The band was nominated in the best pop duo/group performance category — their eighth-ever nomination — at Sunday's awards show

By Joelle Goldstein
February 10, 2019 09:52 PM
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More than two decades after they got their start in music, the Backstreet Boys are back at the Grammy Awards as nominated artists — an unbelievable moment, if you ask them.

On Sunday, band members Nick CarterKevin RichardsonBrian LittrellAJ McLean and Howie Dorough, who were nominated in the best pop duo/group performance category for their hit “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” said receiving their eighth-ever nomination felt “surreal” after so many memorable years together.

“We have so many great memories here back in the day,” Dorough, 45, explained to PeopleTV. “We’ve been amongst so many great other artists nominated and just to be amongst [them]… it’s just a great experience.”

For Richardson, who is the oldest of the band that formed in 1993, winning a Grammy took a backseat to the group’s longevity.

“In two months, it’ll be 26 years that we’ve been together as a group,” he explained. “If you would’ve told me 26 years ago when we started this that in 2019, after 26 years together, we’d have a No. 1 album and be nominated for our eighth Grammy award, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

“That’s a win right there,” added Richardson, 47.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Grammys coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

The Backstreet Boys
Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Littrell echoed his fellow bandmate’s sentiments but revealed what he thought was the secret to their enduring success.

“It’s about the journey — the journey with our fans, the journey together as a group, because we’ve been through all the highs, all the lows and we’re still here,” he said.

“We love music … we’re passionate about what we do and we’re passionate the art that we make, and so we hope that everybody continues to love it,” Littrell continued. “That’s why we’re still here.”

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The artists, who brought their wives along to the big night, also divulged their upcoming Valentine’s Day plans. And aside from Dorough, who explained he had to work, the men all had romantic nights planned.

Carter, 39, revealed that he was planning to get creative with a hot air balloon ride, while McLean, 41, and Richardson were looking forward to a more low-key night, including dinner and “snuggle time.”

Littrell said he was planning to have “quiet time that I can’t mention on camera” with his wife.

Courtesy Live Nation

The band recently released their ninth studio album, DNA, on Jan. 25. In November, they announced their DNA World Tour, which will be the group’s biggest arena tour in 18 years.

It will kick off in May after a 14-month Las Vegas residency, Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life,comes to an end in April. After beginning in Portugal on May 11, the group will touch down in Europe and then head to the States until mid-September. Tickets are available here.

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“We are stoked to finally be here again gearing up for a new album, new tour, and brand new single,” McLean previously told PEOPLE.

“There are so many amazing things we have up our sleeves,” he said. “It’s really nice to see the actual payday when we’ve been busting our butt in the studio. We’ve been working on this record for quite some time now, it’s finally about to be sooner or later presented to the world.”

The Backstreet Boys
Tim Roney/Getty

The “Larger Than Life” hitmakers said they could not feel more grateful for this new chapter.

“For a group like us to still be here … is a huge testament to the music and a huge testament to our fans — the most loyal fans in the world sticking with us the entire time and they continue to push us to strive and be better,” McLean has said.

RELATED: Backstreet Boys Are Excited to ‘One-Up’ Their Smash Residency with DNA World Tour Next Year

He continued: “We’re always trying to set new goals for ourselves. I know going into this tenth album that we set that goal to be able to put up a massive tour, especially coming off the heels of such a huge show in Las Vegas.”

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards are broadcasting live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.