In November 2000, the group released a new album, Black & Blue, with the idea of the title of the album coming from Brian as the boys were in Los Angeles for a photoshoot when they were all dressed in black and standing in front of a blue background when out of the blue, Brian suggested the album be called Black & Blue. To promote the release of Black & Blue, the boys traveled around the world in 100 hours to Sweden, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and the US; 55 of the hours were spent traveling and 45 were spent making public appearances. The album debuted with 1.6 million units sold in the first week in America, making the band the first ever artist to have two albums sell a million or more copies in the first week. In November 2000, Black & Blue had sold more than five million copies worldwide in its initial week, setting a new first-week record in international sales. Globally, Black & Blue — whose 13-song selection features six songs co-written by members of the group, including two written by all five Backstreet Boys — achieved platinum status in over 30 countries and gold certification in 10 regions around the world during its first week of release. In the first week of release, Black & Blue’s first single “Shape of My Heart” was played on 170 out of 171 of the Top 40 stations in the U.S. Meanwhile overseas, the song immediately jumped into the Top Five in Sweden (#1), Norway (#1), Canada (#1), Germany (#2), Switzerland (#4), Austria (#5) and Holland (#5) and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Towards the end of 2000, McLean first started using cocaine while shooting for the video “The Call”. The album’s second single “The Call” made the Top 10 in the UK and the third single “More Than That” made the Top 20.
In 2001, the Backstreet Boys kicked off the 1st leg of their “2001 Black & Blue World Tour”, in which they were to perform on five continents within the span of 100 hours. The tour also had extremely expensive production costs. The tour was featured on a CBS TV special, The Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life. To coincide with the special, TV Guide issued six different covers of the boys: five individual shots and one group photo.
The second leg of Black & Blue summer tour was put on hold when it was reported that A.J. McLean had checked himself into rehab to battle drinking, drug addiction, and depression, after Richardson had held an intervention for him at a hotel in Boston. The tour was postponed until September. Another tragedy struck when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred, killing a Backstreet Boys crew member, Daniel Lee, who had been using time off in the tour schedule to travel from Boston to Los Angeles to be with his pregnant wife. The death caused the cancellation of the band’s plans for overseas tours. Despite the tragedy in New York that day, the Backsteet Boys went ahead with a planned concert that night in Toronto, where they performed to less than 5000 fans, and angered many in a public struggling to cope with the enormity of what had happened.
Track Listing of Album Black and Blue :
1. The Call
2. Shape of My Heart
3. Get Another Boyfriend
4. Shining Star
5. I Promise You (With Everything I Am)
6. The Answer to Our Life
8. More Than That
10. Not For Me
11. Yes I Will
12. It’s True
13. How Did I Fall in Love With You