It’s been almost 20 years since the Backstreet Boys last topped the Billboard 200 chart but the long drought is over, as the group’s new studio album DNA landed at No. 1 in its debut week.
DNA, which was released via RCA Records on January 25, is the iconic boy band’s third No. 1 album and the first to reach the top since Black & Blue in December 2000.
According to Nielsen Music, the album earned 234,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending February 1, with direct album sales making up 227,000 of that figure. The record is also the top-selling album of the week.
While not quite as jaw-dropping as Paul McCartney’s 36 years between No. 1s — achieved last year with his chart-topping record Egypt Station — the 18 years and two months since Black & Blue led the charts is an impressive feat in itself.
The last time a group had a wait that long between No. 1s was in 2010, according to Billboard, when Sade’s Soldier of Love landed on the top spot 24 years after their last chart-topper, Promise, in 1986. (Apparently Billboard consider Sade a group.)
DNA also marks the Backstreet Boys’ tenth top-10 album, meaning that every album they’ve released has earned a spot in the Billboard Top 10; the only other group to achieve that accolade was Led Zeppelin, between 1969 and 1982.
The boys will be hoping to continue their success at the Grammys this Sunday — they’re nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.
“I used to be kind of upset that we were nominated so many times and we don’t have a particular Grammy. I think that’s really the end-all-be-all of total acceptance,” Brian Littrell told ET Canada’s Keshia Chante.
“This is our eighth time being nominated and it’s definitely an honour to have that, but, again, we’ve actually lost in the past. And now after 26 years, I think the best award ever is having this longevity – having these relationships with each other. So if it doesn’t happen, you know, it really doesn’t necessarily matter as much as the reward of having each other.”