The 49-year-old singer joined Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean over the weekend to perform their new single "Air" as part of the Music for Life fundraiser held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The pair performed as ATCK (All the Cool Kids), a group AJ co-founded that features a rotating roster of musicians.
In Variety's sit-down with himself, AJ and 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons that took place at the event and published on Tuesday, June 8, Chris admitted he wasn't always fond of AJ, but that the pair have become friendly in the ensuing years since their groups' respective heydays.
"There was a time when I couldn't be in the same room with this guy," Chris shared. "But there's always been a mutual respect, and now that we're all parents, we've grown up. Reflecting on things, it's cool to see what each of the bands did and how it all worked together."
He went on to laud the boy band community of the early 2000s by explaining, "It really was this symbiotic relationship with Backstreet, 98 Degrees, us and even O-Town and other bands that came in."
AJ agreed that Chris, Jeff and himself have developed a close bond. He quipped about the three guys, "It's pretty much like the Three Stooges."
At one point, Jeff expressed that the members of 98 Degrees didn't feel much competition with the other groups, but Chris was quick to disagree.
"That's a lie!" the NSYNC performer exclaimed. "Back in the day, there was competitiveness. There were underlying things that we all had. I was afraid of you!"
In other words, regarding any previous tension, the three groups had no choice, babe, but to move on, and you know there wasn't any time to waste.