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    Backstreet Boys Unite!

    Everybody: Backstreet's back, alright.

    After a two-year layoff and the departure of Kevin Richardson, the all-grown-up Backstreet Boys are readying the release of their sixth studio album for Oct. 30.

    The yet-to-be-titled disc will be issued by Jive Records and marks the Backstreeters' 10th anniversary with the label that launched them to superstardom.

    Rob Weiss and Dan Muckula, the latter of whom penned Backstreet's 2005 hit "Incomplete," are supervising production on the new album, per Billboard. The first official single, a piano-driven rock ballad titled "Inconsolable," will be shipped to radio stations nationwide on Aug. 27. A more upbeat ditty, "Any Other Way," was leaked to music sites back in May.

    Following the release of a greatest-hits set in 2001, the members pursued side projects before returning to the charts with 2005's Never Gone. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number three and sold about 750,000 copies in the U.S. and 3 million worldwide.

    That was a far cry from the quintet's heyday, when 1999's Millennium sold 30 million copies and 2000's Black and Blue racked up 15 million units.

    Richardson, who at 35 was the band's oldest member, announced in June 2006 that he was amicably leaving the group to pursue other interests. Richardson and wife Kristin welcomed their first child, a son named Mason, earlier this month. He has also performed on Broadway and is composing the soundtrack to the CGI animated film The Spirit Bear due out next year.

    The rest of Backstreet—Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter and AJ McLean—opted not to replace him and have continued on as a quartet. They say Richardson can come back at any time.

    The Backstreet Boys were formed in the early '90s in Orlando under the auspices of former producer Lou Pearlman, who was recently indicted in bank-fraud charges.

    After hitting it big in Europe, the group found success Stateside with its 1997 self-titled debut. The Backstreeters went on to score a number of Top 10 hits, including "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)," "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," "All I Have to Give," "I Want It That Way" and "Shape of My Heart," and competed with 'N Sync for the title of most popular boy band.

     

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