A boy band, written in some countries boys band or boy's band, is a type of pop group featuring several young male singers. The members are generally expected to perform as dancers as well, often executing highly choreographed sequences to their own music. Although there are no distinct traits defining a boy band, one could label a band a "boy band" for following mainstream music trends, changing their appearances to adapt to new fashion trends, having elaborate dance moves, and performing elaborate shows. They can evolve out of church choral or Gospel music groups, but are often put together by talent managers or record producers who audition the groups for appearance, dancing, rapping skills, and singing ability. Boy bands often seem to be prefabricated.
Some do not play musical instruments, and the acts are essentially vocal harmony groups (though there are some exceptions, such as groups like A1). Due to this and their general commercial orientation towards a teenybopper, teens, or preteen audience, the term has negative connotations in music journalism. Boy bands are similar in concept to girl groups.
|Boy Group||Sold||Genre||Studio Albums||Members||Years Active|
|1. Backstreet Boys||120 Million+||Pop||6||4 - 5||1993-present (15 Years)|
|2. New Kids on the Block||70 Million+||Pop||5||5||1984–1994, 2008-present (11 Years)|
|3. 'N Sync||55 Million+||Pop||3||5||1995 - 2002 (7 Years)|
|4. Westlife||40 Million+||Pop||6||4 - 5||1998-present (10 Years)|
|Boy Group||Sold||Genre||Studio Albums||Members||Years Active|
|1. Jackson Five||90 million+||R&B||6||4 - 5||1969 - 1990 (21 years)|
|2. Boyz II Men||85 million+||R&B||5||3 - 5||1990 - present (18 years)|
|3. New Edition||28 Million+||R&B||6||5||1983 - present (25 years)|
|4. OutKast||25 million+||R&B/Hip Hop||7||2||1993 - present (15 years)|
|Album||Boy band||Worldwide Sales||Year||Genre|
|Millennium||Backstreet Boys||35 Million||1999||Pop|
|Backstreet Boys||Backstreet Boys||28 Million||1997||Pop|
|Step by Step||New Kids on the Block||19 Million||1990||Pop|
|Hangin' Tough||New Kids on the Block||16 Million||1988||Pop|
|No Strings Attached||'N Sync||15 million||2000||Pop|
|Black & Blue||Backstreet Boys||15 Million||2000||Pop|
|II||Boyz II Men||15 million||1994||R&B|
|*NSYNC||'N Sync||13 Million||2001||Pop|
TV Producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson got four members to perform catchy pop tunes while also acting in a television series. The Monkees are often considered as the original pioneers among boy bands. Formed in 1965 the group disbanded in 1970. Although the term is mostly associated with groups from the 1990s onwards, antecedents exist throughout the history of pop music. The Temptations, popular in the 1960s, and The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, and Earth, Wind and Fire, popular in the 1970s, have also been considered a form of boy band by some. Latino boy band Menudo was founded in 1977.
One of the most successful boy band managers is Lou Pearlman, who is responsible for extremely commercially successful acts such as the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. In the UK, producer Simon Cowell (noted in the U.S. for the American Idol/Pop Idol franchise) is also known for having managed boyband Westlife, which was created by Louis Walsh and promoted by a former boy band member Ronan Keating of Boyzone.
Since 2001, the dominance of traditional boy bands on pop charts began to fade to be replaced by what Gil Kaufman of MTV describes as "new boy bands" that are "more likely to resemble Good Charlotte, Hawthorne Heights, My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan or Dashboard Confessional". As of 2008, current boy bands imitate pop punk, 1960's garage rock, post punk revivalists or post hardcore/emo acts.
Some critics compare boy band output to the "machine-generated" popular music found in George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, noting that much of their music (as well as the bands' composition) is extremely formulaic. Other critics point to boy bands (and related musical groups) as case studies in commercialism and postmodernism, with little cultural content. Such criticisms can become extremely scathing:
After scouring the country for five boys who could belt out tunes while doing the splits, (Lou Pearlman) assembled a clean-cut collection of effeminate white and Latino-looking boys, all pink cheeks and crew cuts with peroxided tips. Just like the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, there's the cute blond guy, one with curly hair, the dark one with big dimples, the guy with the funny facial hair and the less cute, but really sensitive, guy.
Pearlman herded them into a tiny apartment, forcing these guys in their late teens and early 20s to share bedrooms (hey, less opportunity for illicit sexual activity - at least with the opposite sex), and forbade them to stay out past midnight. He dressed them in coordinated red and silver "rave" outfits and spoon-fed them sugary-sweet lyrics like "Would I cross an ocean just to hold you ... Would I give up all I have to see you smile?" And then he set them loose on concert halls full of 12-year-old girls, who dutifully screamed their lungs out in a kind of mass orgasm fueled by all that scrubbed-clean testosterone.
Further examples of boy band parodies in pop culture include:
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