If you were a pop music fan growing up in the ’90s, there’s a good chance you had either a Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC poster hanging in your bedroom. Not both. Never both. That would be like choosing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. And we all know that isn’t done.
Recently, members of *NSYNC got together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut, reminiscing, in an interview with Billboard, about the good old days, including how the mostly fake feud with their boy band rivals got heated for a short while.
So why did two of the biggest boy bands of the ’90s have a hate on for each other? For the same reason that men often don’t get along: because two band members fell for the same girl.
The woman — who so far remains nameless — first dated *NSYNC’s Chris Kirkpatrick. It was the ’90s and she, like most of us, was powerless against the young artist’s moustache-less goatee. But soon the couple said “Bye Bye Bye,” and before either could cry “I Want You Back,” their love was “Gone.”
But one band boy’s loss was another’s gain, and the woman in question soon landed in the arms of the Backstreet Boys’ A.J. McLean.
“I wanted to punch A.J. [McLean’s] lights out for a little while,” Kirkpatrick told Billboard, recalling the start of the feud. “I was dating a girl, I broke up with her and he started dating her. And I guess he was talking smack to her about me, so I confronted him on it and wanted to kick his ass.”
Totally offside, McLean. Don’t you know the unspoken Boy Band Code? Never copy a bro’s dance moves, and never, ever, get with his girl. Okay, so that’s not exactly how it works. Their dance moves were basically identical, and whoever this woman was certainly had the right to date whomever she pleased.
But like good bros always do, the feuding duo eventually made up.
“I don’t know how it got resolved — I saw him out one night and said I wanted to kill him, but I said, ‘Let’s get a beer.’ I think boy band fights are in the same realm as hockey fights. You fight when you’re on TV, but then when you’re not, you get a beer together. Now we’re really good friends.”
So the pair “Quit Playing Games” and are now ex-boy-band besties. Is that a hashtag? Because it should be. Adorbs.