Brian Littrell

Brian Thomas Littrell (born February 20, 1975[1]) is an American singer-songwriter, best known as a member of the Backstreet Boys. In the late 1990s and early 2000s his participation in the Backstreet Boys catapulted him into super-stardom as the band sold over 100 million records worldwide. He is also a contemporary Christian recording artist and released a solo album, Welcome Home, in 2006.

Littrell was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers.[2]


Brian Littrell was born in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. He has one older brother and he is the cousin of former Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson. He first started to sing in the choir of his Lexington Baptist church. Music was always important to him, and originally planned on entering school to become a music minister. Littrell, while a senior in high school, changed plans and accepted the offer to join what would become the very successful new boy band, the Backstreet Boys.

He has English ancestry.


Brian’s cousin Kevin Richardson called on him to join the Backstreet Boys. After the joining of Littrell, the quintet officially took shape. In the beginning, there was no success in the United States, even though the first single had been a hit on Orlando radio stations. The band manager Lou Pearlman marketed the Backstreet Boys in Europe, where they became commercially successful in 1995. They became hugely popular in Europe and the United States in the late 1990s and the early 2000s. After a three-year gap, they released their comeback album, Never Gone followed by Unbreakable and This is Us.

Career in Christian music

A faithful Christian, Littrell has stated that he believes it is the duty of Christians to be open about their faith, saying, “I think as Christians we need to join hands and mount up together and lift God up and talk about our faith publicly and talk about all of the things God has done for us in our life to touch other people.”[3] Littrell, who has been a born again Christian since age 8[4] has said that he attributes his success in life to God, and that his faith has always been “the utmost important thing” in his life.

Littrell decided to make a Christian album and become a contemporary Christian singer, while maintaining his duties as a member of the Backstreet Boys. In the summer of 2005 Brian’s solo single “In Christ Alone” went to #1 on the Christian Charts on July 4 and Littrell was the winner of the 2006 GMA Music Award for Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year, “In Christ Alone,” which won both the 1993 award in this category (when recorded by Michael English) and the 1994 Song of the Year at the GMA Music Awards.

Brian’s first solo album, Welcome Home was released on May 2, 2006, which like the Backstreet Boys projects, is a Sony BMG release. The album peaked at #74 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Christian Charts, and has currently sold over 100,000 copies [1]. Three singles were released from the album. The first single “Welcome Home (You)” reached #2 on the US Christian Charts and #1 on Reach FM’s Top 40 chart and the R&R Christian Inspirational Chart staying there for 3 weeks. The second single from the album was “Wish” and in 2007 the third single “Over My Head” was released.

On September 27, 2006, he shared his testimony and performed at the Crystal Cathedral. The service was broadcast around the world on the Hour of Power television program and seen by an estimated 20 million viewers. On May 10, 2007 he received an award from the Crystal Cathedral for being a positive role model using his music to touch lives in the pop and Christian market, and using his foundation to help children. On August 22, 2009, on the Christian Music Awards, Littrell confirmed he is working on his second Christian solo album, It will be released after the end of This Is Us Tour by the Backstreet Boys and is due for release in 2011.

On June 27, 2010, Brian Littrell, along with his Backstreet Boys bandmates, served as grand marshal of the 40th San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. Subsequently, Christian bookstores like LifeWay and Family Christian Stores have removed his products from their shelves and websites and several Christian radio stations have stopped playing his Christian music. On November 21, 2010, Littrell appeared on American Music Awards.

Personal life

Brian Littrell was born with a heart defect that brought him several times into hospital with life-threatening conditions – for two months alone when he was 5 years of age because of a bacterial infection. An open heart surgery in 1998 closed the hole he had in his heart, as he said on his “Hour of Power” interview in 2007. After that he founded the Brian Littrell’s “Healthy Heart Club” for kids, a non-profit that assists children with heart conditions through medical, financial and practical help.

Two months after joining the Backstreet Boys, Brian started dating Samantha Stonebraker, a relationship that continued for four years (1993–1997). Brian even lived with Samantha’s family for two years.[9] In 1998, after their separation, she released the book What You Wanna Know: Backstreet Boys Secrets Only a Girlfriend Can Tell,[10] about their relationship and the Backstreet Boys.[11]

Two months after Brian split from Samantha, he met model/aspiring actress Leighanne Wallace at the June 15, 1997 video shoot for their single “As Long As You Love Me.” He proposed to her in 1999 and they were married on September 2, 2000. Both are committed Evangelical Christians. They have one child, son Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell.

Brian Littrell

Brian Littrell performing at KISS 106.1 Jingle Bell Bash 8
Background information
Birth name Brian Thomas Littrell
Born February 20, 1975 (1975-02-20) (age 35)
Origin Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Genres Pop, CCM
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Acoustic guitar, keyboards
Years active 1993–present
Labels Reunion
Associated acts Backstreet Boys

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