The Backstreet Boys are set to mark their 20th anniversary next year (13) by setting sail on their first concert cruise with the band's full original line-up.
Singer Kevin Richardson quit the boyband in 2006 to concentrate on a solo career, but he reunited with his pals on a handful of live dates before announcing he would be rejoining the group permanently in 2011.
Richardson hit the stage with A.J. MCLean, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Howie Dorough in New York's Central Park on Friday (31Aug12) for the Backstreet Boys' first official comeback show and he admits his five-year break from the I Want It That Way hitmakers allowed him to find inspiration once more.
Richardson tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "I'm a person that always follows my heart and follows my gut and my heart said now's the time. It just felt right. I feel inspired to make music again with these guys and you know, when I left, it had nothing at all to do with our relationship... It just had to do with me just needing to be inspired, so I had to step away for a while."
The pop stars are currently recording a new album together - their first with all five bandmates in seven years - and the Backstreet Boys reveal they are also preparing to celebrate the full reunion by embarking on a high seas adventure to the Bahamas next October (13).
Richardson says, "2013 is gonna be a big year for us, it's our 20th anniversary. We're in the studio right now working on an album, so we're gonna have that ready hopefully by the beginning of next year."
And MCLean adds: "And also, next year, just so you guys know, there will be a Bsb cruise next year with all five (bandmates)."
It's not the first time the Backstreet Boys have played on a boat - the group, minus Richardson, has performed on three and four-day boat trips in 2009 and 2010.