Sunday night’s IHeartRadio benefit, “Living Room Concert for America,” gave everyone a front row seat to a show aimed at raising funds for victims of the coronavirus pandemic and for first responders.
The star-studded featured performances from the likes of Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw and the most enduring boyband to come out of the 1990s.
The Backstreet Boys were back, giving their fans exactly what they wanted, in a way they’ve never had it before.
AJ McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson harmonized, via video from their respective homes, for a fresh take on their 1999 hit, “I Want It That Way.”
Whether by the pool (Carter), by the piano (McLean), on the sofa (Littrell), in the home theater room (Dorough) or jamming with the kids (Richardson), each of them raised their voices to belt out the song for a good cause.
Fans have long found the lyrics to “I Want It That Way” to be confusing. As Chrissy Teigen once tweeted, “‘I never wanna hear you say, I want it that way, cause i want it that way.’ He doesn’t wanna hear it because he is the one that wants it that way? He wants to be the one to say it? Also what is ‘it.’
Last month, during a pre-quarantine visit to “Watch What Happens Live,” the band finally had something to say to fans still trying to make sense of the lyrics."
"The song makes no sense,” McLean said.
“There was a completely different version of the song that actually made sense, and thankfully we decided to go back to the one that didn't make sense,” he recalled. “I don't think this song would've been as big as it was had it made sense."
But in a world where many things don’t make sense these days, that song and the many others performed Sunday night provided something more important — comfort.
Rock icon Elton John hosted the event and assured viewers, “There's a lot of grief out there, uncertainty and fear, but let me tell you what's going to keep us together: all the goodness that's still happening in the world.”
And he didn’t just mean the music makers, adding, “Those doctors, nurses and scientists on the front line, they're living proof that most superheroes don't wear capes.”