Boy bands have been a staple of pop music since the early Sixties, and though they come in and out of style, the basic concept of cute, unthreatening guys singing about love always ends up getting revamped for a new generation. We asked you to name your favorite boy bands, and the results were somewhat surprising. Click through to see who you picked.
New Edition may seem like a simple bubblegum pop act, but their legacy is very impressive. Not only did the group launch the careers of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Bel Biv Devoe, their music was crucial in kickstarting the New Jack Swing sound and paved the way for New Kids on the Block and other boy bands to come in the late Eighties. "Cool It Now," one of their signature tunes, was the group's first Top 10 hit in 1985.
Take That were only modestly successful in the United States, but utterly huge in their native England. Today the group is best known for launching the career of Robbie Williams, who went on to megastardom in Europe as a solo act after the group dissolved in 1996.
The Beach Boys are rarely thought of as a boy band today, but they clearly set the template for the whole fresh-faced-boys-singing-innocent-tunes thing. The band scored an impressive run of hits in the early Sixties utilizing their signature close harmonies, but they achieved greatness with Pet Sounds, the 1966 album that established them as one of the greatest and most innovative acts in the history of pop.
The Jonas Brothers are the only major boy band of the past decade. Whereas the boy bands of the Nineties focused on singing and dancing, the squeaky clean trio emphasized their chops as musicians and songwriters, bringing a touch of rock credibility to a genre that was considered inauthentic by many pop fans.
The Monkees may be rock's greatest prefab band. The group, patterned on the Beatles and assembled for a TV series, quickly developed a catalog of smash hits, including "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer" and "I'm A Believer," that rivaled the music of many of the more credible acts of their day.
'N Sync utterly dominated the pop scene of the late Nineties, scoring a string of massive hits and megaplatinum albums in just a few years and launching the career of Justin Timberlake. Timberlake's enormous success as a solo artist and actor has essentially closed the door on the possibility of a reunion, as the singer has made it clear that he has no interest in revisiting the group.
The Jackson 5 were essentially the boy band of Motown, laying the groundwork for teen-oriented R&B. The group is, of course, best known as the starting point for Michael Jackson's career, but surely girls in the Sixties and Seventies harbored crushes on his older brothers Tito, Jermaine, Jackie and Marlon.
New Kids on the Block enjoyed massive success in the late Eighties with a string of hits including "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "Please Don't Go Girl," "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step." They may not be kids anymore, but they're still huge today, regularly packing arenas as NKOTBSB, a merger with the Backstreet Boys.
The Beatles set the template for many of the conventions of pop music, including the boy band. Though the Fab Four is best known today as one of the most innovative and visionary acts in the history of rock, they started off as mop-topped teen idols with four distinct personalities that could appeal to different types of girls.
Backstreet Boys may be the most iconic boy band, at least in the sense that if you asked anyone on the street to describe one, you'd basically get something closely resembling them. The five-piece scored several huge hits, but their 1999 smash "I Want It That Way" is a genre-transcending classic.