Backstreet Boys are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. In 2006 Richardson left the group to pursue other interests leaving the band as a four-piece, but the remaining members did not rule out a possible return of the singer.
They rose to fame with their debut album, Backstreet Boys (1996). The following album, Backstreet's Back (1997) continued the group's success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their album Millennium (1999) and it's follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). After a three-year hiatus, the band regrouped and have since released three albums: Never Gone (2005), Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009).
The band has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the biggest selling groups of all time. According to the US Billboard 200, they are the first artist since Sade to have each of their albums reach top 10 on the chart.
The Backstreet Boys' sixth album Unbreakable, was officially launched on October 30, 2007. It was their first effort since Richardson's departure. While the album had received positive reviews, it did not perform as well as its predecessor, Never Gone. Unbreakable opened at #7 on The Billboard 200, selling 81,000 copies in its first week of release. Two weeks after its debut, the album dropped out of the top 100. However, it performed well in Japan, debuting #1 on the Japanese Oricon weekly album charts and staying there for another week.
On July 25, 2007, the first single was confirmed as "Inconsolable," a piano-driven power ballad similar to Never Gone's "Incomplete." It reached #21 on the US Adult Contemporary Charts, but managed only #86 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Helpless When She Smiles" was the next single to be released from Unbreakable. It only managed to reach #52 in the US Adult Contemporary charts and in turn failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
The group went on a 45 date World tour to promote Unbreakable in Tokyo, Japan on February 16, 2008. Dates were confirmed for the tour being titled the Unbreakable Tour in Australia, Japan, Mexico, UK, Europe, Asia, Canada and The United States. They recorded a tour DVD in London's The O2 Arena which can be seen on YouTube, but has yet to be released. Richardson rejoined the rest of the band in Los Angeles at the Palladium in Hollywood on November 23, 2008 for the last North American stop of the Unbreakable Tour.
In 2009, the group began working on a new album that was released on October 6, 2009, called This Is Us, and were confirmed to be working with Max Martin, OneRepublic singer Ryan Tedder, RedOne, Ne-Yo, Brian Kennedy, Pitbull, Claude Kelly, Jim Jonsin, Eddie Galan, T-Pain, Rami Yacoub, Kristian Lundin and many others.
It was announced on the official website that Sony would be releasing a second Backstreet Boys greatest hits album on January 26, 2010. The compilation is titled Playlist: The Very Best of the Backstreet Boys and is part of a series of similar Playlist albums issued by Sony Legacy.