It’s time for a Howie appreciation post. Growing up with the Backstreet Boys, it was impossible for me to really see and understand all that Howie brings to the group, vocally, personally, and from the business standpoint. But as we’ve gotten to know the boys more, and as they’ve become more open in sharing about the ins and outs of the group and the business side of the music, it’s become clear that Howie is a hugely integral part of the whole Backstreet Boys operation. In many ways, he’s the foundation of BSB.
Vocally, Howie has a beautiful voice that we’ve been fortunate enough to hear more of in later years. He can hit that high note better than anyone and he looks damn good doing it. We know he’s a fine wine. But on top of his solo voice, Howie brings the harmonies that create the signature sound that the boys are known for in their music. That beautiful voice lends itself so perfectly to the harmonies. And those harmonies are HARD. And Howie does not get near enough credit for it. Not only is he backing the guys vocally, but he’s boppin around and dancing all at the same time. And he does it flawlessly.
Vocals aside, Howie really can be the peacekeeper of the group. There’s a reason Howie’s nickname is Sweet D. The guys have always said that Howie has the sweetest and kindest personality. He’s the type of person that does anything for those he loves and appreciates. He’s been a good friend and confidante for the guys and it shows in their love for him and for each other. And at times, he seems to keep the guys grounded. He’s probably helped resolve or has mediated a few disputes in the past.
From the business perspective, it’s no secret the guys have had their share of issues. Thankfully, (at least from what we know), most of that has resolved and that is due in large part to the guys taking more control of the business aspects of the music industry. The guys have shared in the past that Howie has had more involvement in the financial dealings of the group than the others. The rest of the guys have entrusted Howie with this important responsibility and he seems to have taken good care of that for the group as well.
Clearly Howie brings a whole lot to the group. But outside of the group, he’s had a lot of success as well.
First of all, Howie is a great business man. Howie owns a business with his brother named Sweet D Inc which focuses on Real Estate. They are currently working on a huge condo complex in Florida. Howie he began his real estate ventures years and years ago, when the boys were still at their peak millennium date. He’s remained a businessman on the side, and it’s been quite successful in this realm as well.
Another business venture that Howie has undertaken in the past is producer and songwriter for other artists, such as Mandy Moore, George Nozuka, and Katelyn Tarver. Howie has done a lot of writing on the Backstreet Boys album over the years as well, possibly writing on more songs than any of the other guys. Howie also serves as a manager for a group called Neverest, a Canadian pop vocal group. He even appeared in one of their music videos. Along with the guys, Howie also mentored artist Krystal Harris, who had a big song Supergirl which was on the Princess Diariessoundtrack. We love seeing Howie share advice and guidance with new talent!
Howie’s also been pretty active with charitable causes. A big one he’s been involved with is the Dorough Lupus foundation that he co-founded with his siblings. In 1998, Howie lost his sister Caroline to Lupus. He has spoken on this topic numerous times and has done a lot of work to support research and awareness around Lupus with his family. Outside of that, he’s also supported a number of organizations in conjunction with the boys and on his own such as the Coalition for the Homeless, Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas, The Animal Foundation, and hurricane and tornado relief efforts among other charitable causes. We know the guys have big hearts and Howie is no exception.
Musically, Howie’s done a number of solo projects. Although we love him as a member of our favorite group, he first auditioned for the group Menudo but thankfully for us, he didn’t get the job.After the boys were established, all of the guys went off to do solo projects. Howie has released 2 albums on his own. First – Back to me, released in 2011. This album was released in the US and Germany, and included some fun upbeat tracks like 100, Back to Me, and Pure, which he co-wrote with Nick Carter. Howie also did a song with Japanese recording artist Shirota Yu that was released exclusively in Japan. This album also got him a gig opening for Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale South American tour dates. That‘s a show I would have loved to see!
More recently, Howie put out a solo album accompanying a musical that he cowrote called Which One Am I? This musical debuted in Nebraska and was autobiographical in nature, detailing some of the events that Howie himself experienced as he grew up. He talked about having difficulty figuring out where he fit in. It sheds a little bit of light on how he grew up, and how he came to be the wonderful man that he is today.
Prior to becoming a successful Backstreet Boy, Howie also did some acting. He had small roles in Parenthood, Cop and a Half, Welcome Freshman, Constellation, Roswell, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He’s also voiced some cartoon characters, most recently on the show Dora the Explorer, and played himself on a number of television shows and a few movies. Let’s not forget his unforgettable role in the next zombie apocalypse boyband movie Dead 7. I won’t give too much away, in case you haven’t seen the film, but Howie played his role very well.
And of course, Howie’s most important role, family man. Howie has a beautiful family with wife Leigh, and his two sons James and Holden. As with all of the guys, it warms my heart to see them with their families and enjoying the life that they deserve. Howie is an amazing human being who has given so much to his community, to his fans, to his family, and to music in general. We are so thankful that we can call him a member of our favorite band!