When They Popped - A Y2K Pop Culture Podcast

Episode 18 - Backstreet Boys Post-Black & Blue to Now (BSB Part 3)

April 17, 2023 Kelsey and Mary Season 1 Episode 18
Episode 18 - Backstreet Boys Post-Black & Blue to Now (BSB Part 3)
When They Popped - A Y2K Pop Culture Podcast
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When They Popped - A Y2K Pop Culture Podcast
Episode 18 - Backstreet Boys Post-Black & Blue to Now (BSB Part 3)
Apr 17, 2023 Season 1 Episode 18
Kelsey and Mary

Send Mary and Kelsey a Message!

In the final episode of their three-part Backstreet Boys series, Mary and Kelsey discuss the post-Black & Blue era to present day. From Never Gone to DNA, they recount the most iconic and memorable moments in between including AJ’s emotional Oprah interview surprise, Kevin’s departure from the group (and eventual reunion), NKOTBSB, the years-long DNA world tour, and their long-awaited Christmas album. Kelsey and Mary also share some of their favorite tour memories and catch up with fellow BSB fan Shey Thauvette (@sheyBSB) to get her reflections on Backstreet Boys’ first 30 years, and her predictions for what’s next.

Special thanks to Karah-Leigh Hancock (@karahleigh), co-author of “Backstreet Boys 30th Anniversary Celebration: Keep the Backstreet Pride Alive” for sharing her insights and stories with us! 

Instagram: @whentheypoppedpod
TikTok: @whentheypopped
Email: whentheypoppedy2k@gmail.com
Website: linktree.com/whentheypopped

Show Notes Transcript

Send Mary and Kelsey a Message!

In the final episode of their three-part Backstreet Boys series, Mary and Kelsey discuss the post-Black & Blue era to present day. From Never Gone to DNA, they recount the most iconic and memorable moments in between including AJ’s emotional Oprah interview surprise, Kevin’s departure from the group (and eventual reunion), NKOTBSB, the years-long DNA world tour, and their long-awaited Christmas album. Kelsey and Mary also share some of their favorite tour memories and catch up with fellow BSB fan Shey Thauvette (@sheyBSB) to get her reflections on Backstreet Boys’ first 30 years, and her predictions for what’s next.

Special thanks to Karah-Leigh Hancock (@karahleigh), co-author of “Backstreet Boys 30th Anniversary Celebration: Keep the Backstreet Pride Alive” for sharing her insights and stories with us! 

Instagram: @whentheypoppedpod
TikTok: @whentheypopped
Email: whentheypoppedy2k@gmail.com
Website: linktree.com/whentheypopped



Kelsey:
 Hello and welcome to When They Popped. I'm Kelsey.

Mary Gagliardi:
And I'm Mary. Kelce, I'm doing good. It was a big week, busy week. How about yourself?

Kelsey:
It was a big week, wasn't it? A special anniversary was celebrated.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, and ahead of the 30th anniversary, we had the 24th anniversary of Backstreet Boys. I want it that way. Pretty iconic. If you need a refresher, listen to our last episode, part two of our Backstreet Boys trilogy. If you want some,

Kelsey:
Trilogy. Oh, I love that.

Mary Gagliardi:
it's

Kelsey:
It's

Mary Gagliardi:
our

Kelsey:
like

Mary Gagliardi:
trilogy,

Kelsey:
Star Wars

Mary Gagliardi:
yes. We have some fun tidbits, alternate versions of the song, and also just about Millennium and Black and Blue in general. And... Yeah. Now onto the reason for the season. Back to our back, back to our BSB 30th anniversary three part series. Today is our final episode of this trilogy and our deep dive into Backstreet Boys. And it's only fitting that we also have Shay Thavadon, a fan for 29 years, 29 out of the 30 years. If you follow us, you probably know who Shay is. And to me, Shay is fan goals. She has been around basically since the beginning. She has incredible Instagram. She has an incredible Instagram account. The honors the boys at CheBSB, follow her. And she always has this incredible old school footage that we haven't even seen before. And she's just a really kind, sweet soul. And we're excited to kind of intersperse some of her sound bites from our interview with her throughout this episode. And therefore, without further ado, where did we leave off? Well, let's pick right. up from where we left off.

Kelsey:
Maybe we pick that part.

Mary Gagliardi:
Without further ado, let's pick up right where we left off. The boys had completed their record-breaking Black and Blue tour and had also just performed the national anthem at the Super Bowl. And on October 23rd, 2001, we got the hits chapter one, a compilation album. And that was a recl- and I don't know how I feel about compilation because it includes all previously released songs, but this one, we got a very special unreleased song called Drowning. And for that, I will be forever grateful. That came out as a single on October 16th, 2001, and this compilation album was certified platinum.

Kelsey:
wondering like wow are there enough albums to make like a hits album

Mary Gagliardi:
Hits, I know.

Kelsey:
but when they came out with drowning I was like oh yeah I remember putting like I feel like this was the first song that I ever downloaded onto

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh

Kelsey:
a computer and it was the only song that I had on my computer

Mary Gagliardi:
drowning

Kelsey:
so I just listened to it on repeat my parents were like are you okay like why

Mary Gagliardi:
Definitely

Kelsey:
are you listening

Mary Gagliardi:
not.

Kelsey:
to this song over and over

Mary Gagliardi:
What about the part where Kevin's like, love me mouth to mouth now? I'm like,

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
ooh.

Kelsey:
know, I was like, I thought it meant like, well, obviously it's like a CPR

Mary Gagliardi:
CPR.

Kelsey:
reference. But I was like, I think I need to take a course.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know, I need a course from Kevin. Okay, sorry, I need a guess. So that came out in October of 2001. And from 2002 to 2004, the boys took a bit of a hiatus. And notably in 2002, the group wanted to leave their management called The Firm, but Nick actually stayed with The Firm to manage his solo career. So the boys... So in 2002, the boys actually wanted to leave and left their management, the firm, but Nick, little bit of disagreement here, Nick actually ended up staying with the firm to manage his solo career. And on that note, for a Nick girl, this is an exciting part. While the boys were on hiatus, Nick Carter was not. And on September 3rd of 2002, Nick released his first solo single, Help Me, it reached number nine in Canada. And it was also notably on my 2022 Spotify wrapped. LOL. Top 10. Top

Kelsey:
That's hilarious.

Mary Gagliardi:
10. Help Me is a great song, and I am still listening to it very regularly today, as you can tell. Nick went on his own tour. He had his first tour starting in October of 2002. And finally his solo album, Now or Never, debuted. And then he finally, and then he released his solo album, Now or Never. on October 29th, 2002. The album did pretty well. It debuted at 17 in the first, on its first week on the Billboard 200. And it was sold enough to be certified gold. Nick had writing on almost half the songs on the album and Max Martin was a contributor and producer as well. Never, we try to never get too far from Max. And now we're gonna pivot to November 26th of 2002. This is pretty interesting, Kelce. The boys filed a... approximately a hundred million dollar lawsuit against Zamba Music Group, which is Jive's parent company, the record label which they had been releasing their records. And they claimed breach of contract and they said that the label promoted Nick's solo album, Now or Never, at the expense of the group. I find this really interesting. I'm assuming Nick wasn't part of this lawsuit. Also, do we think this caused some group hostilities? It's hard to find specifics online about this.

Kelsey:
And I think that just probably speaks to their friendship. Everyone says there's the friendship side, then there's the business side.

Mary Gagliardi:
True.

Kelsey:
And it's business when it's business. It's kind of like when you work at a company and they're like, we're a family here, but then when they need to make reductions or something, it's like business is business.

Mary Gagliardi:
Excited.

Kelsey:
So I wonder how hard that must have been for them to separate those two things, knowing how close they all were. And they're trying to ride that wave, I am sure. I can only imagine that they were feeling the pressure to continue the success after Black and Blue. They know, you know, the second you step out of the spotlight, who knows what's going to happen next? Who

Mary Gagliardi:
Right?

Kelsey:
knows if people will still be there waiting for your music or ready to purchase concert tickets. So I understand why they would be frustrated and feel almost like Nick was like sort of the shiny new object and why they would do that. But I think it also says a lot about their friendship. and like brotherhood that we don't know the specifics of it. Because how easy could it have been for them to do like a tell-all like

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, or

Kelsey:
throwing

Mary Gagliardi:
let it.

Kelsey:
Nick under the bus almost. Like he's trying to go Justin Timberlake on them.

Mary Gagliardi:
Exactly. And you're exactly right, Kels, because after Black and Blue, they were trying to ride that wave and they were ready to start their next album. And they had to as per their contract with Zamba. But the boys claimed that they... I put Zumba. But the boys claimed that...

Kelsey:
It is a weird name.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know. But it's something you remember. I will say, I never forget Zamba. But the boys claimed that the standard selection of songs and producers, and they alleged rejected in bad faith artistic suggestions made by the boys. And instead, Zamba turned its full attention to releasing Nick's solo album. And given that, the boys were unable to deliver a fourth album to Zamba by the time that their contract required. And by that, the boys were technically in a breach of contract, and they missed out on a $5 million advance. And again,

Kelsey:
Ooh,

Mary Gagliardi:
I know, so there's money at

Kelsey:
that's

Mary Gagliardi:
stake

Kelsey:
bad.

Mary Gagliardi:
and they're like, you're causing us to breach our contract with you, which is a very, it's kind of an interesting legal dilemma. But again, we don't really know how this resolved, but what we do know was the next three albums were released by Jive, which is a subsidiary of Zamba. So something was worked out. That is all we know. And then... Finally, during this little hiatus, there's a little bit more that I have. We have Nick appearing on another compilation album that we get from his little brother, Aaron, his most requested hits, and they have a song together called, She Wants Me. That's also one of my top listen to songs.

Kelsey:
Yeah.

Mary Gagliardi:
I love it. I love the Carter brothers' voices. And it's again, nice that they are able to do that kind of thing together.

Kelsey:
I'm not surprised that you love it.

Mary Gagliardi:
FU-

Kelsey:
And to the untrained ear, they sound so similar. Like I could not, well, I can tell Nick and

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
Erin's voices apart, but like they, it's just so crazy how similar they sound. It's a really cute song.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
And so we're still in Backstreet Boys hiatus right now. And it's worth noting that, you know, while Nick was going off and doing his own thing, so were our other boys. And- My favorite in the beat of my heart, Kevin, had a little stint on Broadway in 2002. He performed in Chicago as Billy Flynn, who's the lawyer. And before you even ask, yeah, there are clips on YouTube and his talent knows no bounds and we love him so much. So anyways, amidst all this turmoil with their management, in November 2003, there's even more drama to throw into the fold. AJ has been in recovery from his addiction to alcohol and drugs and his struggles just in the public eye and he goes on Oprah in November to talk about his addiction. There's a clip of this on YouTube. I watched it and yeah, I got a little misty eyed because this was one of the first times that we saw Backstreet Boys all together again for a televised...

