Today the Backstreet Boys celebrate 29 years and on days like today, I like to reflect on a few things.
As Backstreet Boys fans, we are HELLA lucky. Our boys never left us. They never called it quits when times got tough. They never just decided to go live on the beach and never perform together again because they weren’t selling out arenas. They didn’t break up in their prime for solo careers.
They’ve done solo work, but they always were together. Kevin even came back. I saw his eyes well up on the 2011 cruise when he surprised us. He stood at the top of the boat, looking over the Lido deck, watching fans and had tears in his eyes.
We are SO freaking lucky.
They may have never won a Grammy Award or had a Grammy-winning solo career, but they still busted their ass through the days when people made us feel like idiots for still being Backstreet Boys fans.
Now? It’s cool again, but we were Backstreet Boys fans when being a Backstreet Boys fan wasn’t cool.
That’s the main thing I’d like to point out. They never left us. I have this feeling they may never leave us, even when they are old and grey, they are going to be together still, singing “Shape of My Heart.”
And because they never left us, they changed my life forever.
I became a Backstreet Boys fan a month before I graduated high school. I had no direction. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know who I was to be honest. I was heavily depressed, but they kept me going. Their music kept me alive. Finding out more about them gave me a purpose. I learned how to build websites by building BSB fan sites. I found my love of writing because of Backstreet Boys fan fiction.
And while everybody has probably heard the story that Nick talked me into going back to college, all of that happened because I was a Backstreet Boys fan. I became a journalist and won awards. My concert photography landed me a side-gig job of being a concert photographer, a dream of mine.
And most importantly, those five guys introduced me to my best friends and some of the closest friends I never thought I would have.
Over the years, friends come and go. You meet people online who aren’t who they really seemed. All friendships aren’t meant to last forever. People come and go out of your life for a reason, but I’m thankful that the Backstreet Boys have brought girls into my life that have become my sisters.
My best friends Julia, Lisa, and Mara are sometimes the reason I still keep going and keep me sane. My other close friends Hannah, Angie, Teresa, Jen, Andie, Emilia, Amber, Melly, Jodi, Carrie, Laura, and people like Nicky, Brittany, Christal, , Ashley, Dawn, Tracy and those that I’m getting closer to and have met over the last few years like Brandy, Allison, Brianne, Danielle, and so many more. There’s so many to name and I don’t want to leave anybody out, but if you know that I’m going to always be there for you at any time, you know you’re on my list.
It was a HARD two and a half during COVID not seeing the two things that make me the happiest – Backstreet Boys and my friends. This past weekend I wanted to cry when the boys finally took the stage. Sure, I didn’t cry during VIP (I did get misty-eyed when I saw Kevin before the meet and greet).
To some, Nick, AJ, Brian, Kevin, and Howie might just be a boy band, but to girls like me, they are my everything. They are who I turn to when I’m depressed. They are who I base my vacations on. They are who my friends and I go see when we get together (even though we get together to do other things, too).
Happy 29th anniversary boys. Hopefully I’ll be with you with whatever the hell ya’ll do for the 30th.