Drake joins the Backstreet Boys for ‘I Want It That Way’ live in Toronto

·2 min read
Drake joins the Backstreet Boys at their show in Toronto’s Budweiser Center on 2 July (Twitter/@backstreetboys)
Drake joins the Backstreet Boys at their show in Toronto’s Budweiser Center on 2 July (Twitter/@backstreetboys)

Drake joined the Backstreet Boys on tour in Toronto for a surprise performance of the group’s famous single, “I Want It That Way”.

The pop group, comprising Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough, are currently touring North America and Europe for their DNA World Tour.

Forthcoming shows include performances in New York, Ohio, Virginia and California, before they return to Canada in August.

Concert-goers were thrilled when the “God’s Plan” rapper performed “one of the greatest songs of all time” with its makers at the show in Toronto’s Budweiser Center on Saturday, 2 July,

The Backstreet Boys on Saturday welcomed their “sixth member” Drake on stage for a live rendition of the 1999 song, which remains deeply ingrained in popular culture to this day – despite its perplexing chorus.

Drake, who was born and raised in Toronto, shared his own memory of “I Want It That Way”, telling audiences that was “the first time I ever felt like I had a shot at being cool”.

“At 13 years old, I had a bar mitzvah … and at my bar mitzvah, for the first time in my life, this girl I was in love with came up to me while one of the greatest songs in the world was playing, and she asked me if I would dance with her,” Drake said, adding: “It was the first time I ever felt acknowledged, and it was the first time I ever felt like I had a shot at being cool.”

While the group sang “I Want It That Way” together, Drake worked his own song “Hold On We’re Going Home” into the live rendition.

The Backstreet Boys posted a video clip of the performance on Twitter with a caption that read: “What’s better than ‘I Want It That Way’?

“’I Want It That Way’ featuring Drake.”

Drake released his seventh studio album Honestly, Nevermind last month, following 2021’s Certified Lover Boy, which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.