Mary Gagliardi:
Interview.

Kelsey:
This is one of the first times that we saw the Backstreet Boys back together on TV. So I was like so excited. My mom was like, oh my God, Backstreet Boys on Oprah. And then I was like, wait, this is like dark and sad. But essentially AJ is going on to do a one-on-one sit down with Oprah to talk about his addiction very candidly and how his recovery is going. And the rest of the group surprised him to give him their support. So again, this is the first time that Backstreet Boys have appeared in public in almost two years.

Mary Gagliardi:
Together.

Kelsey:
And it really makes, sorry. So yeah, this was the first time that Backstreet Boys had appeared together in public in almost two years.

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh,

Kelsey:
And this video really makes me emo. It's on YouTube if you wanna watch it. It's a really emotional moment. AJ gets teary.

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
Apparently

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
Nick

Mary Gagliardi:
oh,

Kelsey:
flew in from London to participate. Maybe he was working on his solo stuff

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
over

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
there.

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
AJ's

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh,

Kelsey:
making jokes like, oh, my beard is gonna

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh,

Kelsey:
run.

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
So

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh,

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
oh,

Kelsey:
guess

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
like

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
he

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh,

Kelsey:
fills

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
it in.

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
oh,

Kelsey:
don't

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
know.

Mary Gagliardi:
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,

Kelsey:
But it was a really raw interview because the whole group is sharing what AJ's addiction did to the group. And Kevin goes so far as to say that AJ became somebody he didn't know and he couldn't stand him, that he wasn't being a good human being. And if you know anybody who's dealt with addiction, that's the most painful part. You're losing the person you love, even though they could physically be there right in front of you. And I thought it was really great that AJ was so open with his struggles and that the band was very open and candid with him too. And hopefully that encouraged somebody else to get help or stay strong on their own path to recovery. Brian shared some really interesting stories that when they were preparing for the Black and Blue tour that AJ didn't show up to rehearsals despite living just five minutes away from the venue. So Nick, Kevin and Brian broke into AJ's home and had like a mini-intervention with him, like, dude, what the F are you doing? And AJ is sharing how grateful he was to have the group to help him get through this and that Kevin in particular was the most influential person in his decision to get help. And that just goes back to- Kevin's whole persona that we've been discussing over this series

Mary Gagliardi:
Hmm.

Kelsey:
as sort of the father figure in the group. And it really feels like a family is coming out on the other side of something deeply traumatic, but with a lot of new hope and promise. So now that AJ is getting better, I think all of us in the fandom, we're like, all right, we're gonna

Mary Gagliardi:
Oof.

Kelsey:
get some new music. We're so excited. And now they're finally able to put their focus back on the music, right? So in January, 2004, they... finally start recording their new album, Never Gone. Also in 2004, it's worth noting that Brian tried to do a little solo dolo deal too with Reunion Records, which is a Christian label. His album didn't end up coming out until like 2016. It didn't really reach any mainstream music charts, but it's still notable that he had this little side gig going on and they were all able to pursue their own solo passion projects.

Mary Gagliardi:
I love that and I love hearing the story about Papa Kev. Papa Kev coming through for the boys. So they're in the studio, they're recording, never gone. And I think they may, hold on, there's a siren. Okay, great. So they're in the studio. It's 2004. They're in the studio. They're recording Never Gone, and I think they started to get that itch again. And so starting on March 21st, 2005, the boys did a little thing and they went on their Up Close and Personal Tour. Maybe you've never heard of it. That's because this was a small venue, house of bluesy type tour to promote the... Upcoming release of never gone. It was not, you know sold out stadiums. It was not at arenas this was like a really small venue really cool change for them and So I actually went to this tour I we were in I was in Chicago with my family and the the boys happened to be there at the same time and Oh my gosh, I remember 2005 so I was 14 years old And I like put on some like heels and my flare jeans and like, you know, little like two inch heels that I was allowed to wear. And I went with my mom and we had never been to the house of blues before and didn't realize that we didn't have a seat. And we just were like, it's like standing room only. And oh my gosh, but the boys were on this like tiny ass stage like maybe a third of the size of Vegas. And they were just still like dancing, singing their hearts out, saying a lot from Never Gone. And again, It does remind me of Vegas in the sense it was very intimate and very legitimately, quote unquote, up close and personal. So that was a little awesome nugget they gave us. And on April 1st, 2005, we got the first single from Never Gone and one that you all probably know and love, Incomplete. And that peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. And Following that, on June 24th, 2005, we get the album, Never Gone was released. And that debuted at number three on the US charts. However, we're always scared of something different. And just because something different doesn't mean it's bad, but this was definitely a different direction for the boys. The style of music was different. It was no longer this boppy boy band. And it got some negative reviews. But

Kelsey:
Whatever,

Mary Gagliardi:
yes.

Kelsey:
whatever.

Mary Gagliardi:
I think now it's very appreciated. Never Gone went platinum in the United States and we did get four singles from the album, Incomplete, obviously a classic. And then we got Just Want You To Know on October 4th, 2005, Crawlin' Back To You. We got Crawlin' Back To You and I Still. And at Never Gone sold at least 3 million copies worldwide. Nick played guitar on a few of the songs, Kevin played guitar. piano on few of the songs and was also a credited writer. And of course we have to continue our trend of doing a Max Martin alert. Our favorite producer,

Kelsey:
Hehehehe

Mary Gagliardi:
right? Our favorite producer can be found on Just Want You to Know, I Still, Siberia, and Climbing the Walls. Kelsey, what are some of your Never Gone favorites? Obviously this album was a totally new direction and vibes since Black and Blue and any of their old stuff. What did you think?

Kelsey:
It did feel more like Rocky

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
versus Poppy, I guess. Like, I don't know what's light rock music,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
but I sing incomplete like every day and I still, and we've talked about Siberia before and how this song is criminally underrated. I know Shay felt very similarly too. Mary, do you think we want to put in a little clip here about with

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah,

Kelsey:
Shay's thoughts on Siberia?

Mary Gagliardi:
yes,

Kelsey:
Maybe I can do like a quick little

Mary Gagliardi:
yes,

Kelsey:
intro just in case you want to use that.

Mary Gagliardi:
perfect.

Kelsey:
And I know in our conversation with Shay, she also called out the song Siberian how it's actually some of the boys favorite songs and how it's actually a favorite song of some of the boys too. Here's Shay. And then we can do like her little clip in there.

Mary Gagliardi:
Perfect. Great intro. And I'll just go.

Kelsey:
And Mary, tell me what's your favorite song from the album?

Mary Gagliardi:
You know, thinking about it after talking to Shay, this is one of my favorite albums as well. I don't know if it is my favorite, but it's up there. And the songs are so good. And even though it's a pivot, it's super high quality and catchy. And you know, Max Martin has his roots in rock. And so I think it's really interesting to see that crossover. He was in a glam rock band. And so I think it's really interesting to see that crossover with pop and rock. And I think it comes together beautifully. You know, Nick's... Pre-chorus, Bridge and I still is life-changing for me. And I also randomly really like the song, My Beautiful Woman. I just think it's a bop.

Kelsey:
It is a bop. So after the album comes out, again, the year is 2005, the Never Gone Tour kicks off in West Palm Beach, Florida. We have to call it West Palm Beach because that's our Marianne I Southam and DNA. Okay, get this, the openers for this tour are literally insane. They had Click 5, The Jonas Brothers, Casey Brown, and Jesse McCartney. Like, hello, these are

Mary Gagliardi:
I

Kelsey:
huge

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
names. Just to have them as openers. Oh my God. So I feel like in the past tours, we've had other amazing artists like LFO, Destiny's Child. I just feel like Backstreet Boys really helped propel some of these up and coming careers. So anyways, the tour was hugely successful. It grossed like $50 million or 79 tour dates. And the tour ended in February of 2006. And I just want to give all of you Kevin lovers out there. like myself that this is a trigger warning. Okay, if you don't want to relive the Kevin this year, then skip a little do over this because you don't want to hear it. Okay, so let's just like rip the bandaid off. So after 13 years of togetherness and five albums of perfection and blood, sweat and tears, and also open heart surgeries on Brian's part, on June 26th, 2006, it was announced that Kevin had left the Backstreet Boys. The Backstreet Boys issued a statement on their official site that it was all makeable and the door was always open for Kevin to return. Kevin, we know now, wanted to start a family and pursue some other projects and move on to quote unquote the next chapter of his life. Well, the swirl that ensued was insane. Mary, where were you when you heard the news? I remember I could not believe my ears.

Mary Gagliardi:
I remember being very worried. I honestly didn't think he would return. I thought this would be a huge problem for the boys in the long run. I thought this could be the end, to be honest. To be fair, I do have a side of doom and gloom and that necessarily wasn't realistic or That wasn't necessarily a whatever. I was just concerned, definitely. And I thought it could be over. But we did talk to Shay. Here's what Shay, what did she say that?

Kelsey:
So she,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
I think you say, I know that Shay, who has been like the longest fan of all of us, she also had the same concerns as you. And I think that just goes to show that even the people who had the most faith in the group were shaken by this news and really nervous. Here's what she had to say. Bah, bah, bah. We can do like that little clip. And they say, Shay is absolutely right. Listen, Kevin's. He was 33 years old, he wanted to start a family. You can't fault the man for that. He was probably tired after multiple years of just like grinding and he reached the pinnacle of success and maybe the man just wanted a nap, you know?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
But at the time I too did not, could not understand and I was sad because I thought also this is the end, like F, like remember when Jerry left Spice Girls and then it was curtains. And I was really sad and angry at sweet baby Kev, but just like Shay said. they needed to keep up the momentum and they needed to immediately get started on their new music so that they weren't out of the spotlight for too long. So Backstreet Boys, hold on one second. I mean, so it was reported that this news broke on the eve of the start of work on the group's next album, which we know now to be their album, Unbreakable. And I believe, my PR brain believes that this was a PR decision. to share that tidbit with media alongside the news of Kevin's departure because it showed that Backstreet Boys were not going to take a pause here and slow down, that they were going to move forward with new music. And I am very happy to report that they stayed true to their statement and they did not try to replace Kevin. Apparently, they turned down an offer for a reality show to try to find a new member of someone who could replace Kevin and allegedly, allegedly, A few other boy banders from broken up bands were interested in joining. I saw a couple blogs float around the names Lance Bass and Joey

Mary Gagliardi:
I

Kelsey:
Fatone.

