Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean and *NSYNC’s Chris Kirkpatrick debuted a new collaborative single called “Air,” in Las Vegas over the weekend. The dance track comes from McLeans’ side band, ATCK (All the Cool Kids), which he formed with Brandon Mashburn and features a “revolving door” of guests, including Kirkpatrick.
During the performance, McLean and Kirkpatrick playfully debated which of their bands is superior by going back-and-forth performing hits like Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” Show host Jeff Timmons then turned up on stage to weigh in with a remixed rendition of his band 98 Degrees’ “The Hardest Thing.”
“We’re gonna announce the 98 Degrees/Backstreet/*NSYNC World Stadium Tour, come 2022,” Timmons joked with the two boy-banders in an interview with Variety before the concert. “We’ve always admired them and certainly would love to do something with all three together.”
49-year-old Kirkpatrick admitted that back in *NSYNC’s prime, he couldn’t bear to be near McLean. “There was a time when I couldn’t be in the same room with this guy,” he said of McLean. “But there’s always been a mutual respect, and now that we’re all parents, we’ve grown up. Reflecting on things, it’s cool to see what each of the bands did and how it all worked together. It really was this symbiotic relationship with Backstreet, 98 degrees, us and even O-Town and other bands that came in.”
McLean said that the three of them have become good friends, “It’s pretty much like the Three Stooges,” then proceeded to debate who would be Moe, Larry and Curly.
This isn’t the first time they’ve collaborated together: Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter had a film called Dead 7 that they worked on in 2016.” Timmons and Kirkpatrick were also in a group called Sureshot, before Kirkpatrick teamed up with McLean in ATCK.