The Backstreet Boys have famous fans, including Drake. The musicians performed a live version of “I Want It That Way” at a Drake concert in 2022. Here’s how this rapper met the Backstreet Boys and why one song is particularly close to his heart.
The Backstreet Boys performed “I Want It That Way” with Drake
Drake wants it that way. As well as being the chart-topping musician behind ‘Hotline Bling’, ‘One Dance’ and ‘Passionfruit’, this rapper is a fan of the Backstreet Boys – a boy band consisting of Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson.
Drake even brought out the Backstreet Boys during his Toronto gig in 2022, with the band performing “I Want It That Way.” Drake lent his vocals and some dance moves to this early 2000s hit. The song even had special meaning for this solo artist, as described by the boy band members.
How did Drake and the Backstreet Boys become friends?
McLean appeared as a guest on the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, detailing his experience with the boy band. This includes the story of how he became friends with Drake and which member of the Backstreet Boys befriended the rapper first.
“It was Kevin because he and his family went out, they asked the hotel what the best Italian restaurant in all of Toronto was,” McLean began. “And I don’t know what it’s called, but they went there, and apparently it’s Drake’s favorite place in the whole city.” He was there. Apparently, from what Kevin said, he approached Kevin.
McLean shared the story of how Drake had a crush on a girl. At a bar mitzvah, “I Want It That Way” came out and Drake, then 16, asked her to dance. She said yes, and it became “a moment” for him.
“They exchanged numbers and he asked if he could play with us,” McLean continued. “So Kevin was like, sure, and then it turned into ‘ok. I just want to present the song. And then once he pitched the song, we kept him on stage…he was by far the kindest, humblest, most genuinely good human.
Drake has several famous friends outside of his relationship with the Backstreet Boys. This includes BTS, Billie Eilish, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. On the 2022 version Honestly, too bad, Drake featured 21 Savage on “Jimmy Cooks.” Since its debut, this track has gained over 120 million Spotify plays.
Fans reacted to Drake/Backstreet Boys’ stage performance
It looks like a weird crossover. Still, Drake and Backstreet Boys fans shared their excitement during this live performance. One Reddit user wrote, “good for Drake, and seeing the snippet about the song’s meaning to him was quite heartwarming.”
“I’m just here imagining and hoping that Drake will bring the Backstreet Boys back to the top of the charts,” another wrote. “Drake with the Backstreet Boys or vice versa would smash the charts.”
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