BACKSTREET BOYS singer Brian Littrell is set to sign a deal with a Christian record label - only months before the beloved pop group return to the studio following their long hiatus.

The American fivepiece are working with veteran boy band producer MAX MARTIN on their long-awaited follow-up to 2000 album BLACK AND BLUE, which is expected to hit stores in Spring 2005.

American newspaper THE TENNESSEAN reports Littrell is in talks with PROVIDENT MUSIC GROUP, which records "Christian inspirational music."

Provident President and CEO TERRY HEMMINGS enthuses, "'I see it as being a new day for Brian. It's something he's always wanted to do, and I think people will respond."

Littrell hopes to record a Christian duet with recovering alcoholic bandmate Aj Mclean, saying, "A.J. and I have talked about doing a duet.

"I'm not trying to dirty up the Christian market, though. He'll have to behave."

24/06/2004 00:06