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July 30, 2004

Indianapolis Star

Backstreet's back, all right, but the mega-selling boy band plans to re-enter the pop world in low-key fashion -- with lower expectations. The Backstreet Boys -- who have sold an industry-wowing 68 million albums -- say they will put out their first album in three years either this year or early next year. That album will be more diverse, with more rock and more hip-hop/urban sounds than on albums past.

And the arena-packing Boys will introduce the album and reintroduce themselves to U.S. audiences with a series of intimate shows at 1,000-seat venues. "That way you can really see them sing, but there'll be some choreography like the Temptations or the Four Tops. The idea is to reconnect with fans without the flashes and the booms," says band manager Johnny Wright, back with the band after being dumped along with famed boy band creator Lou Pearlman several years ago.

All three Boys said the new album would be far more eclectic than the straight pop diet they've been feeding their mostly teen fans since hitting the scene in 1996. Among the collaborators for the new album: R&B group Boyz II Men and Nashville faith-based a cappella group Take 6.

None of the Boys expected the 1.6 million in sales their last album, "Black & Blue," generated in its first week in 2000. Tentative plans now call for the Boys to tour 3,000-seat venues in England in the fall before hitting stadiums in China and arenas in Japan. Then the Boys return to the United States to play smaller venues before hitting U.S. arenas again in either February or March.

Posted by acapnews at July 30, 2004 8:44 AM

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