Kevin Richardson, considered one of the best musicians, as a member of the band Backstreet Boys, has been in the limelight for decades. Being the oldest member, he is known as the big brother of the group. He was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on April 10, 2015, along with his cousin and band mate Brian Littrell. Here are some interesting facts about the singer, songwriter, that many fans might not know:
- He formed the “Just Within Reach (JWR)” Foundation in honor of his father, in January 2001. He ran with the Olympic torch for the foundation in Los Angeles, California, on January 15, 2001.
- In August 2003, Kevin, along with his longtime friend Keith McGuffey, opened a Music Academy called The Music Workshop in their native Louisville, Kentucky.
- The same year, he composed the soundtrack of the animated movie “The Spirit Bear,” which was scheduled for a release in 2010, several years later.
- Richardson is the brand ambassador of TAG Heuer, and has also been a model for Versace. He also modeled for Vogue.
- He played the role of Derek in the 2016 independent short film “If I Could Tell You,” which is about infertility. In the movie, he spoke about his struggle in having children.
- Kevin Scott Richardson was born on October 3, 1971 to Jerald Wayne Richardson, Sr., and Ann C. Littrell in Lexington, Kentucky. His father was an outdoorsman and handyman, while his mother was a homemaker.
- He grew up on a 10-acre farm with his two older brothers – Jerald Wayne Jr., and Tim, for 9 years, before moving to a log cabin at Cathedral Domain Camp, run by his father.
- His father Jerald Sr., passed away when Kevin was just 19 years old, on August 26, 1991. He battled colon cancer for more than 2 years, before leaving this world.
- His father was first diagnosed in October 1990, but his family did not tell him as he was staying in Orlando, Florida. In June 1991, when his mother called him about his father’s worsening condition, he moved back home.
- Nearly a year after his father’s death, his mother encouraged him to move back to Florida to achieve his dreams of a music career. He worked at Disney, while also working as a model, and performing in dinner clubs.
- He had mostly spent his childhood in the outdoors, enjoying horseback riding, dirt bikes, and other sports. He was able to ride a horse at the very young age of 4.
- During his high school days, he played football and was also the captain of his team named Estill Engineers, where he got the nickname Train, as he used to run through other players like a train on the team.
- He, along with the other members of Backstreet Boys, underwent a DNA test, which revealed that he is 44.1% English, 36.2% North and West European, and 19.7% Irish, Scottish and Welsh.
- His love for music, since being a kid, helped him in learning how to play piano by ear, when he was just 9 years old. He, along with his cousin Littrell, was a part of the church choir. He was also a part of the community and High School Theater.
- He had participated in various school plays like “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Barefoot in the Park,” while studying at the Estill County High School in Kentucky.
- During his time there, he had been voted as the "Most Popular", "Best Dressed", "Best Dancer", "Best Look" and "Best Looking" student of the school, by his fellow students.
- Just as he got his first keyboard when he was a high school freshman, he started playing in restaurants and at weddings in a band named Paradise.
- In March 1993, he saw an ad about the vocal group Backstreet Boys, and auditioned for it. He joined the group, and when he got to know that the group needed one more member, he called his first cousin Littrell, who was immediately accepted after auditioning.
- He used to work as a Ninja Turtle, Aladdin, Prince Eric, Tigger, The Rocketeer, Goofy, and Sebastian the Crab and a backstage tour guide at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
- Richardson was part of the Backstreet Boys, until June 2006, when he announced that he is leaving to pursue other projects, and start a family. However, after 6 years, on April 29, 2012, he announced in a live show in London, England that he is permanently back with the band.
- It was announced in 2012 that Richardson has started working on his first solo album, but following his return to Backstreet Boys, the album was delayed. As of writing, the album has not been released.
- In the year 2009, he was featured in the role of Cyrus in his first TV film – a Christian drama – “Love Takes Wing,” based on Janette Oke’s book of the same name.
- Having lost his father to cancer, Richardson, through his JWR foundation, was involved in providing environmental education and promoting personal responsibility. However, it has been a longtime since he did anything with the foundation, and there has also been reports that he has closed the foundation.
- He met Kristin Kay Willits, a dancer, photographer, actress and model, while working at the Disney World in June 1992. He proposed to her over the 1999 holidays, at the same place, where they said “I Love You” for the first time.
- The couple got married at the Cathedral Domain Camp and Conference Center in rural Lee County in eastern Kentucky, on June 17, 2000.
- Kevin and Kristin have two sons together – Mason Frey Richardson born in 2007 and Maxwell Haze Richardson born in 2013. Kristin has been featured in the 2015 documentary “Pushing Motherhood” in which she talks about the couple’s difficulties with fertility.
- In the Broadway production of the American musical “Chicago,” he played the role of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn, during the Backstreet Boys’ hiatus in 2003.
- After leaving the band, he returned to performing in the musical, for the 10th anniversary of the show on November 14, 2006. He played his role in Japan in February 2007 as well as September 2009, and then in his native Louisville, Kentucky from October 29, 2009 to November 1, 2009.
- He, along with Rob Gonzalez, headlined a Christmas concert titled “Home for Holidays” on December 18, 2011, which benefitted the Angeles Clinic Foundation of Los Angeles.
- In the year 2011, Richardson won an Independent Vision Award for Best Actor in Film, at the Vision Fest in New York City.
- Kevin Richardson Net Worth: $40 Million
Millena Pereira, CC BY 3.0
"Backstreet Boys Concert - Backstreet's Back @ Montreal" by Anirudh Koul is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
"Backstreet Boys Concert - And The Crowd Sings Along" by Anirudh Koul is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0