List of Best-selling boy bands. A boy band or boy group is loosely defined as a vocal group consisting of young male singers, usually in their teenage years or in their twenties at the time of formation, singing love songs marketed towards girls. Many boy bands dance as well as sing, usually giving highly choreographed performances.
Some such bands form on their own, often evolving out of church choral or gospel music groups. In contrast, many are created by talent managers or record producers who hold auditions. Due to this and their general commercial orientation towards a female audience of preteens, teenyboppers, or teens, the term can be pejorative in music journalism. Boy bands are similar in concept to their counterparts, girl groups. Boy bands’ popularity peaked four times: in the 1960s (e.g., the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds), in the 1990s and early 2000s when acts such as the Take That, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Boyzone, F4, and Westlife, among others, dominated global pop charts like the American Billboard, in the early 2010s with the emergence of popular new boy bands such as Big Time Rush, One Direction, and The Wanted, and in the late 2010s and early 2020s with K-pop acts like BTS, Exo, and NCT, and pop groups such as CNCO, Why Don’t We and PrettyMuch.
Key factors of the concept
Seen as important to a “boy band” group’s commercial success is the group’s image, carefully controlled by managing all aspects of the group’s attire, promotional materials (which are frequently supplied to teen magazines), and music videos. The key factor of a boy band is being trendy. This means that the band conforms to the most recent fashion and musical trends in the popular music scene. Typically, each member of the group will have some distinguishing feature and be portrayed as having a particular personality stereotype, such as “the baby”, “the bad boy”, or “the shy one”. While managing the portrayal of popular musicians is as old as popular music, the particular pigeonholing of band members is a defining characteristic of boy and girl bands.
In most cases, their music is written, arranged and produced by a producer who works with the band at all times and controls the group’s sound – if necessary, to the point of hiring session singers to record guide vocals for each member of the group to sing individually if the members cannot harmonize well together. However, for clarity of each voice, recording each voice individually is most commonly the norm with most modern vocal groups. In recent years, auto-tune has become a popular tool for boy bands who are unable to sing to a high standard. Some boy bands have come under fire for this issue of using auto-tune. Some have also come under fire for lip syncing in their performances as well, for example New Kids on the Block.
A typical boy band performance features elaborately choreographed dancing, with the members taking turns singing and/or rapping. Boy bands generally do not compose or produce their own material, unless the members lobby hard enough for creative control. However, some bands were created around the talent of a songwriter within the group like Gary Barlow of Take That or Tony Mortimer of East 17. It is not uncommon to find extra songs on an album written by one or more of the band members; however, their producers rarely use these as singles.
Since the 21st century, however, boy bands have been expected to write or at least contribute in some part lyrically to songs. Apart from the groups mentioned above who all had at least one primary songwriter from their beginning, other groups soon caught up. At the close of the nineties, groups like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC who had previously used writers like Max Martin during their early albums began writing their own songs. Newer groups from late 2000s such as JLS have all made a point from early interviews that they write their own songs and hold their own image as this is an important part of marketing. Some bands like The Wanted have even spent time learning the craft of songwriting.
Individuals can also go on to achieve greater success as a solo artist coming out of a boy band having used the groups popularity to build on. Usually this signals the end of the group until potential future reunions. Examples of this include Michael Jackson from The Jackson 5, Donny Osmond from The Osmonds, Ricky Martin from Menudo, Justin Timberlake from *NSYNC, and Ronan Keating from Boyzone. Sometimes the most successful solo star from a band is not the most popular member such as Robbie Williams as opposed to lead singer Gary Barlow from Take That. Some boy band members have gone on to successful careers elsewhere in the media. Michael Dolenz of The Monkees went on to become a successful television producer, working for ITV franchises such as LWT and Television South.
Here is a List of Best-selling boy bands
The following is a list of the best-selling boy bands based on claimed sales figures of over 40 million records:
- Backstreet Boys
- The Osmonds
- The Jackson 5
- New Kids on the Block
- Bay City Rollers
- One Direction
- Boyz II Men
- Take That
Was this article helpful?