The boy band surprised Canadian concertgoers on Saturday night when they brought out Drake for a rendition of “I Want It That Way” at Budweiser Stage in Toronto. Members Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell, and Kevin Richardson introduced the Toronto native as the group’s honorary “sixth member” before the performance that infused lyrics from Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”
Drake told the audience the group’s seminal 1999 track meant a lot to him: “At 13 years old, I had a bar mitzvah. And at my bar mitzvah, for the first time in my life, this girl I was in love with came up to me and one of the greatest songs in the world was playing,” Drake said. “She asked me if I would dance with her, and it was the first time ever I felt acknowledged [and] like I had a shot at being cool.”
The rapper said “I Want It That Way,” which he called “one of the greatest songs of all time,” played during that integral moment. “If she can see me now,” Drake said. Backstreet Boys performed for two nights in Toronto as part of their DNA World Tour, which began in May 2019 but was cut short in March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed in April and will conclude in March 2023.
The collaboration comes after Drake surprise released his seventh studio album Honestly, Nevermind on June 17. A departure from his usual works, the moody dance album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. He’s one of five artists with more than 10 No. 1 albums, joining The Beatles (19), Jay-Z (14), Bruce Springsteen (11), and Barbra Streisand (11).
Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Backstreet Boys surprised Canadian concertgoers on Saturday night when they brought out Drake for a rendition of ‘I Want It That Way’ at Budweiser Stage in Toronto
Watch Drake’s performance with Backstreet Boys above.