“Give it up for our wives, ladies and gentlemen! They are the true backbones of the Backstreet Boys.”
With that, Howie Dorough and his bandmates concluded adorably serenading their gorgeous wives at the final Backstreet Boys Larger Than Life residency show at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday night.
While the quintet has usually pulled fans or celebrity guests – including magician and illusionist Criss Angel the previous night – onto the stage at the end of “Shape of My Heart,” the final concert saw them head down to the theater’s VIP tables to their loves and escort them up to the stage.
AJ McLean, 41, and his wife, Rochelle, led the way, with the mom of two – who recently appeared in McLean’s “Boy and a Man” video – wearing a Backstreet Boys T-shirt and appearing emotional by the ballad’s end.
Nick Carter, 39, and his wife, Lauren, followed, with Lauren also rocking Backstreet Boys merchandise along with light blue hair, then smiling and glowing as Carter – with whom she recently celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary – sweetly sang to her.
Dorough, 45, came next with his stunning wife, Leigh, who slayed, strutting down the catwalk while dancing in a sexy white dress during another epic moment from a celebratory weekend which also saw the couple party it up at Tiesto’s show on Thursday night and Calvin Harris’ gig on Friday. “It’s her birthday next week so we’re going to be celebrating all weekend!” Dorough told ET before the show.
Kevin Richardson, 47, followed with his blonde beauty, Kristin, who appeared to be having a blast singing along as the two hit the spotlight. Last but not least was Richardson’s 44-year-old cousin, Brian Littrell, whose wife, Leighanne, sweetly handed out roses to fans as she made her way to the stage.
At the song’s end, the five singers, who have been together for more than 25 years, dropped to their knees before handing the ladies roses.
The heartwarming tribute was just one of many memorable moments during the group’s final show, which also saw *NSYNC’s Lance Bass continue celebrating his upcoming 40th birthday by returning for another dose of Larger Than Life, with McLean joining him in the crowd to sing “I Want It That Way” at one point.
Fellow Las Vegas performers the Blue Man Group also surprised the audience during the encore performance of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” joining the quintet on stage during the crowd favorite.
The group launched Larger Than Life in March 2017 in collaboration with Live Nation Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment. What started as a few shows to test out the waters quickly snowballed as hot demand saw the group break the record for the fastest-selling residency show in Las Vegas history. And while there was some dispute on Saturday night about whether they had performed 80 or 81 shows in total, one figure was clear – the most number of shows attended by one fan.
Richardson paused the show to honor fan Rebekah Avis, who went to 76 of the concerts, only missing four for work commitments. “We know some of you have seen multiple shows, but has anybody in the audience by a show of hands seen 76 shows?” Richardson said. “Right here, it’s Rebekah. 76 shows. We love you.”
“I was lucky to be able to attend 76 out of 80 shows and the fact that Kevin and the boys recognized me from the stage and made me feel appreciated and loved by them meant the world to me,” Avis told ET. “I was just happy they noticed I was always there!”
Avis, along with others who attended multiple shows, were emotional witnessing the curtains close on the record-breaking, two-year residency, which saw countless highlights unfold like fans getting engaged, a 96-year-old devotee reunite with her idols, and the band coming together on stage with country star Shania Twain for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Carter reflected on how life-changing the Planet Hollywood run has been early in the show. The Dead 7 star relocated to Sin City with wife Lauren and their cute 3-year-old son, Odin, following the residency’s launch, and has since immersed himself in Vegas life, local charity work and special fan events like a poolside brunch and acoustic performance featuring iconic Backstreet Boys tracks like “I Need You Tonight” at the LINQ Hotel on Saturday morning.
“Vegas has changed the Backstreet Boys’ lives,” he said. “Completely changed our lives in so many different ways. And, one in particular for me, I finally found my home right here in Las Vegas.”
“Party at Nick’s house tonight!” McLean added.
Carter then raced up to the very back of Zappos Theater to gift a fan a signed water bottle, before contemplating staying in the cheap seats.
“I think I’m just going to watch you guys perform, is that OK?” he said. “I want to see what the Backstreet Boys is all about. I think Kevin’s my favorite actually. You’re kind of hot, dude.”
The chart-toppers, who recently opened the Backstreet Boys: The Experience exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, California, will now head overseas to kick off their DNA World Tour, in support of their 10th studio album, DNA, which features the catchy hit “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Launching in Portugal on May 11, the tour will land stateside in Washington, D.C., on July 12, followed by further international shows, after which they’ve teased they will return to Vegas “if you’ll have us.”
See more highlights from the group’s Larger Than Life residency below.