- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
year 1996. Through this first album, they gained great success and popularity as the album sold for 8 million copies, earning Gold and Platinum in 38 different countries. Following this attainment, the group spent 18 months overseas to hold a concert tour before preparing to infiltrate the U.S. market. They started in 1997 with the release of the single 'Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),' which to their delight, instantly soared to the second rank of Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Their U.S. version of self-titled album came up on August 12, 1997 and was also released in Europe with the title of 'Backstreet's Back'. The result was marvelous for this U.S. debut album scored a terrific sale of 9 million records during the year, while leaping to the 4th rank at Billboard 200 Albums Chart. This sweet achievement established BSB as one of the best selling boy bands as well as a new teen-idol in the United States at that time.
Unfortunately, the year of 1998 turned out to be a difficult time for BSB as they encountered many problems that threatened the existence of the band. Howie was in trouble due to the death of his sister on Lupus, while Brian suffered from a congenital heart disorder so that he had to undergo a surgery. Furthermore, the group faced confrontation with their management team concerning the royalties. Despite these dreary conditions, the group kept going forward to work on their next album with Pearlman remained being their manager. The group's persistence proved worthy when their sophomore album entitled 'Millennium' came up on May 18, 1999. This particular album created a phenomenon by having 1,134,000 copies sold during its first week, breaking the SoundScan record. It was therefore certified thirteen times Platinum in U.S. while receiving Gold and Platinum in 45 other countries. Dominating the top spot of worldwide music charts, the album reigned the chart of Billboard Top 200 Album for more than two months. With some memorable hits, such as 'I Want It That Way' and 'Larger Than Life', 'Millennium' had sold over 10 million records in the U.S. alone by the end of the year.
Due to their success, critical acclaim along with various music nominations and awards were presented throughout 1999, among others: World Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Grammy Awards nominations. All of these apparently did not stop the group to produce more hysteria