The advent of boy bands began as early as the 1900s with the presence of acapella barbershop quartets. They have evolved over the years to become some of the highest grossing figures in music, TV and film. Synonymous with upbeat songs, great dancing, and even better hair, boy bands are here to stay. Because it might be a little hard to keep up, we prepared a timeline of the world’s most prominent boy bands. Their style may have changed, but the core fundamentals of boy bands remains the same. What do they all have in common? Why, their irresistible charm of course!
Perhaps one of the first ever boy bands, the Beatles stormed into American presence, signaling the British Invasion. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, most certainly imposed the infamous “Beatlemania” among fans in the United States. On February 7, 1964 3,000 waited for them at NY’s JFK airport, a foreshadowing of the insane dedication of the fans of boy bands today.
The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 took the ‘bubble gum pop’ genre by storm in the late 60s. The 5 brothers released songs such as “I Want You Back” and “Can You Feel It” which are still popular today. The group fizzled out in 1989 but had a reunion tour in 2012.
>Puerto Rican boy band Menudo can be attributed with sparking the career of Ricky Martin. After forming in 1977, they successfully released over 40 albums and three movies with various members cycling through. They even had their own MTV reality show Making Menudo in 2007, which sparked a TV frenzy for boy bands to come.
Boston based R&B group New Edition rose to fame in the 1980s with songs such as ‘Candy Girl’ and ‘Can You Stand the Rain’ after being discovered in a local talent competition. In 1986 infamous member Bobby Brown left the group and later started his own solo career. In 2008 they recorded a song with boy band New Kids on the Block.
New Kids on the Block
Selling 80 million albums, NKOTB was one of the most popular boy bands of the 1980s. They broke up in 1995 but have been making comebacks ever since, such as their 2008 album ‘The Block’ which had a tour of its own.
With an astonishing 130 million albums sold worldwide, BSB is the most successful boy band to date. After forming in 1992, the band fought hard to attempt to shed themselves of the boy band image tainted by the lip synching scandal from NKOTB by singing a capella as much as they could. We definitely can’t say that they got rid of their boy band demeanor, but they did prove to be a lasting group. They released their 8th album ‘In a World Like This’ in 2013 and are currently up for an MTV Movie Award.
‘N Sync most likely will always be known for producing superstar Justin Timberlake, but the group collectively had some pretty great accomplishments. Not only did they sell an impressive 50 million albums, but they had four successful tours of their own. They also pioneered the idea of marketing merchandise to fans, rolling out items such as ‘N Sync lip gloss, bedding and video games. No plans to reunite as of now, but you never know!
Big Time Rush
BTR popped onto the scene in 2009 with a very popular Nick show not surprisingly titled “Big Time Rush”. Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena, and Logan Henderson provided the Nick response to the Jonas Brothers and had great international success. Their album 24/Seven debuted as #4 on the Billboard 200 and went on to chart in over 30 countries. Their show may be over, and the band just wrapped a South American Tour with no concrete plans to continue in the future.
After being eliminated from the singles competition in the 2010 UK X Factor season, Simon Cowell made quite the epic decision when he decided to put Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles together in a group. Sure, the group didn’t end up winning the competition, but who cares! They’ve released three albums, toured the world, and have their own movie.
UK boy band the Wanted while disbanding after their current tour, proved to be successful for a short while. With big radio singles such as “Chasing The Sun” and “Glad You Came”, The Wanted drew in an older audience.
A product of the US’s 2012 season of X Factor, Emblem 3 is comprised of 3 guys from Sequim, Washington. After winning viewers votes with original songs such as “Sunset Boulevard” and covers from artists such as Bruno Mars and the Beatles, group went on to place 4th in the competition. Today they’re signed to Simon Cowell’s label Syco, just finished opening for Selena Gomez on her Stars Dance tour, and had their own #Bandlife Tour.
The newest band to pop up on the boyband scene, Rixton is comprised of 4 boys from the UK (sensing a trend?!). Starting on YouTube, the group posted impressive covers to popular songs such as Remix to Ignition by R. Kelly. They are currently being managed by Scooter Braun and will be dropping their debut album later this year.
5 Seconds of Summer
Their debut solo US tour hasn’t even started yet, but 5SOS is taking the US by storm. Opening for One Direction’s Take Me Home Tour, the Australian group rose to fame and have not slowed down. Their new single “She Looks So Perfect” reached number one on iTunes charts in 39 countries! Watch out for their debut album dropping this summer and catch them on the road opening for 1D yet again this summer on the Where We Are Tour.