Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way’ Tops 1 Billion YouTube Views

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Backstreet Boys have entered YouTube’s Billion Views Club with the official music video for 1999’s “I Want It That Way,” the group’s lovesick anthem that has become their trademark song.

The video for “I Want It That Way” on YouTube crested the billion-views mark on Nov. 15. Shot at Los Angeles International Airport, “I Want It That Way” was uploaded to the platform 10 years after its original release. The video has averaged more than 400,000 daily views in 2021, according to YouTube.

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The video is one of only a few from the 1990s to surpass 1 billion views on YouTube. The others include Guns N’ Roses “November Rain” (1.76 billion views to date), Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1.38 billion views), 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up” (1.19 billion views), The Cranberries’ “Zombie” (1.16 billion views), Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (1.15 billion views).

The Backstreet Boys — the boy-band quintet comprising Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson — have continued to perform “I Want It That Way” in the years since it topped charts in 1999, including for last year’s Fox’s iHeart Living Room Concert for America COVID-relief event. The song was nominated for three Grammys and is No. 240 on the 2021 update of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. The song was written by Swedish songwriters Andreas Carlsson and Max Martin, produced by Martin and Kristian Lundin. “I Want It That Way” has been widely covered — and parodied — since it was released more than 20 years ago.

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