Birth name Brian Thomas Littrell
Born February 20, 1975 (age 41)
Origin Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Genres Pop, Contemporary Christian
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1992–present
Labels Reunion, Jive
Associated acts Backstreet Boys, NKOTBSB
Brian Thomas Littrell (born February 20, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter and occasional actor, best known as a member of the Backstreet Boys. He is also a contemporary Christian recording artist and released a solo album, Welcome Home, in 2006. Brian has five Top 20 solo singles in the US Christian chart.
Littrell was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers. On April 10, 2015, Littrell was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame along with his cousin and bandmate Kevin Richardson.
Brian Thomas Littrell was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Jackie (née Fox) and Harold Baker Littrell, Jr. He has an older brother, Harold Littrell, who’s a singer and actor, and is a cousin of fellow Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson.
When he was just 15, Littrell wanted to be a basketball player, which got him his nickname “B-Rok” (in the athlete’s language “Shot the Rock” basketball games and the “B” was easy for Brian set before), but at just 1.73 m, his height was from nothing. Despite everything, he loves the sport and playing it was his favorite hobby. Besides school, Brian worked as a temp at Long John Silver’s, as an assistant in the hospital and his love for singing got him singing in weddings.
He first started to sing in the choir of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, and later started singing in his high school choir and acting in the school production of “Grease” as Roger at Tates Creek High School. Music was always important to him, and he originally planned on entering school to become a music minister. While a junior in high school, Littrell changed plans and accepted the offer to join what became the very successful vocal harmony group, the Backstreet Boys.
Littrell was born with a heart defect that brought him several times into the hospital with life-threatening conditions – for two months alone when he was 5 years of age because of a bacterial infection. An open heart surgery in 1998 closed the hole he had in his heart, as he said on his Hour of Power interview in 2007. After that he founded the Brian Littrell’s “Healthy Heart Club” for kids, a non-profit organization that assists children with heart conditions through medical, financial and practical help. In October 2009, Littrell became infected with the H1N1 virus, causing the cancellation of the Backstreet Boys This Is Us promotional tour.
In 1997, Littrell met model and actress Leighanne Wallace at the video shoot for their single “As Long as You Love Me”. He proposed on Christmas Eve night of 1999, and their engagement along with the engagement of Littrell’s cousin and bandmate Kevin Richardson’s engagement to Kristin Willits was announced on MTV in February 2000. Littrell and Wallace were married on September 2, 2000 at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Both are committed evangelical Christians. Together they have one son, Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell, born on November 26, 2002, who recently appeared in the Broadway musical Disaster!.
As of 2015, the family resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
A devout Christian, Littrell has stated that he believes it is the duty of Christians to be open about their faith, saying, “I think as Christians we need to join hands and mount up together and lift God up and talk about our faith publicly and talk about all of the things God has done for us in our life to touch other people.” Littrell, who has been a born again Christian since the age of 8, has said that he attributes his success in life to God, and that his faith has always been “the utmost important thing” in his life.