Some things just go so well together that they become forever linked in the public consciousness — you know, like chocolate and peanut butter, or Justin Beiber and drop-crotch pants. One classic match that’s a favorite of ours —and that pop music is all the better for — is the mutually magnificent pairing of boy bands and pop music countdown shows. In other words: the Backstreet Boys and Total Request Live!
Yes, the rise of the boy band would likely never have happened without MTV’s long-running afternoon countdown show (it aired from September 1998 to November 2008 — so remember, the MTV VMA-winning “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” pre-dated the series by only a few months), a phenomenon the Backstreet Boys, along with *NSYNC, helped to cement in the annals of popular culture. With Backstreet celebrating their 20th anniversary this year (WHAT?) and ready to release their new album In A World Like This on July 30th, we’ve got them on our minds again. Not to mention, this fall marks the 15th anniversary of TRL’s debut and the fifth anniversary of its final adieu. In honor of both, we salute the 10 greatest Backstreet Boys videos of the TRL era: clips which just happen to have attained #1 status on the show’s fan-based countdown, thankyouverymuch.
So let’s all imagine ourselves as we were a decade back in time, seated on a bleacher in front of Carson Daly whilst a scrolling ticker displays the words “I LOVE A.J.!” across our hearts, and remember these peak moments of Nick, Brian, Kevin, Howie and, of course that untameable rascal, A.J.
10. “The One”
The Backstreet Boys gave their screeching hordes of fans the opportunity to choose Millenium’s fourth single in 2000, so the video itself is an appropriate tribute to those who made them TRL gods. This cinema verite collage of backstage footage is given a running scream-entary throughout, for added realism.