IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

He wants it that way: Watch Drake join the Backstreet Boys for a surprise performance

The beloved Canadian rapper made an appearance during the group's recent show in his hometown of Toronto.

The Backstreet Boys had a special surprise guest for fans at a recent concert in Toronto. 

Before their encore to end their show at Budweiser Stage on Saturday, July 2, the iconic group were joined by none other than Toronto native Drake to perform their 1999 hit “I Want It That Way.”

Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson were decked out in the coordinating all-white stage outfits, while the rapper wore a black graphic tee and a pair of lightwash jeans to rock out on stage. 

Throughout the performance, which was shared on the band's Twitter, Drake danced and sang along to the hit song, holding out his microphone toward the crowd to encourage them to sing along. Mid-performance, Dorough even began to freestyle and sing part of Drake’s 2013 hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home," which appeared to impress the rapper.

“I like that!” Drake could be heard saying, a smile on his face.

At the very end of the song, the “In My Feelings” singer had his solo moment to conclude the song, singing the final line, “‘Cause I want it that way” before embracing Carter, McLean, and Littrell on stage. The six performers then joined hands and gave a final bow for the fans.

“What’s better than I Want It That Way?” the post on Twitter read. “I Want It That Way…. f/ @Drake.”

On his own Instagram, Drake shared a clip of his solo moment, captioning the post, “When she says she’s over men in this generation and asks why I live alone…”

Drake and the Backstreet Boys shared additional clips of the surprise appearance on their Instagram Stories, including a shot of the six performers on stage shared by the rapper. To caption the post, the four time Grammy winner simply wrote, “I really made it…”

Drake celebrated the surprise collaboration on his Instagram story.
Drake celebrated the surprise collaboration on his Instagram story.Drake/Instagram

Across social media, fans and fellow celebrities celebrated the unexpected collaboration, including a blast from the past for the rapper.

Lauren Collins, who previously starred on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" with Drake, hilariously commented on his post, "My first concert in 2001, pretty sure you were there too."

"we’ve all been singing 'i want it that way' since we were kids but drake just REALLY hit the 'i want it that way,'" producer Benny Blanco commented.

Fans were also quick to point out by how excited Drake appeared to be onstage with the group.

"Love how drake is just living his best life lol," one fan wrote on Twitter, with another user adding, "Lmao drake just fan girling."

Another fan wrote, "Is @Drake the 6th @backstreetboys 😉 Love to see that."

Drake wasn’t the only celebrity guest who attended the Backstreet Boys show in Toronto, either. On his own Instagram, McLean shared a short video featuring “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy. In the video, McLean imitated the hand gestures made by Murphy’s character Alexis Rose in the show before she adjusted one of the show’s iconic lines “Ew, David!” but substituting in McLean’s name, which caused him to burst into laughter. 

The Backstreet Boys are currently on their DNA World Tour, which originally kicked off in May 2019, but was ultimately cut short in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The remaining tour dates were rescheduled to carry on throughout 2022 and end in March 2023.

Back in April, the Backstreet Boys sat down with TODAY at their Las Vegas show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, their first show back after the tour was temporarily postponed. McLean opened up about the group's enduring career and numerous hit songs, explaining, "To be the ‘soundtrack’ to people’s lives for almost 30 years is an absolute blessing."

“When you come to our show, doesn’t matter what’s going on in your personal life, good, bad or indifferent, for two hours you can forget about that. You can get lost," he added.