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
Mary, what would you do if like they tried to bring an insane crime? I would have, I would have hit the streets and riot it.

Mary Gagliardi:
Well, they're already, they're trying to do that right now, I feel like, but whatever. Same, yes, I just, I don't think it was, Kevin is,

Kelsey:
The shade!

Mary Gagliardi:
Kevin is irreplaceable and they do not need to add anybody else into the blend. That is all I'm going to say. So, I'm going to say, I'm going to say,

Kelsey:
I totally agree. So

Mary Gagliardi:
Hehehe

Kelsey:
everyone is scared, everyone is nervous, but Fact Sheet Boys are trying to show that, yes, this is happening, but we're leaving the door open, it's gonna be okay, and we are already working on new music, so don't worry, we're not going anywhere. In other words, we're unbreakable.

Mary Gagliardi:
Is this me? Oh, oh, okay, sorry. So all this is going on, the boys are recording new music and they're in the process of kind of moving forward as a group, Sans Kevin. And at the same time, on October 2nd, 2006, we get our very first episode of House of Carters on E. This was a- If you don't know, this was a reality TV show about the lives of Nick and his four siblings reuniting in a house, living together in LA. Nick was getting ready for the new album and the other siblings were trying to kind of get into the industry, reconnect as a family. There were eight episodes and Nick actually did the theme song of the show, Let It Go, and It Is A Bop. You know, there obviously, there was a, I'm going to let that go. There is a very widely circulated clip. from that show of Nick and Erin getting into a pretty serious fight over basically Erin playing music too loud and Nick wanting to sleep. And it gets pretty intense. It kind of shows the dark side of what's going on in the Carter family and all those issues and their history. It's a little bit sad to see, especially today, like looking back and watching that.

Kelsey:
I avoided this show, to be honest. I didn't want... This is sort of like a preview to our next episode where we're talking about like parasocial relationships and how we project a lot onto the celebrities that we love and admire. And I didn't want to see this side of it. It made me really

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
sad to see that sort of dysfunctional part of his life. And it made me, I actively avoided the show because of that.

Mary Gagliardi:
I will say Nick was like the dad of the siblings and the, you know, he was not perfect in the show by any means, but like he acted like the parent. He definitely seemed to care about his siblings. And so again, just everything that's happened since then, it is sad to see. But on October 24th, 2007, so just about a year. later we get Unbreakable. And it received fairly positive reviews and opened at number seven on the Billboard 200. They released two singles from the album that we got Inconsolable and Helpless When... Yes, and Helpless When She Smiles. The boys are starting to write more on their albums. Now we're noticing they are credited on at least three of the songs, all four of them, as writers. And... This was the first of two consecutive Backstreet Boys albums as a quartet without Kevin. And this is also the first album that we get from the boys without any help or influence from longtime producer and friend Max Martin, who had worked on all their other albums. Kelsey, this was a hard one for me. What are your thoughts on this unbreakable era and we're missing two prominent figures from the boys realm?

Kelsey:
Okay, not to be like controversial, but this is one of my favorite albums. I still know every word to every song. Like put me out of my misery. This was like my AIM profile when my high school boyfriend and I broke up. LOL. Confessions of a teenage drama queen. Hey. I effing love In Pieces. And I don't care who needs it. Just leave me here in pieces. I feel like this is also like pre-Lady Gaga vibes. Like I get early Gaga vibes from this album. It's like the dancey clubby kind of,

Mary Gagliardi:
Backstreet

Kelsey:
I don't

Mary Gagliardi:
Boys

Kelsey:
know.

Mary Gagliardi:
version of that. Yes,

Kelsey:
Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
whatever. Yeah.

Kelsey:
I just, I love this album. I have been bopping all around town to it lately, like mouthing the words in public, I don't care I'm that girl at Whole Foods. It just, something about this album just does it for me. What are your faves?

Mary Gagliardi:
Like you already beautifully quoted something I already know. And I also really

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
like,

Kelsey:
know, I know, I know

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah. I also really like Trouble Is, I like Helpless When She Smiles. And we talked about this separately, but I, and I completely agree with the point that you made. This is like a Nick Carter album. His vocals are on display and they are on point. And like, how can a Nick girl like myself not, I am also a fan of Unbreakable. I was nervous about it, but.

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
I am a fan myself.

Kelsey:
Yeah, like Nick totally dominated this album and he sounds amazing. The emotion in his voice, I feel

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
like he really hit his stride. And I was quizzing myself, going song to song to see what I could remember. And I made an interesting discovery. Mary, did you already, you haven't covered this yet,

Mary Gagliardi:
I

Kelsey:
but

Mary Gagliardi:
deleted

Kelsey:
was this

Mary Gagliardi:
it.

Kelsey:
when

Mary Gagliardi:
It

Kelsey:
you were gonna mention it?

Mary Gagliardi:
was up when I talked about the boys writing. And I just deleted it since you had it. I thought that was fine.

Kelsey:
Okay,

Mary Gagliardi:
because it's cool.

Kelsey:
um, all right, let me start over. So I was quizzing myself going song to song on Spotify as one does. And I was looking at the song credits as one does to see what songs did they contribute to and not. And I made the most interesting discovery. There was an unlikely collaborator on the track, treat me right. It was co-written by AJ McLean and J.C. Chazee.

Mary Gagliardi:
Ooh,

Kelsey:
What?

Mary Gagliardi:
love the worlds colliding, the boy bandums colliding.

Kelsey:
seeing anything about that at the time, but like how cool I know JC is really behind the scenes as a producer and writer now and I just thought that was very cool and probably put to rest any potential lingering suspects, suspect, suspicion. What am I? Oh my God. Oh

Mary Gagliardi:
Suspected

Kelsey:
my God.

Mary Gagliardi:
beef?

Kelsey:
What is wrong with me today?

Mary Gagliardi:
Nothing,

Kelsey:
Any more coffee?

Mary Gagliardi:
nothing.

Kelsey:
Any perceived beef between BSB and NSYNC?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
So the year 2007 ends on a sweet note. In December, Howie and his wife Lee got married, becoming the third BSB married couple. Also, I think it's fun that Lee and Howie met when Lee was hired as the band's webmaster in 2000. When was the last time you heard the term webmaster? Like probably in the year 2000,

Mary Gagliardi:
Never.

Kelsey:
right? So fast forward to February 2008 and the Unbreakable World Tour kicks off. I saw this concert and met the Backstreet Boys for the first time at a meet and greet. Wait, actually, was it this year? This was when Shay mentioned that this was the first time they did sound checks, right?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
Or did she say it was the other one, this is us? Because

Mary Gagliardi:
I don't

Kelsey:
I'm

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
pretty sure it was 2008.

Mary Gagliardi:
Then just, yeah.

Kelsey:
Well, okay. Fast forward February 2008 and the Unbreakable World Tour kicks off. I saw this concert and met Backstreet Boys for the first time at a meet and greet. This was when they did the sound checks and then you got a photo with them. And I just remember Nick Carter like looking in my eyes and saying, hi, Kelsey. and I was like, and Brian was making like fart noises on the microphone and I thought it was the funniest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. I went by myself

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh my God.

Kelsey:
and like immediately made 18 friends of other crazy girls. But unfortunately, this was also the same year that I discovered bronzer and self-tanner and I had no restraint. So it's really embarrassing and unfortunately, I can no longer look at this photo with happy memories, but the highlight of this tour was undoubtedly the final stop in North America. because the boys really saved the best for last year. At the Palladium in Hollywood, LA, Kevin joined the group on stage during the encore. It's incredibly emotional. Everyone goes bananas. I feel like I would have fainted. Mary, what did you think about this reunion moment?

Mary Gagliardi:
Is this the one that I love?

Kelsey:
It's no, it's well, it's very similar. They kind of like copied what they did for the NKO TV.

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh, okay. Okay. We'll try to, oh my goodness, we will try to post a video of this on our Instagram because I just, I wish you all could hear the crowd. Every time I see one of

Kelsey:
Wait,

Mary Gagliardi:
the...

Kelsey:
sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. This is the video that you have here. This is from the New Kids on the Block Tour.

Mary Gagliardi:
Right, but I think it's still like,

Kelsey:
I think it's the same vibe.

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah, so I'm just gonna pretend, we're just gonna use, I'm just gonna go with it here. I wish you could hear the crowd. Every time I see this video, I stop hysterically because I'm a normal person and I'm just so grateful that the crowd, every time Kevin decides to make a surprise appearance or join the boys, they continue to give him the love and appreciation and support that he deserved. There was no bad blood. No one was holding resentment against Kevin for taking his time. And it legitimately sounds like Beyonce just appeared on stage or something.

Kelsey:
I know.

Mary Gagliardi:
The crowd goes so crazy. It's such a great moment.

Kelsey:
Shay said something really interesting in our conversation too. She mentioned that Kevin was sort of always behind the scenes. And then...

Mary Gagliardi:
She said, he was never really gone. She said he was always kind of, he was always coming back and was always still there, never gone.

Kelsey:
I was gonna say Mary, would you say he's never gone, never far,

Mary Gagliardi:
Well, he is a

Kelsey:
in our hearts is where you are?

Mary Gagliardi:
He is a writer on that song, so I would say yes.

Kelsey:
So now it's 2009 and yeah, no, BSB isn't slowing down. They're like that Lady Gaga meme that's like, bar, club, another club, no sleep, another club, bar. You know what I'm talking about?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
Except there's this more like album, world tour, another album, another world tour, get two days off to get married or have a baby,

Mary Gagliardi:
Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

Kelsey:
another album. So in September 30th, 2009, This Is Us was released. This feels a little bit of a return to form with the dancey vibes because they finally brought back Max Martin. They worked with Ryan Tedder, Neo, Pippel, and T-Pain. Bangers all around. It debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200, selling 42,000 copies in its first week of its release. And let me tell you, I was one of those 42,000. And side note, prior to the release, there was a whole scandal because four tracks were leaked on the internet. Remember when that was a huge deal?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
I feel like now if stuff gets leaked, people just release their stuff early.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
I mean, it still kind of sucks, but I don't know, you don't really hear about it as much anymore. So with this album, we got two singles, straight through my heart and bigger. Mary, do you have any faves?

