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I would start this post with “Backstreet’s back, alright!” but here’s the thing: They never left (hence the album titled Never Gone). The boys have been a part of our lives for the past 20 years, and now, after a week of debating the many factors that make up a good boy band — the look, the music videos, the dance moves, the vocal ability, and the live performance — it’s official: You all have named the Backstreet Boys as the greatest boy band of all-time.

The Boys started strong, beating out Boyz II Men, New Kids on the Block, New Edition, NSYNC and One Direction for Best Group Appearance (with 42% of the vote) on the first day of Boy Band Battles. On Day 2, they dominated Best Music Videos with 46% of the vote. They crushed the Best Dancers category with 65% of the vote, and continued their domination with Best Vocal Moments (50%) and Best Live Performances (39%).

So now, let us celebrate by discussing our favorite things about AJ, Brian, Kevin, Nick, and Howie:

First things first, they can sound like this at the drop of a dime.

And then there’s the fact that they work hard to show their fans how much they love them. Between Backstreet cruises and concert after-parties, they make themselves accessible to their supporters in a big way.

But most importantly, I think we can sum up everything we love about BSB by talking about how much they genuinely love what they do. Yes, they can dance and sing and make awesome music videos, but what really sets a Backstreet concert apart — speaking as someone who saw her fourth concert two weeks ago — is how much fun they have on that stage. Their faces light up during a show, and the crowd can’t help but feel the same sense of joy. Their love for what they do is infectious, and it’s what makes them so good. It’s also why they’re still around and still putting out new music we can’t get enough of. Bottom line: They want to make music, and they don’t let their egos get in the way. Their happy place is in the studio and on the stage, which is what makes my happy place being in the crowd.

The difference between a BSB concert in 2000 and one in 2013 isn’t much. The venue might be a little smaller, and the theatrics have been turned down a bit, but the rest of it is the same, if not better. After 20 years of brotherhood, they’re more comfortable than ever on stage. They keep things casual, joke around with the crowd, and make the fans feel like they’re a part of the experience, just friends along for the ride.

So when you take how very, very good they sound and add that element of pure, unadulterated love, there’s no boy band better. And the idea that you all have stuck by them and now, 20 years later, voted them the greatest boy band of all-time? Well, that’s what makes you larger than life.

Backstreet Boys
  • Music