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Happy sweet 16, Backstreet Boys: 16 reasons we love 'Millennium'

Where were you on May 18, 1999? If your answer isn’t “kneeling in front of my boom box and weeping as I heard each track on Backstreet Boys’ Millennium for the first time,” then maybe this post isn’t for you. To celebrate today’s momentous anniversary—a sweet 16 is a big day in any young album’s life—we’re highlighting 16 reasons we loved and will always love Millennium.

The second U.S. album to come from the Greatest Boy Band of Our Time is perhaps best known for blessing all of our lives with “I Want it That Way,” but any true Backstreet fan knows the album offers so much more. I mean, “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now”? “Back to Your Heart”? You guys, “The Perfect Fan” is a song dedicated TO THEIR MOMS. I’m swooning already.

So, today, of all days, let us reflect on the unbridled joy Millennium brought us 16 years ago and every day since, because, like Rose said to Jack after selfishly allowing him to freeze to death in the Atlantic Ocean, I’ll never let go—and neither should you.



There were high expectations for a second Backstreet Boys album, and Millennium delivered.

How on earth could anyone follow up “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “As Long As You Love Me,” “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” and “All I Have to Give”? ALL OF THOSE SONGS WERE ON THE SAME ALBUM. Nothing could live up to that, right? WRONG. Backstreet Boys pretty much spit in the face of “expectation” and dropped the bomb that was “I Want It That Way” on the world. Bold move, BSB.

They helped us face Y2K head-on.

16 years later, it may seem like Millennium was a cutesy choice for an album name, but in 1999, it was the brave choice. Back then, we were all taught to fear the unknown of the new millennium—would clocks suddenly just explode and we’d all become mole people? MAYBE. But us Backstreet fans were at least comforted knowing that no matter what, if the new millennium sounded even the tiniest bit like the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium, we’d all be okay.

Backstreet Boys kicked off their new album with a song for their fans, and we all felt so special.

It’s a Backstreet Boys fan’s greatest dream to feel like the boys are singling her out, and “Larger Than Life” was a simple yet effective way to make every girl keeping the Backstreet Pride alive very, very special. And it was right there at the top of the album! It was as if all our time spent harassing “N-STINK” fans during recess had finally paid off.

Brian Littrell’s angel person voice still gives me butterflies.

Though I love all the Boys, it was customary at the time to have a favorite. This favorite was yours and yours alone and if any of your friends suddenly switched to your favorite, you ended up ignoring them for 7 to 10 days. It was a weird time. Brian “B-Rok” Littrell was my self-proclaimed favorite and the love of my life for a short time. His voice is still chill-inducing. 14-year-old me replayed his verse on “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now” repeatedly, just letting my stomach do flips as Brian claimed his place was always beside me. He was always singing to me directly, right? RIGHT?

Because “It’s Gotta Be You” still kills at parties.

Okay, so maybe they’re parties I’m having alone in my room, but that song kills nonetheless.

They made airports sexy.

Making airports sexy is no easy feat. Most of the time you show up to the airport already exhausted from hauling your luggage around, the bathroom is basically a horror movie from the 1970s, and you’re probably sweating without knowing why. It’s tough in airports, is all I’m saying. But not for BSB! Like a 14-year-old girl who doesn’t know how beautiful she truly is, the guys took airports and gave them the special treatment they always deserved. After “I Want It That Way,” you could never walk into an airport and not immediately want to break out into 5-part harmonies and choreographed group dancing. We have BSB to thank for that.

When Nick Carter belts “don’t wanna hear you say,” our faces melt off.

No, seriously. Go listen to “I Want It that Way” again and pay attention to Nick Carter around the 2:24 mark. Oh, I’m sorry, now your face has completely melted off. It’s a choice all BSB fans have lived with for 16 years.

Howie “Sweet D” Dorough sings about “Spanish Eyes” and we don’t even care about what those are.

Howie believes “Spanish Eyes” are a thing, so we all believe.

Because they rode hover boards during the “Into the Millennium” tour and it was the greatest spectacle of our time.

I’ve been a ride or die Backstreet Boy fan since I first saw them rolling their abdominal muscles in the rain during “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” so suffice it say I’ve seen them live in concert plenty of times. No matter how many BSB concerts I’ve attended (more than appropriate, probably), seeing the five guys of my dreams fly out on hover boards will always be a moment. Making young girls believe in love AND flying across stadium crowds?! WHAT CAN’T THESE GUYS DO?

A.J. McLean whispered “damn, I love you” and I became a woman.

I was 14 years old when Millennium came out, but when A.J. whispered “damn, I love you” at the end of “No One Else Comes Close,” I, and every girl listening, knew exactly what was up. From that day forward, I saw the world not as a young girl, but as a WOMAN. Puberty and A.J. McLean, everybody.

There’s no way to listen to “The One” and not get up and dance.

Put on “The One” right now and try not to move. You failed, didn’t you? TYPICAL.

Even when their lyrics made little to no sense, we still had feelings about them.

Ever actually listen to the lyrics of “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely”? Well, don’t. “Eyes of stone observe the trends/They never say forever gaze if only/Guilty roads to an endless love.” Does anyone know what this means? Does anyone care? It didn’t matter what the lyrics were; we were all crying into our cargo pants just thinking about our guys in so much pain.

“Don’t Want You Back” showed a feisty side to BSB, and we all liked it.

You guys, it even samples “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” Why this was never released as a single remains one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

They finally gave Kevin Richardson some solos and we all became better humans for it.

Prior to Millennium, Kevin was relegated to having slick eyebrows in the background, but in the group’s second outing, Kevin got handed some major solos and SLAYED. Singles “I Want It That Way” and “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” were both elevated to jam status thanks to finally hearing Kev’s sweet pipes.

Because listening to Millennium will always make us feel like a teenager again—in the best way possible.

Listening to an album from when you were younger makes you feel good inside, you just can’t help it. For many of us, Millennium came out long before we ever had to worry about things like “taxes” and “paying for things,” and frankly, it was awesome.

Thanks to Millennium, we all have this dance move in our back pocket:


It comes in handy, I swear.


TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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