Mary Gagliardi:
Straight through my heart was good. I don't make any sense, but we had Max Martin on this album, but I just didn't love this album. This is probably my least favorite of the albums,

Kelsey:
Really?

Mary Gagliardi:
yes, even with Max back. So again, I don't make any sense. But

Kelsey:
That's interesting.

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah.

Kelsey:
When I hear it, I definitely get like Lady Gaga vibes and like early Kesha vibes almost.

Mary Gagliardi:
I just, I have a beef with their decision to continually perform undone. Is

Kelsey:
Why?

Mary Gagliardi:
that from this album?

Kelsey:
Let me.

Mary Gagliardi:
The one where they do in Vegas, they always

Kelsey:
Why

Mary Gagliardi:
have

Kelsey:
do you

Mary Gagliardi:
to

Kelsey:
hate

Mary Gagliardi:
do.

Kelsey:
undone?

Mary Gagliardi:
I just, why do we do Undone? Tell me what to, why don't we

Kelsey:
Tell

Mary Gagliardi:
do straight

Kelsey:
me why

Mary Gagliardi:
through my heart? Like literally do like one of the big songs that we all know and love. I don't know, we could take this out, but I just, I don't,

Kelsey:
No, I like it.

Mary Gagliardi:
something

Kelsey:
It's

Mary Gagliardi:
about

Kelsey:
good to

Mary Gagliardi:
this.

Kelsey:
be controversial.

Mary Gagliardi:
This is a very, no, I see the eyes rolling

Kelsey:
Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
in the pit.

Kelsey:
it is undone. Yeah, you're right.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know what everybody thinks about Undone. I'm not alone here.

Kelsey:
Okay, well we need to hear Shayette, the funniest

Mary Gagliardi:
Hmm

Kelsey:
perspective on another song from this album that none of us like.

Mary Gagliardi:
PDA!

Kelsey:
Pity Shayette. I feel like we can add that

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah,

Kelsey:
there.

Mary Gagliardi:
she's right on the money. She's right there with it. Like why PDA? I'm sorry everybody, I'm losing my voice. What's happening? Oh my God.

Kelsey:
Clear your throat.

Mary Gagliardi:
Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm coughing into the mic. Okay, I'm back.

Kelsey:
Okay, so we'll include Shay's PDA quote there. Okay.

Mary Gagliardi:
What about Brian?

Kelsey:
I don't know if I want to make fun of him getting swine

Mary Gagliardi:
Okay,

Kelsey:
flu.

Mary Gagliardi:
fun, fun fact, not really

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
a fun

Kelsey:
feel

Mary Gagliardi:
fact.

Kelsey:
bad about it.

Mary Gagliardi:
Okay.

Kelsey:
I know it's like, but that was also a very sign of the times. Oh fine, we can mention it. Okay, also, did you know that when they were filming the bigger music video, Brian got swine flu?

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
my

Kelsey:
feel like

Mary Gagliardi:
God.

Kelsey:
that is such a sign of the times because that was like the biggest news story

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
in 2009, I feel like.

Mary Gagliardi:
we were afraid of swine flu. That definitely was

Kelsey:
Now,

Mary Gagliardi:
a thing.

Kelsey:
little did we know just

Mary Gagliardi:
How bad

Kelsey:
10

Mary Gagliardi:
it would

Kelsey:
years

Mary Gagliardi:
get.

Kelsey:
later. So exactly a month later, the This Is Us Worldwide Tour begins, and not unlike their DNA world tour,

Mary Gagliardi:
Mm-hmm.

Kelsey:
this tour lasted for literally ever and went on until 2011. That

Mary Gagliardi:
Mm-hmm.

Kelsey:
is

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh

Kelsey:
like

Mary Gagliardi:
my

Kelsey:
the

Mary Gagliardi:
god.

Kelsey:
long... It's crazy. These boys, Shay had a very, I thought, poignant comment that the boys sacrifice a lot every time they go on these world tours to

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
make sure everyone can see them, and that has always been the case. So in 2010, the boys filmed a segment on Oprah and Kevin also performed with the group. So that's the second time that he's performed with them since his departure, showing us that, you know, he's there, he's in the background, he's supporting them. And again, that door, that door be open. So on December 9th, 2010 was the first Backstreet Boys cruise. For those of you not in the fandom, let me tell you about my biggest regret in life.

Mary Gagliardi:
Mine too.

Kelsey:
Matt going on one of these cruises. So the Backstreet Boys would literally just have, it's just what it sounds like. It's a cruise for Backstreet Boys fans and the Backstreet Boys just to run wild. They'd interact with fans, they'd have little contests and games. Kara, who we caught up with at 90s Con, had this hilarious story about winning a Nick trivia and it's just, well, maybe we can insert a clip of her there if we

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
feel like there's a good one. And I just wonder like, why did I never go? My mom literally sent me an article about it and she was like, we should go to this. But I was like, I'm in college. Like I wanna go on like spring break,

Mary Gagliardi:
Uh

Kelsey:
like

Mary Gagliardi:
huh.

Kelsey:
with my friends. But Kara has the most amazing memories from the cruise. We need to let her tell this fun story. I might be answering a little up there. So yeah, regret. You know, it's like that pretty woman moment. Big mistake, huge. That's

Mary Gagliardi:
Mm-hmm.

Kelsey:
me every time I think about a Backstreet Boys cruise.

Mary Gagliardi:
Same.

Kelsey:
In May 2011, Backstreet Boys announced that they have left Jive after all of that back and forth and all the lawsuits. And this same year was a really hard year for the group because Brian was diagnosed with vocal tension dysphonia and dystonia, which is the tightening of the vocal cords. And this starts major tension in the group because Brian's voice just isn't what it used to be. And it seems like there is some denial on the group's part and some hesitancy to address it head on and what that means for the future of the group.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know this was a hard time to this was kind of a hard thing to watch. play out, watch happen, but it's worked out. And okay, I'm gonna just, yeah, that was a hard, this is a hard time, nah.

Kelsey:
I think we will touch on this in a little, we'll touch on this a little bit deeper when we get into the show much a made of documentary because obviously we have to spend 18 minutes talking about that.

Mary Gagliardi:
least. But now first we're entering the N-K-O-T-B-S-B era. If you don't know what that means, I'm sorry for that. But here's a little background on the origin story of the merging of the supergroups New Kids on the Block, N-K-O-T-B, and Backstreet Boys, BSB. And they first performed together at the Radio City Music Hall in the summer of 2010 and something must have really clicked there because a joint tour was announced later that year. And in November of 2010, We got the performance, so much of their AMA performance together for the first time. Okay. Oh, okay. So in the November of 2010, we got the boys performing together at the AMAs and they did a really cool interlope-tion, interlooping. They did a really cool kind of mix up of all their songs. We got everybody hanging tough from, okay, wait. So in November of 2010, we got a joint performance from this super group at the AMAs. And it was really cool how they kind of mixed and were able to do all their songs and it flowed really nicely. From the boys, we got everybody's Backstreet's Back, I Want It That Way and Larger Than Life. And then also we had new kids on the block, Hang Tough, Step by Step and The Right Stuff, both of their classics. And in March of 2011, just kind of like we're going through now, we have a poll and fan voting, but fans

Kelsey:
I'm sorry.

Mary Gagliardi:
were encouraged to vote online for their favorite tracks from both of the groups. And that would come out in yet another compilation album. So after 250,000 votes, after 250,000 votes, and the album, NKOTBSB, now you know what that was, now you know what that is, was announced on April 11th, 2011. It also features a couple new songs. There's an NKOT BSB mashup, All in My Head, and my personal favorite, Don't Turn Out the Lights. I love it. And on, and I already, and so on May 24th, 2011, that album was officially released and it debuted at number seven in the US. Pretty good for a compilation album. And,

Kelsey:
Yeah.

Mary Gagliardi:
At the same time, I need to confirm, I'm just going to take that off because I'm not sure what date it is. So the NKOTBSB album is released on May 24th, 2011. On May 25th, the NKOTBSB tour kicked off in America and they sold out in over 50 cities and it earned the title from Billboard's annual Top 25 Tours. It ranked number 17 on that list and it earned over 40 million shows. The tour lasted until June 2015.

Kelsey:
Sorry, it earned over $40 million. Yeah.

Mary Gagliardi:
Did I say shows? The tour earned over $40 million and lasted into June, 2012. It went, you know, expanded into Europe, Australia, and Asia. We also get a few of those iconic moments and appearances from Kevin Richardson, especially in LA. We also get a very special appearance from Kevin Richardson during the tour at the Staples Center in LA. Again, the crowd,

Kelsey:
We need to talk about this. Like,

Mary Gagliardi:
yes.

Kelsey:
so they're singing, I Want It That Way, and Kevin's iconic bridge is coming up, and they stop, and then Kevin just appears on another side of the stage. Now I can see that we're falling. And they all come in and embrace him. Oh my God, Mary and I cry. We

Mary Gagliardi:
I

Kelsey:
cry.

Mary Gagliardi:
cry every time I see it. We'll try to post a clip of this on Instagram. It literally sounds like Beyoncé has appeared on the stage as a surprise

Kelsey:
Okay,

Mary Gagliardi:
twist.

Kelsey:
you keep saying that, but I'm also like, I feel like Boxer Boyz fans were, like, we were there, not, how do

Mary Gagliardi:
Well,

Kelsey:
I say

Mary Gagliardi:
so

Kelsey:
this

Mary Gagliardi:
here, wait,

Kelsey:
in a way that's like.

Mary Gagliardi:
I'm going to cut out the part earlier because since we're talking about it in depth here, I'm just going to use that, either use the part from earlier or just I'm like re-recording

Kelsey:
Yep.

Mary Gagliardi:
here. You what I'm saying?

Kelsey:
Okay.

Mary Gagliardi:
But it sounds like it's, you know, Queen B, like the Britney Spears has showed up on stage, you know, I just, it's really nice to see fans still supporting and loving Kevin as he continues to take this time. Kelsey, what did you think of this merger and creation of this super boy band group? I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this, especially right now, because it is a hot topic in the fandom.

