Spotlight on Boy Groups

After covering the most unforgettable girl groups ever a few weeks ago, reporting on their male counterparts is not just a given but an honor. Is there another genre with more dedicated fans by the way? We think not!


So who was the first boy group? If you are like us, you named the Beatles or the Rolling Stones (definitely fulfilling the all male requirement, and delivering in the handsome department as well), but hold it. You are way off – all band members need to sing, and not just back-up tunes.

The birth of boy groups can be placed anywhere from the end of the 19th century (The Cappella Barbershop Quartets) to the Doo-wop in the 40s and 50s, but we’d like to stick with a closer definition of the term and so for us the journey begins in the 60s. Ladies and gents, here are the grandfathers of the genre: The Monkees, who can also take credit for being the first band to be completely manufactured with fictional personality types, The Jackson 5 (awesome!), and The Osmonds. It’s hard to beat those suave dance moves and sharp costumes.

The Jackson 5 had it all: Looks and talent

The Monkeys

The Osmonds are all smiles


The next significant boy group wave appeared in the late 70s, and rang in slowly but surely the reign of the giants of this genre, but let’s take it one boy group at a time:

Menudo: Founded in 1977, this Puerto Rican boy band did not mess around and released their members when they were either 16, too tall, or their voice changed.

Favorite Take-away: Ricky Martin. Livin’ La Vida Loca anyone? Best summer tune ever!

New Edition: They officially kicked off everything that came after, namely…

New Kids on the Block: Clearly need no introduction. Donnie, Jordan, Jon, Danny and Joey have crossed over into epic-dom and will forever have “The Right Stuff” in our books.


New Edition playing it cool

NKOTB hanging tough

THE RISE NKOTB’s career lasted into the early 90s, when the Brits took over the lead of the pack with a double threat: Take That and East 17, the former reuniting a decade later and to this day are one of the most successful acts in British music history. Favorite Take-away: Robbie Williams, one of the coolest entertainers of our time (who weirdly never resonated with the US audience), used to be Take That’s dedicated bad boy.

Take That after their Reunion - technically a man group at this point

The tougher East 17

Robbie Williams


And yes, finally – we’re at the late 90s/00s, and have arrived at the decade of the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, the two bands that pop into everyone’s mind should you utter the word “boy band.” This was definitely the pinnacle of the boy band era, with the BB’s being the best selling boy band in history.

Favorite Take-away: Justin Timberlake. Those moves, that voice. Sexy is definitely back and no, I Can’t Stop the Feeling!

The Beckies doing their thing

N'Sync in the early days

Justin Timberlake's hero pose


We want to leave on a high note, so just a short mentioning of One Direction seems in order, who have clearly ruled the 10’s so far. But – where is the dancing? We miss those sassy choreographies of their predecessors, in our humble opinion necessary to own up to the legacy of those that came before them. Well, maybe Harry’s hair makes up for it.

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