In times where there’s been a lot of change, or many things happening…sometimes you need to take a moment just to breathe. A moment to simply look around and appreciate everything. When there is darkness or negativity, I forever believe in finding the light. That’s what this is. This is the fifth of six open letters to the Backstreet Boys, one by one – followed by one to the group as a whole to simply show them love and appreciation for all they do. Each one will include tweets from you guys, and will be written from the heart. So far I have written letters to Nick, Kevin, AJ, and Brian. (To any fans reading this, if you’d like to add to this open letter please comment below! I invite you to share in this love fest.)
Now it’s Howie’s turn.
Howie, Howie, Howie…
I struggled coming up with a title for this open letter. At least until Bigger came up on my shuffle of songs. Because this lyric, about you sticking around? It truly fits. You’re still here. You are the Backstreet Boy every fan depends on. We know that no matter what the event is? You will be there. Sick? You’ll still be there. It takes something absolutely wild to force you to cancel on anything. You aren’t appreciated as much as you should be. I will be the first to admit that. I was once very guilty of this myself.
You’ve said in a song on your recent family album that you are one to blend into the background. I suppose that’s even easier in a group of five. Not everyone can shine at the same time. It simply doesn’t work. It’s well known among fans about how in the early days you were the lead, but then you stepped back for others to take over. Many people couldn’t do that. The amount of dedication and humility that takes is outright astounding. I can’t imagine it. You are someone who can see the bigger picture. You make sacrifices for the group. Know that fans see it. Because we do Howie, maybe not when the majority of us were kids during the 90’s, but we definitely do now.
There is a reason one of your monikers is “Sweet D”. You are forever kind to the fans. You have this calming energy about you that practically rivals Kevin’s. You’re completely down to earth to talk to. Speaking as someone who’s had that chance despite there being a crazy amount of music and drinks floating around at an after party. There was no intimidation factor with you that often comes with celebrities. You are the one who will always do events to show fans you appreciate them. When we hear something get announced, no one even has to check if you’ll be there. We just know you will be. You always are. We love you for it.
Going back to dependability – your voice. Your voice has always been one of the group’s secret weapons. You can go higher than any other. Your range is one of a kind. Your vocal prowess is one unchallenged. If you need someone to belt a high note for ages, we look to you. You have always been strong. You have never wavered. You can still do the very same power notes from All I Have To Give in the same way you have since the very beginning. It’s incredible to watch. When we listen to you, it’s practically going into a time machine as you sound as perfect as you did back then.
You’ve come so far over the years. Seeing you be given the chance to shine on recent albums gives us so much joy. The dynamics of course shift but in the best of ways. Hearing you lead off on Breathe or your verse on the newest collaboration Let It Be Me, it even takes someone like me who’s grown up on BSB a moment to go…whoa. Because you shine so brightly.
I often see you as the glue of the group. You are a major part of what holds BSB together. You do so quietly, in the background. But you are the peacemaker. The one who can see both sides and help soothe any issues. You are the one to make that sacrifice play if that’s what’s needed. Looking back, it’s far more easier to see than it was back then. I credit you as much as Kevin for why the group is as strong as it is today.
We love you Howie. We love your sly sense of humor towards the other Boys, or your corny dad jokes. We laugh when you do your trademark wink, knowing we’d be beyond upset if you ever stopped. This Is How We Do It has now become your song by proxy, and any time fans hear it, we think of you instead of Montell Jordan – you know, the guy who actually sang it. We love your booty shaking and your way of playfully putting up with Nick’s antics (which we know can be a challenge). We love your diverse amount of projects, whether it be your real estate interests, plays, or albums. You’re a man who has never been one dimensional. You’re someone who’s always been there, and we would you miss if you ever left.
Howie, we see you. We love you.
So please, don’t ever change.
Thank you for always being there.
Thank you for your sense of humor and fun energy.
I hope you know how much we love you.
We hope that this makes you smile,
In doing so, this open letter and tweets below have succeeded in their task.
‘Cause you’re still here
Your feet stuck to the ground
Despite how silly it sounds
La la la la la la
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