Ricky MartinBy Talmadge Harper

The Backstreet Boys and Ricky Martin, two of the ‘90s more popular acts, are planning to launch U.S. tours later this year and are hoping to recapture past glory.

Their U.S. tours could seep into 2008. For the Backstreet Boys, they’re returning in October after two years with the planned completion of their first album since 2005’s “Never Gone,” which sold over 700,000 copies in the U.S. But with the album and tour, the band will be without one key member, Kevin Richardson, who says he wants to embark on a new chapter in his career.

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Martin, who has toured the U.S. frequently in the last seven years and returns from the European leg of his tour in September. The Latin pop star is best known for his 1999 hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” which sold 15 million copies.

Despite the previous success of both acts, ticket brokers remain skeptical that they’re still popular in 2007. In particular, brokers are questioning whether or not the Backstreet Boys will be as successful in terms of generating ticket sales. . .

Brent Gauthier, head of purchasing for Stagefronttickets.com in Illinois, does not anticipate wild sales. Gauthier believes changes in musical taste will attribute largely to a lackluster return of the ‘Boys. “At this point, tastes have changed in the music industry, therefore I would be really surprised if sales take off,” he said.

Barry Solomon, owner of Maryland-based Ticketservice.com, also shared a skeptical outlook on the Backstreet Boys return.

“The last time they played, there wasn’t such a demand. Unless in making this new album phenomenal, or other ways to create a fan demand, I don’t perceive that it’s going to change the tide,” Solomon said. However, Solomon did have higher hopes for Martin’s ticket sales. “Martin has the same type of sex appeal that appealed to adult audiences, while Backstreet fans have all grown up. Martin retains a larger base of fans.”

By keeping his existing fan base largely intact, the prospects of Martin’s tour succeeding are better than the Backstreet Boys’ tour. Musical tastes may have changed that it could be a problem for ticket sales, according to Solomon. “The Backstreet Boys have to do something that puts them in touch with the fans who are much older now.”

Solomon believes that the prudent thing would be for brokers to sit back and wait to see what happens with both groups. “I would take a wait and see attitude, if they market themselves well, do cross promotions to help build up their new albums, they could work out,” he said.

Last Updated on March 17, 2009