Kelsey:
I was just like, you know, I missed new kids on the block, but like all my older cousins like love them and they like went to the concert, had the best time ever. But I feel like if I went to this, no offense, I just would have skipped all the new kids songs and gone to the merch table. But the Kevin reunion would have made it all worth it. I feel like every time it comes on my TikTok, I weep. I weep with joy.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
But I mean, it's fine. I was happy that they got their moment. It felt almost... though like it wasn't for the BSP fans of our generation, it felt like it was targeting more of like the older fan, which is fine.

Mary Gagliardi:
Sure.

Kelsey:
Like just, it just wasn't something that got me super duper excited. Obviously though, I was happy to see that they're still out and touring and making new music.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, and I'm very like, I'm like the boys don't need anybody else, you know, they don't need new kids on the block, but you're right Kelsey, like it's, it's targeting, it's further expanding their, the age group and the reach and I see why they did it.

Kelsey:
Also, like New Kids on the Block is the reason why Backstreet Boys exists.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
Going back to our Lou Pearlman episode, the reason why Lou Pearlman formed the Backstreet Boys is because he was chartering a private plane for New Kids on the Block. And he was like, how are these kids so fricking wealthy that they could have a private plane? And that's why he started Backstreet Boys in the first place. So it felt like a very cool full circle moment.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, yes. And okay, sorry. So that's exactly right, Kels. And so throughout this 2011, 2012 period, we still have a few other random things going on. I thought this was weird. In August of 2011, China banned I Want It That Way. I don't

Kelsey:
Do you know

Mary Gagliardi:
know

Kelsey:
why

Mary Gagliardi:
why.

Kelsey:
that is?

Mary Gagliardi:
No. And it wasn't just that song. It was a list of like pop songs that were not allowed, but I'm curious like what that, cause don't they like perform in China? So like, do they not

Kelsey:
Right?

Mary Gagliardi:
sing that song or has the band been lifted? Like, I just need to know these things.

Kelsey:
I wonder why, like are they allowed to sing everybody? Because that's like the most like overtly, I don't

Mary Gagliardi:
Am I sexual?

Kelsey:
know.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah,

Kelsey:
Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
no, I

Kelsey:
if

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
it's like for being explicit, I want it that way, it doesn't even make sense.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know. So we'll look

Kelsey:
Like

Mary Gagliardi:
into

Kelsey:
the

Mary Gagliardi:
that.

Kelsey:
lyrics don't mean anything.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know. Seriously. Also on November 9th, 2011, we get another little solo venture. We get Sweet Howie D releasing his album, Back to Me. And in December of 2011, we got the second Backstreet Boys cruise. Again, a huge regret that we missed this for both of us. We are devastated. And this was, we actually had Kevin Richardson. appearing as part of the cruise. He wasn't on the first one, obviously, because he was on his hiatus. So it was great to hear that Kevin was back for that part of, like for part of the cruise, you know, because, oh, let me do that again. Sorry. And then in December of 2011, we get the second Backstreet Boys cruise. Obviously, the first one was a huge success and they brought it back for a second time. And again, huge regret. And it was

Kelsey:
regret.

Mary Gagliardi:
worth noting that while he was still on his... hiatus at this time, Kevin was actually there for a part of the cruise. So that's, you know, very interesting. I'm sure fans were wondering and speculating. What, what does this mean? Is he coming back?

Kelsey:
little bread crumbing.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes. And should I talk? Should I mention AJ and Rochelle? Yeah. And then on December 17th, 2011, AJ McLean and his wife Rochelle got married. And then on January 31st into 2012, now we actually get the really devastating news that Leslie Carter, Nick's sister, had passed away. And again, there's a lot of Carter family baggage and drama and history and... Nick received some criticism in the press for not attending her funeral. And I think that is inappropriate for people to criticize because we don't know the inner workings of their family and their relationships. And I know it hit him very hard just from what he said in interviews and in his book, but just was very sad to see that. Finally, let's pivot to something more positive on April 29th, 2012. After much of the speculation, the boys finally announced that Kevin would be rejoining them permanently during a show in London on April 29th. Oh, during a show in London. Hold on. Hold on, let me do that one more time, sorry. And then let's pivot to some positive. Let's pivot to some more positive news on April 29th, 2012. After much speculation. The boys finally announced that Kevin had rejoined them permanently during a show in London. What's your reaction to that? Woohoo, I agree.

Kelsey:
I was so excited. Finally, the group is back together. This is what everyone was waiting for. They left that door open and he finally walked through it. So AJ, this is interesting Mary, AJ and Brian revealed later that Kevin had been back with the band since 2010, two

Mary Gagliardi:
Huh.

Kelsey:
years before, before the NKO TBSB, that is a tongue twister, tour started and he'd been in talks to join the tour but he ultimately decided not to and they supported his decision and kept his return a secret until the tour was over which TBH, my PR brain is like, this was so smart because. We don't need another group like New Kids taking on the equity of that announcement. So this made it a moment that was totally ownable to BSB alone again, to continue that momentum. Do you see what I'm saying here? Like they're always trying, it was such a smart move, I think to make it totally ownable and not make it like, oh, I need to go see New Kids on the Block BSB because Kevin's there. They're like, no, like Backstreet Boys return to form, just the five of them. So in summer 2012, The boys moved into a house together all by themselves to work on their new album with producer Martin Tarif.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, Tarif maybe.

Kelsey:
They moved into a house together, the summer of 2012, the boys moved into a house together all by themselves to work on their new album with their producer in London. And at the end of the summer, they closed out Good Morning America's summer concert series in Central Park, their first performance as a five-some since Kevin rejoined the group, and the biggest crowd Good Morning America ever had. They still got it, bye-bye.

Mary Gagliardi:
I remember like setting my alarm and getting up and watching this and being like, okay, maybe like it'll be cool for me to publicly express my Backstreet

Kelsey:
I know,

Mary Gagliardi:
Boys love again. Like, okay,

Kelsey:
I know

Mary Gagliardi:
here we

Kelsey:
right?

Mary Gagliardi:
go. I'm ready for it.

Kelsey:
I was like, look at that crowd, I'm not alone.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
I'm like,

Mary Gagliardi:
exactly.

Kelsey:
you're so right. So the following year in 2013, the boys received a star in the Hollywood walk of fame and it was officially declared Backstreet Boys Day in Hollywood. And Max Martin was with them for this. But my only gripe is like, why the F did it take them 20 years to get their star? Like who could be more important?

Mary Gagliardi:
Well, you buy your star.

Kelsey:
But still, like why, why did it take that long?

Mary Gagliardi:
Maybe it just wasn't a priority. You know, I mean, this is what I've heard that Hollywood stars are bought for a lot of people, but I agree. I mean, they

Kelsey:
It's

Mary Gagliardi:
should.

Kelsey:
a news moment. So I feel like it was again, a strategic PR

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah!

Kelsey:
move. Like we're back, baby. We have our star. It's a nice photo op. Everyone can use that. It's like, Backstreet Boys, where are they now? They're actually back

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
together and about to come out with a new album.

Mary Gagliardi:
And like, I, you know, full disclaimer, I don't know if they bought their star, but that's just rumblings that I hear people do buy Hollywood stars on the Walk of Fame. So we'll never know. Or

Kelsey:
will

Mary Gagliardi:
will we?

Kelsey:
never know. So that spring they kicked off the in a world like this anniversary

Mary Gagliardi:
Thank you.

Kelsey:
tour in China and the tour consisted of over 150 shows until June 2015

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh my god.

Kelsey:
and listen say what you will about BSB but they are mmm what did I mean to say here?

Mary Gagliardi:
Kings of the longest tours.

Kelsey:
Yes! So like

Mary Gagliardi:
They are kings! Kings of long tours.

Kelsey:
listen say what you will about BSB but they're the kings of

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh my God, they sure are another two year tour all over the world. I found it interesting. I think this was their first tour that they started before the actual album came out. So like, you know,

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
you had to kind of assume you're going to like the album and, uh,

Kelsey:
I know.

Mary Gagliardi:
you know, assume they're going to do some of the old songs just in case you didn't and get your

Kelsey:
right.

Mary Gagliardi:
tickets.

Kelsey:
I mean, they're probably people like us, right? Well, they are people like us who are like, I know I'm going to hear what I want to hear.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
They're going to play all the bangers from Millennium and Black and Blue and all that stuff. So like, good. So in July, 2013, In A World Like This is released through the group's own record label, K-Bahn.

Mary Gagliardi:
Whatever

Kelsey:
Obviously,

Mary Gagliardi:
that means.

Kelsey:
it's an acronym of the first letters of their first names. But I'm like, why could you have made it like knob, like K-N-A-H-B with like a silent K or like bonk, like

Mary Gagliardi:
or like.

Kelsey:
B-H-A-N-K. I don't know, I feel like we could have workshopped that a little bit more.

Mary Gagliardi:
This is too much for me. After N-K-O-T-B-S-B, I can't do K-B-A-H-N-.

Kelsey:
Okay.

Mary Gagliardi:
I just cannot.

Kelsey:
It's an acronym salad at this point. So this was their first and only independent album since leaving jive in 2010 But this album was super successful. It debuted at number five on the billboard 200 making Backstreet Boys The first act since Sadie said

Mary Gagliardi:
shade,

Kelsey:
Sadie to

Mary Gagliardi:
whoever.

Kelsey:
say it to have nine US top ten albums And the only boy band to do so this is 20 years into their career and they are still charting and breaking records.

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh, wow.

Kelsey:
It's in their DNA one may say. So they also wrote a lot on it and the songs were based on their own life experiences and the album reached the top five in US, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, and Japan. That's incredible. So they were...

Mary Gagliardi:
Nope.

Kelsey:
I just dropped my phone.

Mary Gagliardi:
Okay. Nope.

Kelsey:
I'm so excited. She's so excited she's dropping her technology. So they released the first single in a world like this on June 25th. And the second single is Showing What You're Made Of in November 2013.

Mary Gagliardi:
And it's worth noting that, you know, on our Max Martin tracker, Max was credited on one track, Show Him What You Made Of. And yeah,

Kelsey:
Are we gonna talk about the music video, Mary?

Mary Gagliardi:
what? I don't, I don't, why do I not remember this music video?

Kelsey:
Isn't this when Brian has his shirt off?

Mary Gagliardi:
Well, you talk, you tell me about it. I don't

Kelsey:
I'm

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
googling really quick. Yeah, okay, so if you Google show him what you're made of

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
It's just the Vivo like on or like the YouTube

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
video still it's just Brian with his shirt off and It's a vibe.

