The Backstreet Boys are officially all about that bass. The iconic boy band will duet with Meghan Trainor on Thursday night’s episode of ABC’s Greatest Hits, and Billboard can reveal that further collaborations are in store between the two chart-toppers.
“Her and I have been talking since filming the show about us hopefully writing with her,” says A.J. McLean. “She’s such an amazing writer, so we’re working it out and hopefully when her schedule permits, we can do it.
“She goes on tour in July, so it’s going to be rough, but I already told her I’ll pop out to her on tour and we can write somewhere on a day off. She’s totally into it!”
The series celebrates the biggest hits of the last three decades, and with this week’s episode focusing on the ’90s, Trainor joined the heartthrobs to perform a rendition of their 1999 smash “I Want It That Way.”
Getting to film two takes of the song alongside the pop idols, Trainor was pinching herself but says the “goofballs” of BSB helped calm her nerves. “My first band that I loved was the Backstreet Boys,” Trainor says before hitting the stage with the group, in an exclusive preview from Thursday’s show. “My pop star crush was Brian [Littrell]. I was gonna marry him and my mom was gonna marry him. That was our husband.
“The day he got married, I remember we were like, ‘Nooo!’” she laughs. “Singing with the Backstreet Boys is definitely a bucket-list moment.”
“She’s absolutely a fan and we’re absolutely a fan,” McLean tells Billboard. “She was like a teeny girl because she was fangirling, which was so sweet. All of her peeps were awesome and she was just a really genuine person. All of the things I’ve heard about her were true.”
The group has rarely performed with female artists since dueting with Shania Twain on “From This Moment On” for a 1999 CBS special, then joining Aretha Franklin onstage for a VH1 tribute in 2001 — both produced by Ken Ehrlich, who is also behind Greatest Hits.
So what kind of sound can we expect from the potential BSB-Trainor collaboration? McLean’s favorite tracks from the 22-year-old’s latest record Thank You might be an indication.
“If I was going to perform any of her songs right now, it would be ‘Watch Me Do,’ which is the first track on her album, or ‘I Love Me,’” says 38-year-old McLean, who is also preparing to release his solo record later this year. “Both of those songs are amazing and I would love to do one of those with her.”
Trainor isn’t the only chart-topper BSB is mixing things up with. The group just recorded a track with Florida Georgia Line for the country duo’s upcoming record Dig Your Roots, due in August.
Check out what went down behind the scenes on Greatest Hits in our exclusive clip below.