Nick Carter Says Backstreet Boys Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Show — Does He Regret It?

The group opted instead to perform the national anthem at the 2001 big game while fellow boy band *NSYNC hit the big stage with Britney Spears and Aerosmith.

While boy bands have made their mark on the Super Bowl Halftime Show stage, one of the biggest has never had the chance — or perhaps we should say, they never took the chance.

As Nick Carter explained to ET on Thursday, the Backstreet Boys was actually given the opportunity for the 2001 game in Florida — “My home town,” he added — but they declined.

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Instead, fellow ’90s boy band *NSYNC hit the stage with the biggest pop star of the decade, Britney Spears, and Aerosmith, who were enjoying a huge comeback decade.

“At the time we came from the era of, we loved the Whitney Houston rendition of the national anthem. And for us, we got the choice and we passed on the halftime,” he told the outlet with a small laugh.

While it’s true that a lot of attention was paid to Houston’s iconic rendition of the national anthem back in 1991, that was more about how incredible Whitney was as an artist. Nevertheless, Carter said that he felt “we did a really good job at the national anthem.”

He sidestepped a direct answer when asked if he regretted the band’s choice to skip the Halftime Show for the national anthem, slipping into some lyrics from “Shape of My Heart.”

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“Looking back on the things we’ve done,” he sang, before saying, “I want to do it in the future.”

In particular, he wants it to happen perhaps the next time his hometown team makes it to the Super Bowl. In fact, he thinks it would be “pretty cool” if *NSYNC joined them on the stage to unite the biggest boy bands of the ’90s together for one epic performance.

“That again is going back to the era we came from, the late ’90s,” he said. “It was a really beautiful time and I think everybody wants that again. They want that feeling coming out of this, everything that we have gone through together and society for the past year and a half. We want to be a part of that story, of love and growth and just coming out of the dark.”

Perhaps as a tease of that very possibility, Carter is joining forces with BSB’s AJ McLean and *NSYNC’s Lance Bass and Joey Fatone for a special event on June 18 to celebrate Pride Month.

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The “Bingo Under the Stars” takes place live at the Grove in LA and will feature, among other surprises, the four singers coming together to perform songs from the classic catalogs of both groups.

“It’s the first time ever that Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC have ever done something together like this,” Carter said. But if he gets his wish, perhaps it won’t be the last.

“If they want us to do a halftime at the Super Bowl, I’ll tell you what, there’s only one Backstreet Boys and there’s only one *NSYNC, and I think we do pretty well at it,” he said.

He also hinted at the possibility of the groups hitting the road together as BSB did with New Kids on the Block. What better way to kick off, or wrap up, such a hot ticket than with a Super Bowl Halftime Show. Looks like it’s all up to you, Bucs!

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