Backstreet Boys Consider CCM

( [email protected] ) Jun 22, 2004 11:38 PM EDT

Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell is seriously considering contracting a deal with Provident Music Group and joining the Christian Contemporary Music scene as a high profile singer.

The manager of the Provident label group, Johnny Wright, along with CEO Terry Hemmings, had met with Litrell and former boy band members including A.J. McLean and Kevin Richardson in a casual golf course match at Legends Club of Tennessee to discuss plans for the debut. Hemmings commented that there has been no other instance in which a member of such a high profile group will enter the Christian enter the Christian market in recording history.

"I see it as being a new day for Brian," said Hemmings, who added that the Littrell album would be released on Franklin-based Provident's Reunion Records label. "It's something he's always wanted to do, and I think people will respond."

"It'll be interesting to see how the marketplace responds," Hemmings said. "This has never happened before. Our market is not automatically drawn to someone's celebrity or someone's success, but they'll see how serious he is about this. And, obviously, he's a fantastic singer."

Eleven years ago, Littrell was a Kentucky teenager planning to attend Cincinnati Bible College as a music major with plans for careers as a minister.

"For Brian, this is a natural progression," Wright said. "It's where he was headed before he became a Backstreet Boy."

With plans for his own christian album, Brian's career with the Boys will still continue. With demonstration versions of the many songs he will like to record on his solo album, Littrell will fully release his debut after he tours with Backstreet to support its upcoming project. According to Hemmings, hopes of the release date of the solo will be in the early season of 2005 with a follow up of Littrell's solo tour.

Within the album, Littrell aspires to include tracks of classic nolstalgic Gospel songs intermixed with a contemporary pop flavor. He also mentioned of recording a possible track of Marvin Gaye/James Taylor staple How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You). One highlight of the album will be a duet with Backstreet bandmate A.J. McLeanHe, who is recovering from the faith.

"A.J. and I have talked about doing a duet,'' Littrell explains. ''I'm not trying to dirty up the Christian market, though. He'll have to behave.''

"It intrigues me,'' Littrell said in Franklin. "When the Backstreet Boys were riding high, my mom said, 'The Backstreet Boys are a mere steppingstone for you.' I didn't know what she meant then, but now I think I do. We've sold 68 million albums, and I would never have imagined selling that many. Why not use that as a tool?''