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Brian's Autobiography

"My name is Brian Thomas Littrell. I was born February 20th, 1975 in St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. I was born to Harold Jr. and Jackie Littrell- I was their second son. I have a brother who's three years older than me. I grew up fairly middle class. My dad worked at IBM; Later they were bought out in a company in Germany. They work on typewriter ribbons, computer ribbons and stuff like that. He's worked there ever since high school, eighteen years old. My grandfather, Harold Littrell, Sr., worked there, so my dad kind of followed in his footsteps. [Dad] inlisted in the navy and was in for four years. Right before he left the navy, he met my mom. My mom worked at a church, where I grew up actually.

As a young boy, I ate, drank and slept church whether I liked it or not. I'd rather be playing on sundays, but it grew up on me and I think it had to do a lot to do with the way I live my life now. Ever since I was little , I was running around, singing and being a comedian and making everybody laugh. My mom and dad both sing like birds, so they would sing all the time in church all the time. Ever since kindergarten, I was always involved with the children's chorus at church, and I was always singing up a stage. I was like six or seven years old when I did my first solo infront of the congregation at the church. This is a church that has like 4, 000 members; it would od have had about 1,500 at the service on Sunday morning. But that was a feat for for a six or seven years old! I was very nervous but I was very hammy! I'm very shy around people I don't know, but once I get to know a certain person, I can relax and then turn into a ham. I'm very timid when it comes to meeting people: I kind of calm up really easy.

I grew up in a house in Lexington. My brother and I got along- back then, three years was a lot of difference in our ages. I was born with a heart murmur and I have a hole in my heart. At the age of five, I was diagnosed with a disease of the blood and heart; they call it Staph infection. I went through the first five years of my life without anyone knowing I had this heart murmur. The way it happened was...

One day when I was five I was riding my big wheel down the street and I hit the curb and I kind of flipped over and skinned my knee. That's where the infection set in, [but no one know at the time]. When I got my big wheel home, I got a cookie and kiss from my mom and I was fine. Then about two weeks later, I had an accident over at my grandfather's house: I slipped and fell on the concrete and kind of knocked my head really well, so my mom was worried about me having a concussion or something. That's when they took me to the hospital. During the last two weeks, the [staph] infection had set in. It's a miracle that I had [a second] accident, so they could get me to the hospital [and discover the infection], because other than that I was a healthy five year old by appearance. I never has any disabilities; I was always able to run with the other kids. But that's when they hospitalized me for two months.

I remembered it very well. I used to dream about it, I have a lot of bad memories about it, because of how unhealthy I was and how the infection set into my blood. I was very weak and very pale. I just didn't have any strength. I would have to be pushed around in a wheel chair. Eventually I was able to push my little IV and walk up and down the hallways.

This disease I had is fatal and I had a zero chance of living. The doctors told my mom and dad to go ahead and make funeral arrangements, because 'your son is going to pass on.' And my mom... I'm the baby of the family, and it was so hard for her to deal with. Us being big in the church, she asked for help from the church and from family, and time went on. I was on certain medication, but nothing could really could stop this infection. As time went on, however, in the infection started to disappear and it went away! I thank God for that experience. I know that it was a miracle. There's no medicine on this Earth that could keep me on this earth. I'll never forget something that my mom said when I was 10 or 11: 'You know Brian, when you were in the hospital I was holding on to you for dear life, because I wanted to keep you here with me so bad... your my baby and I needed you. I finally realized that God has different means.' [She realized] that I was a blessing in her life, and she has to let me go, if it was my time. That night when she made that prayer, she gave me up. She said 'Whatever happens, happens, if it's meant to be' And from then on , I started to get better and recover.

The doctors told my mom and dad that if I did live... I wouldn't be able to do anything. Coming from a protective family, I came out of the hospital like on a rampage, because I was feeling a lot better. I still took some time to get my strength back, doing everything that I had done in the past... being little, didn't limit me to do anything. My first love in sports was soccer, and soccer deals with a lot of running. We lived right behind the church, in the split level where I grew up. Our church was fairly large and had a whole football field. Every summer they had a little soccer camp for kids my age or a little bit younger, and I would always try and get out there and play with them. My mom and dad were very protective in letting me do certain extra curricular activities that deal with a lot of running, though, any cardiovascular stuff, any stress that your heart goes under. My heart being weak at the time [my parents] were very scared. They never let me play soccer, so eventually I picked up a basketball and played for the church league with all my high school buddies. In basketball, you do just as much running as in soccer, it's crazy. Ever since then, I really got into it, and never has any problems. A couple of years after I got out of the hospital, I was growing, [and my parents] slowly let me do what I wanted to do.

Every year since then, I attended to University of Kentucky Medical Center just one time a year. I'd go back to the same doctors that I'd grew-up with. They were still there and they would check my heart and do EKGs and CAT scans. And every year they say the hole is getting smaller!

