Luke Fontana

The Backstreet Boys kick off the North American leg of their DNA tour in Washington, D.C., Friday, but the group’s Howie Dorough has another reason to celebrate: He’s releasing his first children’s album, Which One Am I? 

Howie says he got the idea for the album about five years ago, when he was struggling to find music he and his son could both enjoy.

I had a really hard time connecting with him with the music that was out there,” Howie tells ABC Radio. “And I looked out at our audience and I was like, ‘Wow. We have a lot of fans that were younger that have now grown up [and are] bringing their kids. Why not make music…that’s good for all families?'”

It was Howie’s two collaborators on the project who suggested he use his own life as inspiration.

“They were the ones that said, ‘Believe or not, your life is what you should sing about,'” Howie recalls. I’m like, ‘Really? You think it’s that interesting?’  They’re like, ‘Yeah, those are subjects that kids are still dealing with nowadays.'”

Howie ended up turning his own childhood struggles — being mixed-race, in a sibling’s shadow and worrying constantly — into Which One Am I?  The project has also inspired a musical called Back in the Day, which will open starting January 31 at the Rose Theater in Omaha, Nebraska, with Howie in the starring role. Visit HowieD.net for all the details.

So how do the rest of the Backstreet Boys feel about Howie’s new venture?

“The guys are very very supportive — actually, Nick [Carter] and Brian [Littrell] both told me they loved both of the singles,” Howie says. “And that’s nice, because we all want to have the thumbs-up from each other.” 

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Source: Mix News