, we all were on one bus together. So that was a trip. It was in Canada actually. And Brian had his own bus because he had his family. It all depends on where we're at and if we're trying to cut costs.


A.J.: Keeping it real.

Nick: Or if we just need some space...

A.J.: Keeping it real.


Brian: If it comes under budget.

JP: Is there any way you make your bus feel like home? Brian, I know you travel with your family.

Brian: We have our family come out and visit us. I have a 7-year-old son—he's going to be 8 in November. Life is going by extremely fast for us when you see your son grow up and kind of take to the entertainment business. And traveling the world. He's very well-educated. He's very open about seeing things and experiencing things. You see the world in a new light through a child's eyes. I think it's a lot of fun. We have our families come out with us. Howie's married. He has a little baby boy that's 1 1/2 now, James. So I think that wherever we are together...I tell my wife all the time wherever we are together, that's where home is. If it's in Ontario, Canada or Chicago, we're on a tour bus. Wherever we are together, that's where home is. [Fake cry]


JP: Last question: If you guys could play a private show for any five people, living or dead, who would be in the audience?

Nick: I would like to hear Kevin's answer.

Brian: I would play a private show for Nick and Howie and A.J and Kevin.

Kevin: We get to see a private show?


All: No, play a private show.

JP: For anybody in the audience.

Nick: We just did it for Oprah!

Kevin: I would like to do it for my father and my grandfather, Papa and Dad, who've passed on. That would be awesome. Dad never got to see me perform with the guys. That would be really cool.

Howie: Pope John Paul. We had a chance to meet him, but a couple of the guys decided it was too early in the morning to get up. I would have liked to perform in front of the Pope.

Kevin: Wait, we could have met [the Pope] but it had to be all five of us? And we totally bailed on you on that? I'm sorry!

The Backstreet Boys reunite on Oprah's stage

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