Entire New York Subway Bursts Into Song When They Hear Backstreet Boys

by : Lucy Connolly on : 21 Jun 2019 17:55
Backstreet boys singalongBackstreet boys singalong@Wertwhile/Twitter

There are three main rules that must be adhered to when travelling on public transport.


First, avoid eye contact with anyone you might meet. Second, don’t talk to anyone – unless you want to spend the rest of your journey in awkward conversation.

And finally? Whatever you do, do not – under any circumstances – burst out into song. Keep those headphones in and sing along inside your head, if you need to.

Train carriageTrain carriagePixabay

Then again, that might just be me being a grump because some commuters in New York City didn’t follow any of that advice and had an absolute ball on their journey home recently.


Heartwarming footage has emerged showing the moment a subway car full of passengers spontaneously burst into song together. Not just any song either, but the classic I Want it That Way by Backstreet Boys.

The sing-along was captured by Joel Wertheimer, a civil rights attorney, who was travelling on the subway over the weekend (June 16) when he got involved in the incredible moment.

Take a look at what happened below:

Incredible. Joel explained how one man had got on the train with a speaker, playing the song to his fellow passengers.

He wrote:

Had a really tough week and tonight I was the subway and some guy walks between train cars, shirtless, bumping a speaker. I wasn’t in the mood for Showtime particularly. But sometimes people and life surprise you and a little magic happens.

The camera then pans to the entire carriage, showing every single person caught up in the moment and singing along to the cheesy pop hit.


Honestly, this might be enough to make me change my mind on my previous rules; why do things like this never happen on my journey home?!

Obviously, people on Twitter couldn’t handle it:

The tweet quickly went viral, gaining 31K likes and 8.7K retweets shortly after it was posted, with many praising the New Yorkers for their spirit.

One person thanked Joel for sharing ‘this moment of NY magic’, while another wrote: ‘Seeing complete strangers, of all different races and backgrounds, bonding together in this fashion puts the biggest smile on my face.’

I’ll be honest though, I’m just a bit disappointed no one thought to sing ‘now number five’ in Jake Peralta’s voice.

If you know, you know.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Life, Backstreet Boys, Music, New York, Sound, subway


Joel Wertheimer/Twitter
  1. Joel Wertheimer/Twitter