Brian Littrell

Brian Thomas Littrell (born February 20, 1975) is an American musician and member and the lead singer of the Backstreet Boys. He is also a contemporary Christian recording artist and released a solo album, Welcome Home, in 2006. Brian has four Top 20 solo singles in the US Christian chart.

Littrell was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

Early life

Littrell was born in Lexington, Kentucky to Jackie and Harold Littrell. He has an older brother, Harold Littrell, Jr. He went to Tates Creek High School in Lexington, and began singing as a child in church. He first started to sing in the choir of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington. Music was always important to him, and he originally planned on entering school to become a music minister. Littrell's cousin, Kevin Richardson, moved to Orlando, Florida, during Littrell's teenage years. Richardson had gone to Orlando to find a job in the entertainment industry; after being chosen as one of the Backstreet Boys, he recommended his cousin to the band members and management. Littrell was convinced by Richardson to go to Florida and audition. While a senior in high school, he was chosen as the fifth member of the band.

Littrell was born with a heart defect that brought him several times into hospital with life-threatening conditions – for two months alone when he was five years of age because of a bacterial infection. An open heart surgery in 1998 closed the hole he had in his heart, as he said on his Hour of Powerinterview in 2007. After that he founded the Brian Littrell's "Healthy Heart Club" for kids, a non-profit organization that assists children with heart conditions through medical, financial and practical help. In October 2009, Littrell became infected with the H1N1 virus, causing the cancellation of the Backstreet Boys This Is Us promotional tour


Right from the start he was the band's main lead singer, in some cases doing over half of the songs himself (e.g. 'As Long As You Love Me', 'I'll Never Break Your Heart'), and having solo parts in all of their singles except for 'The Call' and 'Incomplete', both of which were done by Nick and AJ, with the other three adding harmonies. Besides being a pop singer, Brian explored other musical skills, being a reasonably good guitar player and co-writing some of the group's numbers (including 'Larger Than Life', 'The One' and 'The Perfect Fan'). The Backstreet Boys began to gain fame in 1995; by 1998, the group had teenaged female fans around the world. However, Littrell was soon faced with a serious problem because of his congenital heart problem, which nearly took his life at age five, had caused his heart to grow dangerously large. He was sent in and out of hospital through childhood. Doctors decided in May of that year to correct his problem by performing open heart surgery. His heart was enlarging due to the hole. Littrell was forced to cancel some concert tour dates as the doctors had warned him that if he kept on delaying the surgery, he would slowly kill himself.

After their success of the late 1990s, the Backstreet Boys went on a hiatus. Littrell, meanwhile, became committed to a number of other show business activities, most of them for charity. He joined other celebrities in a yearly NBA tour where he plays basketball in every NBA city before a game. Aside from that, he has also played charity baseball games and remains highly active in the charity he founded, the Brian Littrell Healthy Heart Club for Kids. In 2000, he won the Teen People's 25 Hottest People Under 25, tying with Justin Timberlake.

The Backstreet Boys reunited in 2004 to start recording their new album, Never Gone. It was released in 2005, with their first single "Incomplete." The album "Never Gone" debuted at #1 in various countries and the single "Incomplete" became the Backstreet Boys' first #1 in Australia's ARIA chart. "Never Gone" was quickly certified platinum in the US and selling over 3 million copies worldwide.

Solo career

In the summer of 2005 Brian's solo single "In Christ Alone" went to #1 on the Christian Charts on July 4th and Littrell was the winner of the 2006 GMA Music Award for Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year, "In Christ Alone," which won both the 1993 award in this category (when recorded by Michael English) and the 1994 Song of the Year at the GMA Music Awards. Brian's first solo album, Welcome Home (You) was released on May 2, 2006, which like the Backstreet Boys projects, is a Sony BMG release. The album, peaking at #74 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Christian Charts, currently has sold over 75,000 copies. The single "Welcome Home (You)" reaches #2 on the US Christian Charts and #1 on Reach FM's Top 40 chart and the R&R Christian Inspirational chart staying there for 3 weeks.

TV and film appearances

Littrell made appearances with the Backstreet Boys on ArthurSesame Street, and Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1998). He also performed with The Backstreet Boys on Saturday Night Live, in 1998 and 1999. In 2002, Littrell voiced himself on an episode of Arthur.

In 2013, Littrell made an appearance in the comedy This Is the End, along with the rest of the Backstreet Boys.

Personal life

Two months after joining the Backstreet Boys, Littrell started dating Samantha Stonebraker, a relationship that continued for four years (1993–97). Littrell even lived with Samantha's family for two years. In 1998, after their separation, she released the book What You Wanna Know: Backstreet Boys Secrets Only a Girlfriend Can Tell, about their relationship and the Backstreet Boys.

In 1997, Littrell met model and actress, Leighanne Wallace, at the video shoot for their single "As Long As You Love Me". He proposed on Christmas Eve night of 1999, and their engagement along with the engagement of Littrell's cousin and bandmate Kevin Richardson to Kristin Willits was announced on MTV in February 2000. They were married on September 2, 2000 at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Their first child, a son Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell, was born on November 26, 2002.



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