Having that experience made it a closer relationship with my family, with my brother, with all my friends at church, the whole church it's self, with God. Growing-up with that in mind, I stuck to my guns when peer pressure came around in middle school to do what everybody's doing. Instead of going on out partying, I was always at Wednesday Night church service. I'm not saying I was the best kid in the world, because everybody has flaws. But it just made me a better person; I was more proud of what I was doing. And when the singing came along with it, the older I got, the more I realized that maybe God kept me on the earth so I could use the gift that he gave me to be a singer, to be an entertainer. [Today, I have no physical limitations]; it's all in the past. I look back on the experiences and I've learned from the past and I've put it into everyday life. It's just an experience that you can't get rid of, that you have to turn around and use it to your benefit..."

"In elementary school and middle school [the girls were] like, 'Oh you sing? Big whoop.' In church it was 'Man, you're good, you have a really nice voice,' and that was pretty much it. I was get complements like that, but it never really set in. I always knew I wanted to sing, but I never really took it seriously until l my junior year of High School. My school had a talent show... This girl and I got up there and sang a spiritual song infront of the school-I mean the school was there. It was a song called 'Another Time, Another Place.' She comes on and sings her first line then I come into the song; I get like two or three words out of my mouth, and right then was when all the girls in the audience start to scream! I mean, I was all decked out in a suit and tie, and there were spotlights, so couldn't even see the audience, because the lights were so bright. I heard the first three words I sang and then I couldn't even hear myself. It just blew me away. I was like, "Oh my Goodness!" I had just gotten out of my chorus class earlier in the day and I was a nobody. But yet, when I stepped on-stage and got behind those lights it was totally different. I was just an instant star. I think that was the point in my life when I knew that if I could pull something like that off like that with my peers, then their definitely had to be people out in the world who would like that as well. And from then on, it was such a rush!

I had a lot of girl friends in school. One of my relationships lasted like three months and three days in my junior year of high school. I went out with this girl who was going to a different church, and I started going to church with her and getting involved with her youth group. I'd liked her since 9th grade and she would never give me the time of day, then finally in my junior year she [noticed me] and I'm like "I can't believe it..." I think I learned form that experience, I think I was infatuated with her, because she was a very pretty girl and when I found about her inner self, I wasn't that attracted to her anymore. My friends had been saying, "She's so mean, she's not personable, she doesn't talk." I was like "I just love her to death!" Then finally I got my chance and it just didn't turn out. When I look back on it, it was just an experience...

We always had to take out the trash and run the dishwasher, because my mom and dad worked all the time. Growing up, my mom was always involved in the church. When I'm dealing with the stuff in the hospital we were all surviving off my dad's income. I always had everything I needed: But when I was 16, I wanted an automobile. My brother was 19 and he was driving a little, old car that he was paying for because he was working a job. I was like 'I want to be like that, have a car, go on dates, do what I want to do.' And so for a year I was debating with my mom because she was like, ‘You not getting a car until you get a job!, save some money, put a nice down payment on it and pay it off’ So I did! That's where Long John Silver came in, it's a fast food chain. I worked there about a year and a half. I was saving some money, showing some responsibility, working, keeping up with my school work and church, trying to manage all my time; Trying to venture off into adulthood. I proved to my mom that I was reliable and that she could trust me. I believe you have to work hard.

When we would have family outings [Kevin] always go hang out with my brother. It was like my brother and him were real tight, because they were both the same age. I was the baby of the family… My brother sings also, but he really doesn't sing the pop, R&B style we have; he likes heavy metal, Rock ‘n Roll. They would get together and sing and pretend they were like rock stars and my brother would beat on the drums. My brother never took it seriously like I didn't take it very seriously- until I was just thrown into it. Everyone knew about the Kevin called me from Orlando about the Backstreet Boys. I was sitting in my US history class, it was the last class of the day, 6th hour, and it was April 1993. So I get home and right when I walked in the door I'm like "Mom, I gotta’ tell ya, I gotta’ tell ya!’ and she was like "Yeah, Kevin called about the group and told me all about it!’ and I was like "What?!’ He had called both my parents, given them the low down and I was the last one to hear about it!. I was just in disbelief! I was like, there's no way! This can't be happening! My moms main concern was my education.

So she got on the phone and talked to Denise, AJ's mom, and Denise told her about the tutor, home schooling, how they go about their days getting their studies done. And if everything worked out, then I would just fall right in with Nick and AJ and be tutored together with them. That was her main concern, and it was all worked out. To make a long story short, we talked to management that night, and they said ‘You gotta’ get down here and audition. We've heard a lot of great things about you and you gotta give this a shot!’ I was on a plane at 6 am the very next day. I flew down to Orlando by myself. Kevin and a limo were there to pick me up at the airport. My jaw was hitting the floor. I was scared half to death. Here I was and hours before I was talking to him on the phone! Now I'm talking in Orlando, I'm in a Limo.... I was like ‘Wooahh. What have I gotten myself into! Here I am from Kentucky, a middle class guy who is growing up and worked hard and POW, overnight my life has been changed.’ Right when I met management I was like ‘This is for me, I can fit into this, I love this’ It was nothing like I had expected. I expected it to be all formal, ‘cause I had never auditioned for anything. I didn't know what it was going to be like.

I love being the Backstreet boys! I wouldn't change a thing in my life! It's a blessing I thank God for everything. I think this group has a lot of potential. I think this group has longevity, We're for real- what you see is what you get. We're five solo artists put together and we love what we do.

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