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh

Kelsey:
That's

Mary Gagliardi:
my

Kelsey:
all

Mary Gagliardi:
goodness.

Kelsey:
I'm gonna say

Mary Gagliardi:
All right, everybody Google

Kelsey:
He

Mary Gagliardi:
the video. Get a load of it.

Kelsey:
he's literally showing us what he's made up

Mary Gagliardi:
That's so funny. So yes, we get, we get... Should we talk about this album or no? I know we, since neither of us are huge fans about this album, maybe we should just keep going.

Kelsey:
Hold on, let me Google it. Let me see if there's a favor.

Mary Gagliardi:
Is that Madeline? I like Madeline from Show Him What You Made Of. I mean, I know they don't say Kelsey or Marian at Kelce, so that might make it a little bit of a sensitive subject for you.

Kelsey:
We were talking about this before Mary's like, I like the song Madeline. I was like, no, I don't like any song that's named after a woman that's not Kelsey.

Mary Gagliardi:
Which I get.

Kelsey:
We were like, we need some Mambo number five vibes where they like change the name out every tour and just like maybe read off like the top 20 most popular women's name. I don't know, is Kelsey even on there? Or is Mary, I'm sure Mary's on.

Mary Gagliardi:
at least 100 years ago it was. But I also read that Kevin and AJ wrote, were the big main writers on Show them what they made, I also read that Kevin and AJ were the main writers on the track Show them what you're made of and they kind of used their children as inspiration, if you will, for that track, which I thought was kind of sweet. But

Kelsey:
Yeah, I don't love this album either.

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah,

Kelsey:
I'm just like looking at all the songs.

Mary Gagliardi:
there's a, you know, It's fine. It's just not one of our faves.

Kelsey:
Yeah, the deluxe version is cool because they have some live

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh yes,

Kelsey:
songs

Mary Gagliardi:
the-

Kelsey:
of them performing in Japan, which we always love.

Mary Gagliardi:
The one live is a really good one.

Kelsey:
Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
I like that one.

Kelsey:
it's so good.

Mary Gagliardi:
So also, so we're, let's see, we're in the show, What You Made of Aira. We're doing Aira's, Backstreet Boys Aira's tour. And so that came, the album came out in July, 2013 and in September, 2013, we got a Nick Carter autobiography. This is his self-title, this is his self-help book in which he chronicles some of his struggles with his dysfunctional family The unimaginable rigors of becoming a pop star at the age of 12. Like again, can't even wrap my mind about it. I do have this book. It is, it is a book. It is,

Kelsey:
It

Mary Gagliardi:
you

Kelsey:
is

Mary Gagliardi:
know.

Kelsey:
a book. That is such a good way to describe it, Mary. It's a book.

Mary Gagliardi:
I sent it to Kelsey for our book club so she could read it and she would agree it as a book but as a Nick fan I'll buy whatever he puts out.

Kelsey:
If you would like to join our Backstreet Boys book club, please DM us. It's this book and the book that Brian's first girlfriend wrote,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
How to Date a Backstreet Boy and.

Mary Gagliardi:
And AJ McLean's mother's book. I have that one as well. That's a good one.

Kelsey:
and Kara's book,

Mary Gagliardi:
And Kara's

Kelsey:
the Backstreet

Mary Gagliardi:
book.

Kelsey:
Boys 30th anniversary.

Mary Gagliardi:
So yes, DM us to join. So that's in September 2013. Kelsey and I were just fresh out of college at that time. And October 25, 2003. And then on October 25, 2013, we got a third BSB cruise. And this time we had heaven for the full time. And again, these cruises obviously did really well and they keep doing more as time goes on. And in April of 2014, we have Nick and Lauren getting married, Nick Carter and Lauren Kit Carter got married. And on September 2nd, 2014, we got a little Nick and Knight collaboration released. Kelsey Ditto and Nick and Knight is...

Kelsey:
It's the collaboration

Mary Gagliardi:
I'm sorry.

Kelsey:
between Nick and Jordan Knight of New Kids.

Mary Gagliardi:
So,

Kelsey:
So New Kids not going anywhere.

Mary Gagliardi:
yes, and Nick and Jordan hit it off during their time in NKOTBSB and decided to do a little duo album together. And there's a song called One More Time on that album that is very good. And it debuted at number 24 in the United States, which, you know, hey, we're not in boy band mania in 2013. So to even chart, I think is really good. You know, we're this is this is not a boy band. So the fact that they're still doing well, I love. And yeah.

Kelsey:
Yeah, it's interesting that you say this isn't a boy band time because 2014 was a big year for Nick. Obviously, he got married. He has this new collab out. And this is also when his show on VH1, I Heart Nick Carter, debuts. And it basically just chronicles his relationship with his wife, Lauren, right after their engagement, their wedding plans, and what that's like. And we see firsthand how Nick is sort of struggling with... feeling like a D-list celebrity. And they are finally picking up more momentum. They're touring a little bit. And we see Nick a little nervous to set a wedding date. I don't know how much of this was just for the show

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
or how much of it was real, but I have to suspect that some of it was coming from an authentic place because Nick shares very candidly that he doesn't wanna get married because he's worried he's gonna lose fans.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
And I thought that was just so interesting. I really love this show. Mary can attest, I stayed up until 4 a.m. over 90s

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
con

Mary Gagliardi:
we

Kelsey:
watching

Mary Gagliardi:
were hit.

Kelsey:
it all

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
in one night.

Mary Gagliardi:
I was sleeping soundly and Kelsey was plugging away on this.

Kelsey:
I couldn't stop watching it. I thought it was so cute. I love Lauren and Nick's dynamic. To me, it was very clear that Lauren is such a positive, positive influence on Nick's life in the best way. And I loved it. I thought it was so, I was like lolling and then I cried at their wedding, which I did not think I was gonna do. It was just really special. And we see these really wonderful moments between Nick and his bandmates too, when he's looking for advice on his relationship. He's... disappointing Lauren in a couple ways and falling short and feeling, you know, he's really busy and he's not really meeting her needs in some ways. And it's really sweet to see that side of their friendship with each other, how he gives him some really sage advice too. I really highly recommend that you watch it. It's on Amazon Prime Video.

Mary Gagliardi:
Love that.

Kelsey:
It's worth the $5. Okay, so now it's October 2014. So more than a decade after they first sued Lou Pearlman. the group finally receives their settlement from their lawsuit and get, just guess what the amount was.

Mary Gagliardi:
Not even

Kelsey:
It was

Mary Gagliardi:
close.

Kelsey:
not even close. It was $99,000, which sounds like a lot, but split five ways, not

Mary Gagliardi:
isn't.

Kelsey:
that much. In fact, it was less than 3% of what they asked for, 3.4 million. So they got $99,000 in cash, but they also got 34 audio tape reels, 26 CDs, seven studio mastering audio tapes, six sealed. posters, three audio cassettes, and one VHS tape.

Mary Gagliardi:
I want it.

Kelsey:
And this was significant because the recordings, yeah.

Mary Gagliardi:
I want the tapes. Give me the tapes!

Kelsey:
Give us the tapes! So this is significant because the recordings include some unreleased mixes, demos, and original materials, and the seven master recordings they received included I'll Never Break Your Heart and a few lesser-known songs. So I feel like finally all these years later, they're able to really close the book, turn the page

Mary Gagliardi:
It's...

Kelsey:
on the Lou Proman chapter.

Mary Gagliardi:
yes, it's not, I don't think it's adequate justice, but I think it is closure.

Kelsey:
it's closure and that's what they needed. Having that lingering is just like, ugh. So a year later in 2015, the documentary that we have referenced at length on this pod

Mary Gagliardi:
Many times.

Kelsey:
was released and it's called Backsheet Boys, Show Them What You're Made Of Documentary. So this was shot over the span of two years and it chronicles their entire career and journey making the in a world like this album and the subsequent world tour. This is incredibly raw. At times it's very hard to watch. We see each Backstreet Boy visiting each member's hometown to learn more about their upbringings, Boys Before Backstreet. We see some really serious discussions and conversations and tension in the group and sort of what the business behind making an album looks like, the fights that they go through for what songs make the cut. And what stood out to me most was this crazy fight between Brian and Nick. There is clearly some tension about who's the lead of the group. between Brian and Nick, and Nick head-on addresses Brian's vocal issues in a way that Brian doesn't seem quite ready to. There's an infamous fight between Brian and Nick where Nick is screaming blue in the face at Brian. He's like, I'm not afraid of you anymore. And it is so hard to watch because fans know them as frickin' frack. That's sort of their couple name. Shay had this really sweet memory that she shared. in our conversation from the first time she met the Backstreet Boys when Nick was just 12 years old. Listen to this.

Mary Gagliardi:
I love that story and this fight, I lose sleep over this fight. It haunts me. I think about it a lot. As we've already said, Brian raised Nick. Nick's parents signed over their parental rights to Brian when the Backstreet Boys started going. I think they were best friends. brothers for a long time. And also, Nick had a lot of reverence for Brian as he was kind of his father figure. I don't think you fight with someone like that if you don't love the hell out of them. I just don't think you get that energy and that impassioned and that reaction if you don't really give a shit about somebody. So that's how I try to see the positive of that crazy interaction.

Kelsey:
I also thought it was interesting because they're kind of like fighting over who's the lead of the group. But then AJ is just kind of sitting there like, bro, I feel like AJ was one of the leads too. Like

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
Backstreet Boys are so different in that they're not like in sync where just two people sing on all the songs. Like,

Mary Gagliardi:
Anyone could

Kelsey:
not that

Mary Gagliardi:
be

Kelsey:
that's

Mary Gagliardi:
a lead.

Kelsey:
a bad thing.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
Right. It's just different that they all sort of have their moment in the sun. So I just thought it was really interesting that Nick clearly had this sort of it almost felt like a competition type piece. And Brian, on his part too, he needs to relinquish some of those lead vocals because

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
he just doesn't sound the same. And it's really interesting to hear that this, Brian's vocal issues are so deeply personal and he needs to process that on his own, but it's also affecting the group as a whole. And Nick makes this really interesting comment about how producers are talking about it, but everyone's afraid to say it to his face. It just felt so crazy. vulnerable and I couldn't believe that we got to see that footage and that they didn't cut it out, that they didn't try to produce it away. So I felt like that was a very rare glimpse and a very authentic glimpse as a fan into what their group dynamic was like.

