The Backstreet Boys reveal what 'it' is in hit song

  • 03/06/2018
The Backstreet Boys mystified many with the lyrics to 'I Want It That Way'.
The Backstreet Boys mystified many with the lyrics to 'I Want It That Way'. Photo credit: File

One of pop music's biggest mysteries has been solved.

In 1999, the Backstreet Boys topped the charts in more than 25 countries - including New Zealand - with the song 'I Want It That Way' from their third album Millennium.

The catchy single became an instant classic, but left fans wondering: what exactly is 'it'?

Model Chrissy Teigen tweeted on Saturday (local time) that 19 years after the release of the Backstreet Boys' biggest song, she's still confused about its lyrics.

Thankfully, she got her answer in a reply from the band's official Twitter account.

The tweet clarified that 'it' refers to the state of the romantic relationship which is the subject of the song. The song's protagonist doesn't want their partner to want to be "two worlds apart".

Therefore when the band sings "I never want to hear you say 'I want it that way'," they mean they don't want their partner to tell them that they want the relationship to end.

Backstreet Boys fans thanked Teigen for getting to the bottom of a mystery that had haunted many for almost two decades. One said that the model should win a Nobel Peace Prize for her work.

Many Twitter users compared the mysterious 'it' to the same unspecified 'that' Mealoaf declared he wouldn't do in his 1993 hit song 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)'.