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Musical legacy: The Backstreet Boys go on tour after two decades in the pop biz

Backstreet Boys are celebrating their 20th year in the music business with a world tour. The band’s recent album is called “In a World Like This.”

Backstreet Boys are celebrating their 20th year in the music business with a world tour. The band’s recent album is called “In a World Like This.”

Twenty years.

Not many bands can reach that milestone.

But the Backstreet Boys did — despite those naysayers.

“We proved them wrong,” Howie Dorough says during a recent phone interview. “Now everything that we do is helping us grow as musicians.”

Dorough and crew — which includes Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Nick Carter and Brian Littrell — have embarked on a tour which will make a stop in Albuquerque on Monday, June 2.

The Backstreet Boys recorded its recent album, “In a World Like This,” in London and Los Angeles with producers Martin Terefe, Max Martin, Morgan Reid & Prophet, Dan Muckula and Justin Trugman.

Dorough says working with Martin on the album was another great experience for the band.

“We’ve worked with Max since the beginning and we’ve been very fortunate to have some great hits,” he says. “He has helped us grow as a band.”

The Backstreet Boys rose to fame during the mid-1990s and early 2000s, and were one of the most successful boy bands from that time. The band has numerous hit singles, which include “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “I’ll Never Break Your Heart,” “As Long As You Love Me,” “I Want it That Way,” “Larger Than Life” and many more.

Dorough says while the band has come to terms with being classified as a “boy band” and now welcomes the distinction.

In fact, he says the five members will break out instruments while performing on this tour.

“This is one way that we’ve grown,” he says. “We’re all moving forward with music and its creation. We’re playing guitar, drums, keyboards. We’re pushing ourselves.”

The Backstreet Boys’ current album marks the first released for the band on its record label.

Dorough says the band wrote about three-quarters of the album.

“This is an investment for us,” he says. “We are more financially comfortable now that we put up the money for the album. I can understand new bands wanting to be on labels because they need that push. But with us, we have more freedom with what we do. We’ve created this sound for the band and we’re evolving with it. It’s a lot of fun.”

On the current tour, the Backstreet Boys have Avril Lavigne opening for them.

Dorough says the band will sing its hits as well as six songs from the new album.

“We have been grateful to have so many top 10 singles,” he says. “This was our eighth record in the top 5 and we’ve matched the number that Sade has put up. It’s a special place to be.”

Also on the tour, Dorough says there isn’t a band that travels with them.

All of the music was recorded in advance and is played via recording track.

“We wanted the focus to be on us,” he says. “The other day the New Kids (On the Block) came up to us after a show and told us they didn’t realize that we didn’t have a live band. Now they’re looking into creating something like that too. It’s just really great to still be out there performing. It’s our fans who have kept us going for 20 years now and this tour is our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to all of them.”

The Backstreet Boys also have a cruise that will be taking off from Miami on Oct. 24. Tickets are on sale now at