Ross King: Backstreet’s back for my taste of an American Prom Night

Ross King with the Backstreet Boys

PROM Night – like Thanksgiving and Independence Day – is one of the many American customs we didn’t celebrate when I was growing up in Scotland.

It’s is a bit like an old-fashioned school dance, only with fewer bottles of Thunderbird being smuggled in and there’s less chance of being challenged to a square go by the PE teacher.

Prom Night may be a thing among young Scots these days but I thought I’d missed my chance – at least until I got an invite from the Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean.

The prom night was organised to celebrate AJ’s 40th birthday a few weeks ago and I was delighted to be able to go with my wife, Brianna.

When I caught up with the Backstreet Boys, one of the biggest boy bands ever, for a chat last week, I couldn’t resist talking to AJ about his themed party and telling him that it was my first ever prom.

“I never had one myself and my wife kept it under wraps for three years,” laughed AJ.

“All she said was I had to wear a suit, so I got the best one I could.

“I had no idea where I was going but yeah – it’s going to be a tough one to beat.”

The lads were heartthrobs at the peak of their powers, with singles such as Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) and I Want It That Way.

Now Backstreet are once again back with a new single, and they’re raring to go, says band member Kevin Richardson.

“We’re excited. It’s a quarter of a century in this business and the new single, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, is being received very well, with an album out later this year,” said Kevin. “We’re excited to be sitting here.”

The Backstreet Boys were considered rivals of another hugely successful boyband – Take That.

“We’ve known those guys for years and back in the early days when we were starting our craft they were blowing up,” said Howie D.

Nick Carter added: “It sparked a lot of conversations.

“We’ve had this dream of touring with them, or make some music with them.”

And the band remember how Take That’s split affected their own fans.

“We were leaving a hotel and all the fans that were there to see us were crying,” said AJ.

“I asked what was going on and someone said Take That had split up. They were bawling. It was like the end of an era.”

It looks like the Backstreet Boys are starting a new era.