It's All About Howie

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Date: May 14, 2001
Source: LatinGirl magazine
Submitted By: Sol Carter Thorpedo Rudd

He's the Backstreet Boy who seldom takes center stage. A seemingly shy guy with good looks, a great sense of humor, and a contagious laugh. Doesn't he remind you of Andy Garcia? But, don't be fooled by his sweet good-boy face or his goofy ways, he's a Leo, un leon del Caribe, and he knows it...so watch out!

What could possibly be better than meeting Howie D. in person? Nothing! Okay, well, maybe watching him walk around shirtless. He does have great arms. Or, sitting down and having a conversation with him about..oh, I don't know...anything. That is, if his smile doesn't distract you, or those baby browns of his.

Don't worry, as long as you sit there and smile - and you can't help but smile - he'll just keep right on talking. He's just too humble to realize you're in awe of him!

THE LATIN LOVER

That's the beauty of talking with Howie. He'll tell you whatever you want to know. But, if you're not listening carefully and don't know how to read between the lines, you'll miss a lot. He's very discreet about his lion tendencies. But, he is a "party animal". And, he's available. "I'm as single as can be right now, " says the 27-year-old singer. "I tried the relationship thing twice but it didnt work out. It was hard when I went on tour. She sees me on the road, and all the fans. The distance didn't help either. She has to be secure about herself and secure enough to know I am with her."

Howie adds, "Don't get the wrong idea. I love the ladies and I am dating." When he isn't busy touring, raising money for his lupus foundation, working with his Latin band, spending time with his family or fighting off the fans, he's dating. How does he find the time?

And, it's not just any girl that Howie is looking for either. Aside from being attractive, she must have a good head on her shoulders. He goes for a girl who has her own goals in life and full, kissable lips! "Because I'm the Latin in the group," explains Howie, "I have the fullest lips. So, I like a girl with full lips."

But, when it comes to a serious relationships, Howie wants someone who has similiar qualities to his mother: smart, a little traditional, catolica, and who takes pride in her appearance. "It would be nice if she was Latina, but it's not necessary." says BSB's Latin Lover.

You gotta wonder how this genuinely nice guy earned such a nickname. The typical "Latin Lover" is a manipulative macho with so many girlfriends he can't remember all their names. Could it be his metallic purple Corvette? My guess is it's just a play on the fact that he's Hispanic. According to Howie, it's really not his style. "I don't believe in being a macho. That doesn't work for me." Good answer!

There is one crucial thing to remember if you want to stay on his good side, don't call him papi chulo or papito. He doesn't like it. But, if you're nice, you might get away with calling him nene. Maybe.

QUE CONITA BANDERA

The youngest of six, Howard Dwaine Dorough was born and raised in Orlando, Fla. Though he did not grow up speaking Spanish, Howie takes great pride in being half Puerto Rican. His mother, Paula Flores, born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, inspired her son with a love for his culture and the Spanish heritage. He travels to Puerto Rico whenever he has time.

Says Howie, who is half-Irish, "I'm very proud of being Puerto Rican, but I feel ashamed because I don't know a lot of Spanish. I can get by in a conversation, but I speak broken Spanish. I had the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was younger. But, my mom didn't have the patience to teach us Spanish and she was learning English, so she told us to speak English."

When he travels to South America and the Caribbean, he always speaks Spanish. Howie also tries to get his fellow BSB members to learn Spanish. It's important to him that he makes the effort. It is because he has stayed true to his roots that BSB fans in Puerto Rico and all over South America love Howie D most of all.

ON HIS OWN

He may be humble and a little shy, but Howie D. has a good sense of himself and where he wants to go. As the owner of his own production company, a night club in Florida called Tabu, a Latin band known as Wepa, and the Dorough Lupus Foundation that raises awareness and money for Lupus research, he may just be this millennium's Desi Arnaz. Next on his to-do list: acting.

From a soap opera in Spain to a cameo on Roswell, Howie D. has already begun to make the transition from stage to screen. In fact, Howie was offered a recurring role on Roswell, as well as the lead in a VH1 movie, neither of which he could take at the time. "The VH1 movie was kind of like a salsa version of Save the Last Dance. But, they needed a 4 week committment and I'm only on vacation for 3 weeks, so I couldn't take it. Backstreet boys is my first priority. But, I know there will be time for it in the future."

When he is ready to commit more of his time to acting, Howie D plans to use his real name. "It's like Marky Mark. He's using Mark Walberg now. When the time comes, I want to be taken as a serious actor."

WHERE MY BOYS AT

He loves the perks of being part of BSB. Not only do thousands of adoring fans shout his name, but he gets to mingle with the likes of Elton John, Santana and Marc Anthony. Who wouldn't love it?

But being a member of the Backstreet boys is serious business too. "We all do our own thing, but I'm going to stay with them until the end."

And forget about the rumors that Howie isn't a leading BSB. "I'm a Leo, and you know what they say about Leos...I don't have to prove I'm the leader. I can just sit back and be a leader in my own way.

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