Kevin Scott Richardson (born October 3, 1971) is an American singer and a some time member of the Backstreet Boys, model, actor, and composer. He was the oldest member of the band during his tenure, and now occasionally performs with the group.
Kevin Richardson was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the youngest of three brothers. He is of Irish, English, and Native American descent.
As a youth, he was a chess club member and acted in school plays such as “Bye, Bye Birdie” at Estill County High School in Kentucky. He was also a football quarterback.
In Florida, he landed the role of “Aladdin” and one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Walt Disney World, where he met his future wife Kristin Willits, who was playing the character of “Belle” from “Beauty and the Beast.” He worked at Walt Disney World until he joined theBackstreet Boys in 1993.
The Backstreet Boys
Also in 1993, Brian Littrell, who is Richardson’s maternal first cousin, joined the Backstreet Boys. After Littrell joined, the quintet officially took shape. Richardson was part of the group until 2006, when he announced his departure. He recorded a total of five albums with the group. In June 2006, Richardson left the Backstreet Boys to pursue other interests and “move on with the next chapter of [his] life.” He issued the following statement on the band’s website on June 23, 2006:
“After 13 years of what can only be described as a dream come true, I have decided that it is time to leave the Backstreet Boys. It was a very tough decision for me but one that was necessary in order to move on with the next chapter of my life. Howard, Brian, Alex and Nick will always be my little brothers and have my utmost love and support. I would like to thank the Backstreet fans for all the beautiful memories we have shared together and look forward to including you in the next phase of my life. I wish my brothers continued success and look forward to their new album.”
The group has not ruled out a return for the singer.
On November 14, 2006, he returned to New York City with many Chicago alumni for the 10th anniversary of the show. From late November to December 3, 2006 Richardson played the role of Billy Flynn in Toronto, and from February 4 to March 4, 2007 he played the role in Japan.
Richardson composed the soundtrack of the animated movie, The Spirit Bear, which was due out in 2010.
On the November 4, 2010 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Richardson reunited with the group, appearing first in a pre-taped segment in which they surprised a fan who thought she was merely being flown in to participate in a “Backstreet Boys’ Biggest Fan” contest. Moments later, Richardson joined the group live in the show’s studio to perform a live rendition of their hit, “I Want It That Way.”
On July 1, 2011, Kevin rejoined the Backstreet Boys and NKOTB on stage in Staples Center, LA. He sang “I Want It That Way” and the mash up at the end of the show.
It has been confirmed that Kevin will be rejoining the Backstreet Boys on their 2nd annual cruise in December 2011 & all signs point towards him very possibly rejoining on a more regular basis, as he mentioned on the Ryan Seacrest show.