Happy 20th birthday to the one and only:

carson and pam  “the beautiful, Backstreet Boys” (please try and imagine Pam Anderson introducing them at the 1999 VMAs as YouTube and Google are not cooperating)

And to celebrate the career anniversary of the year, nothing more appropriate than looking back…

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Who would have thought that these boys:

Would turn into these boys:

Rehab stints, deaths, kids, heart surgerylawsuits, Broadway, solo albums, management issues, member quitting (and coming back!, fortunately), ever-changing chart cycles. Surprisingly – and rather sweetly -, no divorces.

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These boys have been through so much. There’s no other boy band in the worldwho have endured such long life in a world of one hit wonders and such short pop act life span. They survived the internet boom that changed the music industry as we knew it and changed labels’ agendas, which cut short careers of so many pop acts that were suddenly outdated.

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I have to admit, I did not like one bit their sound change in order to stay current and commercial. But the Max Martin + Denniz PoP + 5 beautiful voices coming from such lovely, somewhat normal (that’s a relative concept) guys formula could not go wrong. Especially having appeared in the 90s! When music scenes and genres were a lot more distinct – in every sense: geographically, fashion-wise, attitude-wise*.

And it doesn’t matter how many “This is (NOT) Us” they release, how much they change their music and how many incredibly  mercenary tricks they pull (Cruise, VIP passes, FAN CELEBRATION STREAMING PASS!!!!, etc) totally killing their credibility with the “old” (sensible) fans. Part of me will ALWAYS be 13 and ALWAYS feel that warmth everytime All I Have to Give starts. As Long As You Love Me, Anywhere for You, Quit Playing Games (in English OR Italian!), I Want It That Way, More Than That…even some of the latest songs! start playing.

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You’ve made me cry, you’ve made me smile, you’ve made me bake a cake for Brian’s birthday back in the days, you’ve made me endure hours outside stadiums, you’ve made me have my walls covered in posters.

For all the times you made me happy. For all the love. For all the melodies. For all the warmth in my heart.

Happy 20th, boys.

*All of these are arguably still distinct but it seems to be a lot more forced upon people – especially artists, who then influence their fans – than it used to be.

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