Backstreet Boys welcomed a hometown hero onstage during the group’s recent visit to Toronto.
Prior to closing their concert at the Budweiser Center on Saturday (July 2), the quintet introduced “sixth member” Drake for a duet of the boy band’s 1999 hit song “I Want It That Way.”
After walking out to thunderous applause from the surprised crowd, the superstar rapper explained how the track played a significant role in his adolescence.
“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 told the audience. “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.”
Drizzy added that it was “one of the greatest songs of all time” before joyfully performing the classic tune alongside the act. During the rendition, the rapper included parts of his own song “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”
“I Want It That Way,” from Backstreet Boys’ third studio album, Millennium, topped Billboard‘s Pop Airplay chart following its release in 1999. The track peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 that same year.
Drake recently dropped his seventh studio album, Honestly, Nevermind, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in late June. The dance-influenced project marks the hip-hop giant’s 11th No. 1 on the chart.