Mary Gagliardi:
Absolutely. So the documentary came out in 2015. Watch it if you haven't. It's on Prime, wherever. It's everywhere. Also in 2015, we get Nick doing Dancing with the Stars and finishing second, which is interesting because I feel like who can dance better than Nick Carter, like a pop star, but whatever. He also released another solo album, All American, in November of 2015. And then on April 1st, 2016, we get the film Dead Seven that premiered, and this is a post-apocalyptic zombie horror Western made for TV film written by Nick Carter himself. He also was in the film. He got AJ and Howie to appear in the film as well. He also cast some other notable several, he also cast several other notable boy banders from the likes of 98 Degrees, O Town, N SYNC, and All for One. And yeah, I've actually never seen it, but I think that was something he

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
had

Kelsey:
was

Mary Gagliardi:
wanted.

Kelsey:
gonna ask, have you

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
seen it?

Mary Gagliardi:
I'm gonna have to watch it. I just, I don't know about, I don't know if I, if I'm into post zombie horror Westerns, but I

Kelsey:
Should

Mary Gagliardi:
have,

Kelsey:
we start a movie club? We have a book club. Should we start a movie club?

Mary Gagliardi:
we probably should, we probably should. And then on May 10th, 2016, so just about a month later, we get, did we get the fourth?

Kelsey:
If we need to keep mentioning the cruises,

Mary Gagliardi:
Okay, okay.

Kelsey:
there's nothing new to say.

Mary Gagliardi:
Well, this was their first they went to Europe. But yes, okay. So then just keep going.

Kelsey:
So August 2016, we get some new music from the group, God, Your Mama, and Me with Florida Georgia Line. It entered the Hot 100 at number 92, which was the group's first return to the charts since 2007, which is kind of crazy. I'm not gonna lie, I don't love the country vibes. Mary, what did you think about the song?

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, you know, it just wasn't as much of my thing, but I think Florida George Line was really popular around that time, and so I see what they were doing, you know. I

Kelsey:
Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
see what they were

Kelsey:
I wonder

Mary Gagliardi:
doing.

Kelsey:
if they did like some market research and they were like, oh yeah, this little slap But what really got me excited

Mary Gagliardi:
Hehehe

Kelsey:
in 2016 was the announcement of their vegas residency

Mary Gagliardi:
Woohoo!

Kelsey:
So in march 2017 we got larger than life the residency at planet hollywood They played 80 shows between march 2017 and april 2019 and this was the fastest selling residency Ever and obviously a girls went Mary, what was your impression on Vegas?

Mary Gagliardi:
I mean, I don't think anything can top Vegas in the sense that the venues there are very small compared to like a stadium or a amphitheater, you know, whatever. If you are in the pit, you are literally getting like AJ McLean's sweat on you. Like you are as close as you can be. Even the seats are close, like feel close. It's just... such an incredible intimate venue, 10 out of 10 would highly recommend.

Kelsey:
So this residency, fun fact, is also how Mary and I both discovered that we were BSB fans. So Mary and I met in college. We had breakfast together every day for like a year, right,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes. Yes.

Kelsey:
Mary? Like breakfast and lunch, every single class together, same path, like all the things. For some reason, it just escaped us that we were both like huge Backstreet Boys fans. I went to the residency with my mom and I saw Backstreet Boys two nights in a row. And Mary was like, wait, I'm going, like, is the pit worth it? And I was like, Ay-yah!

Mary Gagliardi:
Yep.

Kelsey:
Like, get in the pit! Also, are you also a weird Backstreet Boys fan like I am? And that's how this podcast was born,

Mary Gagliardi:
literally

Kelsey:
so...

Mary Gagliardi:
the reinvigoration of our friendship. So we will be forever grateful for the Vegas connection.

Kelsey:
our residency. It was just like it was our residency. So in 2018, we got some new music, Don't Go Breaking My Heart was released as the first single for their upcoming DNA album. And they announced the DNA world tour on the same day they dropped their second single, Chances. I gotta say, I have so many remixes to both of these songs. I literally love it. Do you have any remixes? Do you have any?

Mary Gagliardi:
No,

Kelsey:
No, we can skip over.

Mary Gagliardi:
I like don't yeah, I'm a fan of don't go breaking my heart, especially

Kelsey:
In 2019, we got DNA's third single, No Place. The music video for this song is really cute. It includes the boys and their families and children. Clearly a very sweet song. They love to perform it. And finally, at the very beginning of the year 2019, we get the DNA album. And it's co-produced under RCA Records and the group's own label, K-BON, again,

Mary Gagliardi:
I'm going to cry.

Kelsey:
K-B-A-H-N, and distributed by Sony. So Don't Go Breaking My Heart did get some pretty great critical success. It was nominated for best performance by a duo group with vocals at the Grammys. So literally 30 years later, Backstreet Boys are still getting nominated for Grammys.

Mary Gagliardi:
and still getting snubbed. Ehh.

Kelsey:
so true. I mean, whatever, at least they were there.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
I feel like that's when I started to see a ton of coverage around them, like in People and like Pup

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
Sugar being like, oh my god, look how good the Backstreet Boys all look. Okay, so

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
moving on. Remember how we were-r still really mad that Backstreet Boys didn't perform the Super Bowl halftime show? Well, in 2019, they were in a commercial for the Super Bowl, which I guess is just as good to see them in this huge pop culture moment. They started in a Doritos commercial with Chance the Rapper. And I really wish that they would drop this remix to I Want It That Way because it's so good.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, I love it.

Kelsey:
In April 2019, again, Backstreet Boys are still riding this wave of nostalgia that the residency really emerged. They have a Grammy museum exhibit that's open to the public. And in May 2019, the DNA World Tour kicked off and it performed over 150 shows in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia. It's the never ending tour. It's still going on. I went with my mom in 2019 and also got engaged.

Mary Gagliardi:
Casual, she got engaged at the after party with the help of Nick and Howie. You need to lead with the headline, Kelsey. Okay? Her wonderful husband helped set up this whole proposal at this after party and they got to go on the stage and they sang, you know, Kelsey wants it Mike's way or we want it Kelsey's

Kelsey:
and

Mary Gagliardi:
way.

Kelsey:
sing, Mike wants it that

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
way. When they go, you are my fire. Nick goes, she is.

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh.

Kelsey:
Nick also called me Chelsea at first, and I was so nervous, but I like took the microphone out of his hand. I was like, it's Kelsey.

Mary Gagliardi:
I remember this Claire's day, Kels. I was up really early that morning for, I had to go somewhere for work and I saw your stuff on Instagram, like the pictures and the stories. And I just remember just being like stunned. Like how the hell did Mike pull that off? Like I can't, I'm so jealous. I can't believe that. Like I remember DMing you. It was like five in the morning. I was walking and it was dark out and I could not believe how cool that was. What an incredible memory and connection to the boys.

Kelsey:
Well, I was like, Mike, why are you doing this? Now they're gonna know that I've

Mary Gagliardi:
You're taken,

Kelsey:
taken.

Mary Gagliardi:
I know.

Kelsey:
I mean, they're all married, so like,

Mary Gagliardi:
Whatever.

Kelsey:
now I'm losing my voice. I mean, they're all married, so like, whatever. But I was like, I didn't know where to look. Like, Mike is down on one knee. I am flanked by Backstreet Boys. Howie's on one side, Nick is on the other. I'm like touching Nick Carter. I was like, I don't know. I blacked out, but it's a very sweet memory. We still can't believe it happened.

Mary Gagliardi:
Hold on, give me one second. Sorry, Brad and his mom wanted to know what my status was. So, okay, are you still

Kelsey:
Okay, we can wrap it up.

Mary Gagliardi:
there? No, no, no, we gotta finish. We gotta finish. Okay.

Kelsey:
We're close, we're close.

Mary Gagliardi:
Where am I? Okay. So also in 2019, we get another solo album from Howie D. Which one am I? And on September 6th, 2019, we get an interesting collaboration. We get Let It Be Me with Steve Aoki. I thought this was a good song.

Kelsey:
Uh, yeah, when it comes on at the club, which sometimes it does,

Mary Gagliardi:
That's a good

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
one.

Kelsey:
go f- F- F-

Mary Gagliardi:
She loves it. She loves it. So yeah, so then, okay, so you guys know we're in, you know, 2019, 2020. So on March 15th, 2020, the DNA World Tour was postponed due to COVID. But we knew they would be coming back. They did not. They did not abandon us. It was just a postponement. And also on November 20th, 2000, we got. Ava Dean. Avadean. Ava Dean. Which one is it? Ava?

Kelsey:
Ava Dean.

Mary Gagliardi:
On November 20, 2020, we got AJ McLean's Ava Dean Beauty, vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand, and with his longtime head of security and now business partner, and now business partner, Josh Navarro. AJ is an OG. He's been wearing nail polish since 1998. And he's said that. trend and laid the foundation for the machine gun Kelly's of today. But

Kelsey:
Yeah.

Mary Gagliardi:
he said his daughters are ultimately the inspiration for this brand. There is a Backstreet Boys collection of nail polishes through Ava Dean, which I believe

Kelsey:
which Mary has.

Mary Gagliardi:
I have. I don't know how to paint my

Kelsey:
She

Mary Gagliardi:
nails.

Kelsey:
shared some with me.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
She

Mary Gagliardi:
I sent

Kelsey:
shared some of them with me.

Mary Gagliardi:
them. The brand donates a percentage of the proceeds to the John Ritter Foundation, which is... benefits aortic health. He is a filithran... I'm just gonna take that out. And

Kelsey:
Philanthropic King.

Mary Gagliardi:
he's a thrillin'... And then finally, to wrap up 2020, you know, the tour is still on hold, but we get matches that came out as a collaboration with Britney Spears for the re-release of her album Glory. I just want to say that that wasn't... I doubt they recorded that together. I think it was done separately and I think it was done a while before that. But...

Kelsey:
What'd you think of it? Like, do you like it?

Mary Gagliardi:
I think the chorus is, I liked it. Anything with, I mean, with Backstreet Boys and Britney, like I almost fell out of my chair, but like,

Kelsey:
I know,

Mary Gagliardi:
it just.

Kelsey:
but I feel like it didn't get, I don't know.

Mary Gagliardi:
There was just a lot of confusion and controversy as like, because she was made conservatorship then and people were

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
wondering what she was doing, what she wasn't

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
doing, how old it was. So, but it's still a great song. I liked it.

