Backstreet Boys stopped by the Bravo Clubhouse on Tuesday night (Feb. 11) to spill the tea about competing with *NSYNC during their late ’90s/early 2000s heyday on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
After one caller pointed out that both boy bands were created by now-disgraced music executive Lou Pearlman in the 1990s, Kevin Richardson revealed there was at least one *NSYNC hit that was originally offered to the Boys.
“Basically the same producer — Max Martin — that did a lot of their songs did our songs, and they offered us…I’m pretty sure it was ‘Tearin Up My Heart’ and we turned it down,” he said. “But look, the thing with us and *NSYNC, we were brothers; we were just on different teams. It was healthy competition.”
Brian Littrell added that, despite their friendship, the two groups were often pitted against each other by their management. “So let’s break it down really, though,” he chimed in. “Because I’m just gonna be all honest here, OK? When we said no to things, they got the yes. So you’re talking about nine years of, like, busting our butts, working and traveling the world, and then when *NSYNC came along it was like, if we said no to something, it was threatened to us that ‘Hey, you know, somebody will say yes.’ That’s how it happened.”
During their sit-down with Andy Cohen, BSB also revealed that they’re currently working on the long-rumored Backstreet Boys Christmas album, with Richardson promising, “It’s happening! You’re not gonna have to wait more than a year.”
Check out more from the Backstreet Boys’ WWHL interview — including their thoughts on a potential joint tour with *NSYNC — below.