Take us back to the ’90s!
In today’s time, the world of boy band begins and ends with One Direction. Yet, if you go back to the late 80s all the way to the early 2000s, you’ll notice that it was during that period in time where boy bands ruled the music industry. With their synchronised dance moves to utterly ridiculous outfits, these boy bands sold millions of records and toured across the globe.
Now, you may fondly remember some of these boy bands while not remembering the rest at all. Unfortunately for us, the boy band era ended as we saw Nick Lachey sign a reality television deal and Justin Timberlake moving into acting while most of the other band members waited in the wings, ready to jump on a comeback whenever opportunity presented itself.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at 10 of our most loved boy bands who, at one period in most of our lives, had a poster on our bedrooms walls and held a special place in our hearts.
1. Backstreet Boys
Made up off A.K. McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell, the Backstreet Boys were one of the biggest boy bands back in the 90s. Just you try to dispute that!
Formed in 1993, they were the first group to send 7 albums straight to top 10 on the Billboard 200 since Sade. Apart from a trio of number #1 albums, the Backstreet Boys also tallied up six Hot 100 top 10 hits including some of their most loved tunes like “I Want It That Way” and “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).” Some of their most popular songs include “Shape Of My Heart”, “Larger Than Life”, “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely”, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”, and “Incomplete.”
2. ‘N Sync
Made up off Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass, ‘N Synce was arguably one of the most famous boy bands despite having one of the most short-lived boy band careers. Having sold more than 1 million copies of the second album No Strings Attached in a single week, the Grammy-nominated band disbanded in 2002.
Band member Justin Timberlake then moved on to launch a very successful solo and acting career.
3. Boyz II Men
American R&B vocal group, Boyz II Men are best known for their emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies. With 4 Grammy awards and 22 years under their belts, the crooners of this boy band are some of the most successful in boy band history. Apart from scoring a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Boyz II Men has earned multi-platinum status on over 10 different albums, scored a list of Hot 100 Number #1s including “End Of The Road”, “On Bended Knee”, and “One Sweet Day” featuring Mariah Carey.
English boy band 911 consisted of Lee Brennan (boy, was he cute), Jimmy Constable, and Simon “Spike” Dawbarn were formed in 1992.
Their debut single “Night To Remember” was released in May 1996 and was soon followed by their debut album, “The Journey”. In their 5 years together, 911 scored ten UK top 10 singles, sold 10 million singles and 6 million albums around the world. Some of their most popular hits include “A Night To Remember,” “The Day We Find Love,” and “A Little Bit More.”
5. Take That
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams (yes, THAT Robbie Williams) made up British boy band Take That. Throughout their boy band career, the boys had 27 top 40 singles and 16 top 5 singles in the UK alone, 11 of which peaked at number #1 as well as seven number #1 albums.
Robbie Williams left Take That in 1995 while the 4 remaining members completed their world tour and dropped their final single before going separate ways in 1996. The band however made a come back in 2005 before Robbie Williams rejoined them in 2012. The reunion was short lived as Jason Orange left the band in 2014.
6. New Kids On The Block
Also initialised as NKOTB, American boy band New Kids On The Black was formed in 1984 by producer Maurice Star.
Made up of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Dannie Wahlberg and Danny Wood, NKOTB rode the crest of the boy band mania in the late 80s, left the scene and made a comeback in 2008. With 7 studio albums, NKOTB has taken home 2 American Music Awards, hit the Hot 100 13 times, and had 9 albums on the Billboard 200. Their 2008 comeback lead to them teaming up with Backstreet Boys in 2011 as supergroup NKOTBSB.
Sean Conlon, Ritchie Nevill, Scott Robinson, Abz Love, and Jason “J” Brown made up English boy band Five, stylised as 5ive. Known for their hit single “When The Lights Go Out”, “Got The Feelin'”, “If Ya Gettin’ Down”, 5ive have sold a minimum of 1.5 million albums and 2 million singles in the UK alone.
The boy band split up on 27th September 2001 after selling 20 million records worldwide.
With lyrics such as “For better or worse, till death do us part, I’ll love you with every beat of my heart”, All-4-One’s “I Swear” was the song that everyone waited to dance to at their high school prom with their teenage crush.
Harmony-driven pop-meets-R&B boy band All-4-One saw most of their success in the mid 90s. Driven by their first 2 albums and with one slow jam number #1 mega-hit “I Swear”, All-4-One earned a Grammy award and stayed comfortably at the Hot 100 for 11 weeks. They are known for hit singles “I Can Love You Like That”, and “So Much In Love.”
Think Hanson, think “MMMBop!”.
Made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zan Hanson, the brothers earned 3 Grammy nominations and 22 weeks on hot 100 chart for their hit single from the highly successful debut album, “Middle Of Nowhere”. The brothers left Def Jam Records to form their own label in the early 2000s and has sold over 16 million records worldwide. They have also had 8 top 40 albums and 6 top 40 singles in the US, as well as 8 top 40 singles in the UK throughout their career.
10. 98 Degrees
Ohio-born boy band consisting of brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons, was formed in Los Angeles. Unlike most boy bands, 98 Degrees formed independently and were signed to Motown to release their first album in 1997. After going on hiatus in 2002, Nick Lachey scored a reality show gig with ex-wife Jessica Simpson and the group reunited in 2012 for a one-time performance at Mixtape Festival. Some of their most popular songs include “My Everything”, “The Hardest Thing”, “Invisible Ma”, and “I Do.”
Ahh listening to all these songs from these boy bands has had us reminiscing on the good ol’ days. If you were big into boy bands in the 90s and if your favourite didn’t make our list, share it with us by sounding off in the comments.