Kelsey:
I mean, obviously I listen to it once a week, but

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
I feel like it could have been bigger than it was,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
but whatever, coulda showed a wanna. So 2021 was a busy year despite the panty. AJ released a solo song, it's called Love Song Love. It's an open support, it's like an open letter of support for the LGBTQ community. We love AJ and how supportive he is of all of his fans. And in June that year, Nick, AJ, Lance Bass, and Joey Fatone form back. sync to do a variety of small performances, often for charity. I really am glad that they are doing this for philanthropic causes, but I'm like, can we have workshopped the name a little bit? Like,

Mary Gagliardi:
I love seeing the videos of them like rehearsing it in someone's living room. They were like

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
doing the

Kelsey:
don't

Mary Gagliardi:
bye bye bye dance or something

Kelsey:
know. Yeah. Yeah,

Mary Gagliardi:
and

Kelsey:
it's cute.

Mary Gagliardi:
it was very cute.

Kelsey:
A little throwback to our Darren Henson

Mary Gagliardi:
Oh.

Kelsey:
at B. If you haven't listened to that, we have some really fun insight on the creation of the Bye Bye Bye dance. So it was very cool to see our Backstreet Boys do that. And in summer of 2022, the DNA World Tour resumes. And notably on June 22nd, Backstreet Boys performed in West Palm Beach where Mary and I are reunited. We met the boys and bring B-P-E, AKA Big Pit. Energy and if you are in the pit and you're not bringing the energy then don't talk to us because we'll be moving in grooving

Mary Gagliardi:
Trademark pending.

Kelsey:
also, Mary Trademark pending BPE we're gonna have merch that says BPE on it if anyone steals this I'll be upset But

Mary Gagliardi:
Mm-hmm.

Kelsey:
I will not take any legal

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
action

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, we will.

Kelsey:
I'll just shame you yeah

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
Mary's a lawyer we will find

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, we will. Also, I will shame myself, I fainted in the pit before the best part of the concert, aka the last few songs, had to be escorted out. I was not drunk. I literally fainted. I think I was dehydrated. We had maybe one beer the on my own and we, I promised her I would make it up to her when they announce their next tour which is,

Kelsey:
which better be soon.

Mary Gagliardi:
yes.

Kelsey:
But like, you know, so we just posted a clip of we were in the front row, like front

Mary Gagliardi:
front

Kelsey:
row

Mary Gagliardi:
like

Kelsey:
center.

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah not

Kelsey:
We have the best videos of this tour. So make sure you're following us on Instagram because we're gonna share some clips.

Mary Gagliardi:
Ooh.

Kelsey:
It's like insane. I posted one from. to celebrate the 24th anniversary of Iowan at that. We have this amazing video of Kevin singing his bridge and someone dm'd us. They were like, holy shit, like you're

Mary Gagliardi:
How?

Kelsey:
so close. And I was like, we died, literally. Like, literally, Mary almost

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, we, Mary blacked

Kelsey:
died. It's

Mary Gagliardi:
out.

Kelsey:
not hyperbole for once.

Mary Gagliardi:
We got there like seven hours before the concert and it was June in Florida. So, I mean,

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
who wouldn't have

Kelsey:
It was

Mary Gagliardi:
fainted?

Kelsey:
hot.

Mary Gagliardi:
Okay, let's

Kelsey:
Also,

Mary Gagliardi:
go.

Kelsey:
we were nervous. We were gonna meet them. So you

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
have to get there really early. We had to be the first ones in the gate. We made friends with all the people who were working at the stadium so we could be front row center. And then you're just sitting there and waiting. So we're gonna write our own book for our book club called How to Be Front Row at a Batchy

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
Boys Concert

Mary Gagliardi:
it's a skill.

Kelsey:
and stay hydrated in the process.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, and it requires taking an entire day of PTO, I will say.

Kelsey:
But Mary, what did you think of the concert? I thought it was perfect. I don't think I would change one thing about it. I was just the happiest I think I've been in a very long time

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes,

Kelsey:
at that concert.

Mary Gagliardi:
I loved it. They were so high energy. I don't know. I always text Kelsey. I'm like, how are they not tired? Because they do that show and they're just dancing and singing. A lot of them are outside and in the summer. It's hot

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
as hell. I just would say they could drop Undone. They could drop Undone from the set list. I love they do old songs. They do, I want to be with you and that's the way I like it. It's awesome.

Kelsey:
They each get their own little solo moments

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah, it's great.

Kelsey:
and they talk to the crowd a lot. We have this one video of Kevin literally pointing at us and I'm like, when I love you, do you remember us? And he

Mary Gagliardi:
Uh,

Kelsey:
looks

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah.

Kelsey:
over at us and smiles and he nods

Mary Gagliardi:
Just

Kelsey:
and I'm like, oh my God!

Mary Gagliardi:
yes.

Kelsey:
He probably doesn't, but whatever, he made our day.

Mary Gagliardi:
Um, and so yeah, that was like almost a year ago and we're really, um, depressed about it, but, um, good

Kelsey:
We

Mary Gagliardi:
news

Kelsey:
are.

Mary Gagliardi:
coming soon. And on October 14th, 2022, we even got some more music. This was a long time coming and there was a lot of delays and, uh, but we got a very backstreet Christmas. Um, they covered some of the classics and all the boys, um, wrote two originals together and happy days. Kelsey, how did you like the song awaited Christmas album?

Kelsey:
I loved it, it was fun, it was classic, I had it on loop.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah. Yeah. It was, and then, yes, I would love to take this one. And then, so that was October 14th, 2022. On November 5th, 2022, we got the, again, devastating news that Aaron Carter died. I remember I was in New Jersey for a wedding, got the alert, texted Kelsey immediately. We could not believe, it was just one of those. really sad situations. And the boys had a show in London at the O2, such a huge venue, that next night on November 6th. And a lot of people were wondering, are they going to cancel or are they going to go on? Will Nick not be a part of it? What's going to happen? And Nick really did put on a wonderful show from the videos that I can see. And Papa Kev touching speech saying, you know, Aaron was their brother too. And it was a very touching and sad moment. Again, it goes back to the idea that the boys really do not want to disappoint their fans, I think. And, you know, my heart went out to all of them.

Kelsey:
Yeah, it was awful. And for that to happen, like, right before the holiday season, it just makes it extra difficult, I'm sure, to process it all. And just knowing how complicated that relationship was and those family dynamics were just adds another layer of sadness and tragedy on top of it all, I think. So moving on into some of the holiday season was really big for Backstreet Boys. They had some really iconic big corporate partnerships. They partnered with Meandies to have a holiday collection. They recreated their iconic Rolling Stone cover just under 30 years later. As soon as I saw this Meandies ad, I was like, oh my God, that's the Rolling Stone cover that I post every year on Valentine's Day.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
So I thought that was very fun and nostalgic.

Mary Gagliardi:
You can skip

Kelsey:
I

Mary Gagliardi:
this,

Kelsey:
don't know if we need to

Mary Gagliardi:
yeah.

Kelsey:
do that. Yeah. On December 2nd, last Christmas was the boys first number one since I Want It That Way landing on the adult contemporary chart. So very cool. 30 years later. And then on December 14th, the Bacchus boys were supposed to have a holiday special on ABC. And it did not air due to allegations against Nick Carter. This case is still pending. We know that it's in the news a lot. Nick recently just filed a lawsuit around it, but because this is still an ongoing case, we don't want to get into it too deep. I'm sure it's something that we'll touch on later on in the pod, but we kind of just want to see where it ends up before we get too deep into it. But I think a lot of fans were disappointed to see that their long awaited return was sort of had this dark

Mary Gagliardi:
Cloud.

Kelsey:
cloud over it. But again, we don't want to get too deep into it. We're here for the nostalgia and the good vibes.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
So Backstreet Boys were also performing in multiple jingle ball shows across Detroit, New York, Boston, Miami, Tampa, Mary, didn't you? You didn't go to Tampa, right?

Mary Gagliardi:
I went to Miami, I went by myself

Kelsey:
Yeah, you went to Miami.

Mary Gagliardi:
and I went for Kelsenize, you know, we had to go represent us and it was, you know, very powerful because again, people were speculating, was Nick going to be a part of it? Where, you know, New York did not air their performance and their Jingle Balls show because of the allegations. And so I was just... proud to see how they still put on a hell of a show despite everything that had been going on. It was a really nice way to wrap up 2022 for me. Now we're four months into 2023 and we're in a five-day countdown at the time that we're

Kelsey:
Ha

Mary Gagliardi:
recording

Kelsey:
ha ha.

Mary Gagliardi:
this episode till we reach for 2020-23, the official 30th anniversary. The Backstreet Boys account has posted a few... teasers in the last couple days. We voted in the poll that we're asking for our Top 30 Backstreet Boys favorite moments. There were a lot of things on that list that we could select from. I definitely voted. I'm definitely hoping and praying for a residency announcement on the 20th, but I'm learning not to get

Kelsey:
Right.

Mary Gagliardi:
my hopes up.

Kelsey:
I think this is a PR ploy. Once again, my little PR brain never rests. My prediction is that at the end of this countdown clip thing that they're going to have a big announcement, I feel like they're not ready to announce whatever their big 30th moment is. We've heard them say in interviews they just want to take the day for themselves to relax. I mean, they've done so much this year. That's not too much to ask. I don't think... We are very lucky that we get as much of the Boushey boys

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
as we do, new music and in-person appearances and concerts as frequently as we do. Like we can't deny how for shit we are,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes.

Kelsey:
that they're still doing the damn thing for us. So I feel like I need to check myself when I'm disappointed,

Mary Gagliardi:
Yeah.

Kelsey:
but I do think that something big is coming.

Mary Gagliardi:
And

Kelsey:
I feel it.

Mary Gagliardi:
we will post any updates on our account. Thank you so much for listening to us and coming on this journey with us. We appreciate all of you. And we have a very exciting episode next week. And just make sure to follow and like and give us five stars. And thank you for all your continued support.

Kelsey:
Thank you all for coming on the Backstreet Boys journey. That is the final chapter of the trilogy.

Mary Gagliardi:
Yes, yes.

Kelsey:
Thank you for sticking with us. Next week, we have a really exciting guest. We're going to be talking about, it's gonna be a little different. So a little palate cleanser before we get into our next topic. But we thank you guys for sending all of your episode suggestions too. If there's something that you want us to cover or you wanna hear about, send us a DM at whentheypoppedpod on Instagram and we may just have an episode about it. Thanks everyone.

Mary Gagliardi:
Bye.

Kelsey:
Bye.