Born on August 22, 1973, in Orlando, Florida, Howie Dorough went from bit movie roles and Disney commercials to singing in front of massive audiences as a member of the Backstreet Boys. He's continued to have small acting gigs while making music with his boy band and as a solo artist. The married dad is also involved in advocacy for lupus awareness after losing his sister to the disease.
Hoke and Paula Dorough had their youngest child, Howard Dwaine Dorough, on August 22, 1973, in Orlando, Florida. Howie's heritage is part Irish (his dad's side) and part Latin (his mom's side, who hails from Puerto Rico). The young boy gravitated to performing, including singing in the school and church choirs as well as acting in a few local theater troupes. Small parts followed for him in films like the comedies Parenthood and Cop and Half. But something much bigger was brewing for the star.
Making the Backstreet Boys
In April of 1992, Howie Dorough auditioned for the Backstreet Boys under the name Tony Donetti. Rumor has it that he was selected but his contact information was lost and his assumed name caused confusion. He supposedly went for another audition several months later, only to discover he'd been selected and they were looking for him. Dorough already knew bandmate AJ McLean, from a talent show and the local audition circuit. Nick Carter, along with cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, completed the group. After building up a European fan base, the fivesome put out their debut album stateside. It sold 13 million copies with highlights like "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" and "As Long as You Love Me."
The Last Solo Artist
Dorough was the last of the Backstreet Boys to put out an album on his own after many years of making hits with his band. He began in 2006 with a record focusing on Spanish/Latin songs but nixed it because the direction didn't seem right. Five years later, on November 15, 2011, he released his first solo album, Back to Me, a mix of pop and R&B styles. Fellow Backstreet Boy crooner Nick Carter co-wrote one of the songs.
Family Man Gives Back
Dorough has been married to Leigh Boniello since December 8, 2007. The two met in 2000 while she was working on the Backstreet Boys' website. The couple welcomed their first son, James Hoke, on May 8, 2008, and another, Holden John, on February 16, 2013. Happy in all areas of life, a grateful Dorough wants to give back to others. He launched the Dorough Lupus Foundation to raise money for the disease that took his sister Caroline's life in 1998. Another of his causes is mentoring up-and-coming artists, like George Nozuka, Neverest and Dan Talevski. "I know I was given help, and I love to share what I've learned," said Dorough on his official site.
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