Gabi Conti
August 12, 2015 7:48 am

If you were a teen or preteen in the late ’90s to early 2000s, chances are you had a favorite Backstreet Boy. Then, eventually, like your crush’s frosted tips, the Backstreet Boys faded away.

But not entirely. It’s been exactly 18 years since their debut album dropped (happy anniversary, BSBs!), and we’re still holding a candle for the boys. To honor this occasion, we watched the Backstreet Boys documentary, Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of on Netflix. And, man, did we learn a lot. It’s almost two hours long and jam packed with some larger-than-life truths. Here they are:

Kevin quit the group

Yep, from 2006 to 2013 the Backstreet Boys were only 4. Releasing two albums Unbreakable and This is Us sans Kevin. In the doc Kev admits he, “wanted to just be a normal guy for a while.”

The group had some age gaps 

When the group had their first performance in 1993 at SeaWorld Orlando, Kevin (the oldest member) was 21, while Nick (the youngest) was 13. That’s one-three, people! Who knew?

Nick was almost a Mouseketeer

“I had a choice between being a Mousketeer or doing this thing with Lou Pearlman,” confessed Nick in the film. And he deciding on the latter at the ripe age of 13. Fun fact: Justin Timberlake got to do both, as Lou Pearlman also founded *NSYNC a few years later (more on that later).

Brian wanted to play basketball for the University of Kentucky

And was the last member to join the group. (Kevin is actually his cousin). It also may have been difficult for Brian to be a basketball player, as he’s 5’8” – but hey, anything is possible.

A.J was the group’s first member

It became official after he auditioned for Lou Pearlman in his living room.

When they were starting out, they each got paid $75 a week

Granted that was a lot for teenagers in the early ’90s. Now that would’ve barely gotten you a ticket to the Backstreet Boys tour last year.

They Were Really Big Overseas Before They Blew Up in America 

Which explains why “Everybody” (aka “Backstreet’s Back”) was one of their first US singles. I always thought it was weird that they said they were “back,” we were just getting to know them. But turns out they really were around for a beat before they released that chilling music video A.K.A. the” Thriller” of our generation (well… kinda).

A.J. Really likes the movie Drive…

He even has a custom scorpion jacket like the Gosling.

…And Nail Art

A.J. sports about 5 different manicures throughout the movie, and I have to admit, his nail art is pretty on fleek.

They Currently Don’t Have a Record Deal

Which at first seems kind of sad, but they seem pretty excited about it, “it’s awesome, it’s like starting all over again.” Nick exclaims in the movie. The group appears to be essentially using their own money for their “new chapter” of their music career.

Howie Was the Original Lead Singer

Which is interesting to me, cause when you think of the Backstreet Boys you typically think of Nick and Brian as the frontmen. But nope, it was Howie, or as the group calls him when playing soccer “twinkle toes.”

There’s a whole lot more to the story (including their lawsuit with Lou Pearlman), but you’ve got to just watch the doc for yourself. And BSB, if you’re listening, happy first album anniversary! We still love you guys.

Related:

Best cover of a BSB song ever, right here

A tour of the most important BSB outfits

(Image via)

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