Backstreet Boys ‘Passed’ on Performing at the 2001 Super Bowl Halftime Show, Says Nick Carter

Now that would’ve been iconic.

On Thursday, Nick Carter revealed that the Backstreet Boys decided to turn down performing at the Super Bowl Halftime Show and instead sang the national anthem.

“It’s interesting because we were presented the opportunity to perform at the halftime at the Super Bowl and it was in Tampa, my hometown,” the singer told Entertainment Tonight. “At the time we came from the era of, we loved the Whitney Houston rendition of the national anthem. And for us, we got the choice and we passed on the halftime.”

“But it was a memorable experience for everyone,” the 41-year-old added. “And everyone was able to share [the stage] and *NSYNC did a great job at halftime, and I like to say we did a really good job at the national anthem as well.”

Carter, however, said he’d “want to do it in the future” and would be open to performing alongside *NSYNC.

“I say maybe another halftime when the Bucs go back to the Super Bowl,” he said. “And that again is going back to the era we came from, the late ’90s. It was a really beautiful time and I think everybody wants that again. They want that feeling coming out of this, everything that we have gone through together and society for the past year and a half. We want to be a part of that story, of love and growth and just coming out of the dark. I think that’s why this event is so special to us.”

The 2001 Super Bowl – which was played by the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants – had *NSYNC, Aerosmith and Britney Spears as the halftime show performers. Mary J. Blige and Nelly also made appearances.

The new conversation comes as Carter collaborates with bandmate AJ McLean and *NSYNC’s Lance Bass and Joey Fatone for a Pride celebration titled “Bingo Under the Stars” to raise funds for charity.

During a recent Instagram Live conversation, Bass and Carter spoke about some of their best memories during their boy band days.

Bass said, “The rivalry was fun.”

“It was fun to have your team,” he added. “… But then sometimes it goes a little overboard and I think right now this world is very volatile and divided.”

The duo also revealed their favorite songs from each other’s groups, with Bass sharing that he loves the Backstreet Boys’ track, “The Call,” while Carter said he wished his group sang *NSYNC’s “I Want You Back.”

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