Although Brian Littrell is best-known for being a member of the Backstreet Boys, he is also a highly-regarded contemporary Christian recording artist. And while Brian’s secular journey with “the Boys” never clouded his spiritual faith, his openness about his faith made him stand out from his fellow band mates. Together, however, the Backstreet Boys would define (and in many ways, reshape) the contemporary musical landscape.
Over the past two decades, the Backstreet Boys have sold more than 100 million records. And within the annals of history, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best-selling artists of all-time. Beyond all shadow of doubt, as far as vocal groups are concerned, the Backstreet Boys paved viable, commercial paths for N*SYNC, 98 Degrees and Westlife.
Upon the release of This Is Us, the band’s seventh studio album, Brian Littrell managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry—reflecting on his faith in God, the Backstreet Boys’ legacy, and the group’s successful blending of pop and R&B.
From the very beginning, God has shown tremendous favor over your life. Do you ever wonder why you were chosen to lead the life that you lead?
You know, we tend to forget how good God is in our lives. It’s a wonderful, wonderful opportunity. The funny thing is that I am human and I ask myself that every day. It’s a lot to take on, I’ll tell you that. It’s a lot to take on. But at the same time, I do Christian music as a solo artist on the side, so I can make people think about other things as well. You know, I’m not a preacher. I’m not an evangelist. I don’t go around, wanting to tell everybody that they’re going to die and burn in hell [laughing].
So, I know why God has put me in this situation. I get to go to work and do something that I still love and that I’m still passionate about and affecting people’s lives in a positive way through pop music with the Backstreet Boys. My job is to use my gift that has been given to me and I’m going to use it as long as I can. But yeah, I mean, I’m blessed. I’m blessed. I’m fortunate. I’m happy to be able to articulate thoughts and feelings through music. I’m fortunate to be able to have experiences in my life that I can share with fans through music and be able to translate that. I mean, that’s what music is about: tying into an emotion where you remember a song of the girl that you were dating at the time in 1988, listening to whoever you were listening to, sitting on the side of the curb, thinking, “Man, I just broke up with my girl and that’s the song that I heard.” We share a lot of memories like that with people. We share a lot of first concerts with people. I get every day somebody at the supermarket or somebody on tour like, “You know, you were the first concert that I ever saw when I was nine,” and now they’re like 20.