Backstreet Boys Then & Now -- Find Out What They're Up To! (PHOTOS)

Michele Marin | Oct 26, 2015 Celebrities
Backstreet Boys Then & Now -- Find Out What They're Up To! (PHOTOS)

In 1992, five kids answered an ad for band members in the Orlando Sentinel. When A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough had their first performance ever at Sea World Orlando, no one could have guessed they would go on to become the bestselling boy band in history. And while rumors swirl that BSB may reunite and tour with the Spice Girls, it won't be until they wrap the tour promoting their new album, In A World Like This, at the end of 2017. 

Fans can check out the band's documentary, Show 'Em What You're Made Of, and in the meantime, here's a look at the Backstreet Boys both then and now. 

Image via © Zak Hussein/Corbis

  • Nick Carter: Then


    Image via Teen Beat

    The baby of the band, Carter was only 13 when he joined the Backstreet Boys. Perhaps the most well-known of the group, Carter found his fast track to fame leading him down the road of drugs and alcohol, which led to a DUI arrest. After a couple of Grammy nods, a solo career, and a high-profile romance with Paris Hilton, Carter straightened up his act after a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in 2008.

  • Nick Carter: Now


    Image © Roberto Finizio/Corbis

    Looking hotter than ever, Nick Carter is rocking his Dancing with the Stars bod on season 21, and he just might take home the trophy. Carter married longtime girlfriend Lauren Kitt in 2014, and credits his wife in aiding his past struggles with depression. Having just finished co-writing and starring in his zombie Western movie, Dead 7, Carter hasn't abandoned singing. In 2014, he released Nick & Knight with fellow '90s crooner Jordan Knight.

  • A.J. McLean: Then



    Image © Frank Trapper/Corbis

    The tatted-up bad boy of the band, A.J. McLean enjoyed various stints on Nickelodeon and Disney shows, but it was his success as a member of the Backstreet Boys that catapulted him to fame. The first member to audition for the band eventually succumbed to the rocker lifestyle. He began using cocaine and abused alcohol, and often partied long after the other band members went to bed.

  • A.J. McLean: Now


    Image © Splash News/Corbis

    After three stints in rehab, A.J. McLean is clean and sober. The 37-year-old is currently working on his second solo album, The Anthem. His latest single, Live Together, was released in 2015. McLean is married to Rochelle Deanna Karidids, and the couple have a daughter, Ava Jaymes, whom they welcomed in November 2012. He also founded the Live Together Foundation and recently starred in pal Nick Carter's latest flick, Dead 7.

    More from The Stir: 18 Boy Band Heartthrobs Who Are Now Proud Papas! (PHOTOS)

  • Brian Littrell:Then


    Image © Mitchell Gerber/Corbis

    Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, Littrell is a cousin to another Backstreet Boy member, Kevin Richardson, and he can thank his "cuz" for snagging him an audition with the band. The devout Christian of the group, Littrell faced his share of struggles. Born with a congenial heart defect, which almost killed him at age 5, he had open heart surgery in 1997. In between recording with the BSB, the crooner released his first Christian album, Welcome Home. He was also instrumental in exposing the one-time manager and founder of the group, Lou Pearlman, for withholding money from the band.

  • Brian Littrell: Now


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    How often does Littrell see the other members of the Backstreet Boys? Outside of work, not often. Littrell lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Leighanne Wallace, whom he married in 2000, and their son, Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell. The singer was recently diagnosed with a condition known as vocal tension dysphonia, which makes it difficult for Littrell to talk, let alone sing. Grateful for health, Littrell founded and runs Brian Littrell's Healthy Heart Club for Kids. As far as Littrell's music career, aside from returning with the other members to BSB to record the band's latest album In a World Like This, Littrell made a name for himself in the Christian music circuit. His album Welcome Home was a chart topper, and Littrell went on to win two Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards for Inspirational Song of the Year in 2006 and 2008, not to mention a GMA Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year in 2008.

  • Kevin Richardson: Then


    Image © Reuters/Corbis

    The oldest member of the Backstreet Boys, Richardson grew up in Kentucky before moving to Orlando. His pre-BSB days included a job at Walt Disney World as a costume character by day and musical theater stints at night. Living up to his role as the elder of the group, Richardson had a big hand in McLean's road to sobriety. He also was one of the original members of the band to bring a lawsuit against Lou Pearlman. Richardson exited the band in 2006. Broadway-bound, he performed in Chicago on and off for six years and tried modeling. Have you seen him in the Versace campaign? Smokin'!

  • Kevin Richardson: Now


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Richardson officially rejoined the Backstreet Boys in 2012. The actor and singer is also very involved in his Just Within Reach Foundation, providing education on conservation. Those former Disney days? They weren't a compete waste of time. Richardson met his wife, Kristin Willits, at Disney (she played Belle). The couple married in 2000 and have two sons, Mason Frey and Maxwell Haze.

    More from The Stir: 'N Sync Then & Now: Find Out What They're Up To Now! (PHOTOS)

  • Howie Dorough: Then


    Image © Frank Trapper/Corbis

    With his good looks, the Orlando native earned his spot with the BSB after his second audition. In a case of mistaken identity, rumor has it that Dorough's info was lost after his first audition. Good thing for Dorough's tenacity. He went back to audition a second time, and it just so happens that the management team was trying to locate him to join the band. Why the mishap? Dorough auditioned under his stage name, Tony Denetti. And, what about the alleged rivalry between BSB and Lou Pearlman's other boy band, 'N Sync? Dorough and 'N Sync member Chris Kirkpatrick actually went to college together and were in the same choir. According to Dorough, a little healthy competition between the two bands only made them better.

  • Howie Dorough: Now


    Image © Brock Miller/Splash News/Corbis

    Dorough released a solo album, Back To Me, in 2011, and in what was a '90s pop star collision, he toured with Britney Spears as her opening act. While he works as a singer/songwriter these days, he and his brother also started Sweet D, Inc., a real estate development company. Dorough has been married to Leigh Boniello since 2007 and the couple has two sons, James Hole and Holden John. The former boy bander launched the Dorough Lupus Foundation in honor of his sister Caroline, who lost her life to lupus in 1998.


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