When we asked Howie D of the Backstreet Boys what advice he'd give to young boy bands like One Direction -- in between chatting about the BSB documentary and the truth bomb that he kind of helped create 'N Sync, of course -- the veteran singer answered thoughtfully and truthfully.

Though Howie did note that "it's very hard to give advice to anybody, especially when [they're] young," he revealed that the best advice he ever received in the early years of BSB was from the Temptations -- advice that he'll gladly pass down.

"One of the original members said that show business is two words," he recalled. "You have to make sure you understand and treat them both properly because if you only focus on your show somebody could be walking off with your business."

It was this advice that not only made a huge impact on fetus BSB -- "We really got involved in understanding our craft and putting on a great show but also understanding the business of this whole field that we're in," Howie told us -- but also propelled the Backstreet Boys singer to pass it on down the boy band lineage.

"I think for young groups it's understanding that for sure," he explained. "Understanding that it's this business. Take ownership in what you're doing. The music has to come first -- that's by far the the most important thing. You have to make music, good quality music that hopefully is timeless … and will be heard both today and hopefully 20 years from now on the radio and still feel very fresh."

While perfecting both your craft and business is one thing, showing some serious love to your fans is another is equally as important. (YAS, Howie. YAASSS.)

"Take care of your fans. Without them, you're nothing," he continued. "If you don't take the time of the day to take that picture, to do that autograph, even if you've woken up on the wrong side of the bed, they don't know that. And you may touch somebody and may leave a long lasting impression, not only about you, but about your group, or about groups in general. So take your time to be friendly with your fans and go out of your way for them."

And that makes you larger than life, Howie D.

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