Kevin Richardson is reuniting with the Backstreet Boys just in time for the entire original lineup to hit the studio for a new album, coinciding with the boy band's 20th anniversary next April.
In 2006, Richardson left the group eight years after the band rose to fame with their self-titled debut album Backstreet Boys, citing that he wished to pursue “other interests,” but continued to make sporadic concert appearances with the band, including one on the Backstreet Boys cruise back in December.
Post Kevin’s departure the remaining Backstreet Boys – Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and AJ McLean – went on to record and release two albums as a four-piece: Unbreakable in 2007 and This Is Us (2009) and kicked off a joint tour with New Kids on the Block, last year, which reached No. 17 on Billboard's annual ‘Top 25 Tours’.
In April, during a show in London, the group announced to exuberant fans that Richardson would be rejoining them permanently.
“We couldn't be happier to have our brother back with us,” Nick Carter said in a statement.
“Our vibe is fantastic, it's like never before. It's revitalized.”
The fully reunited band is set to make their first official performance together on August 31st in Central Park, NY as part of a Summer Concert Series.
“Being back with my brothers again feels great,” Richardson said. “I love these guys. We have gone through so much together. We just have a chemistry . . . a bond that will always be.”
Brian Littrell added: “Having Kevin back in the mix adds that extra special magic to our group. We're over the moon to have him back and it's a great way to give back to our fans.”
The BSB are currently in London on their first record together since 2005's Never Gone. The album is set for a spring 2013 release, with more details to come.
“We all discussed, we want this to be a personal record,” Richardson said in an interview earlier this month. “We want it to be authentic to us and who we are and where we're at in our lives.”
On top of the new album and reunion, the Backstreet Boys' 20th anniversary celebration will continue when the group is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.