How Do Ex-Boy Band Stars Stack Up? - Rolling Stone
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How Do Ex-Boy Band Stars Stack Up?

From Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake to Zayn Malik and Nick Jonas, plenty of young men have achieved success after leaving their boy band roots behind

Justin Timberlake; Boy Band Matrix

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Musician Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for MTV)

Neilson Barnard/Getty

Zayn Malik hit Number One the first week his debut solo single, “Pillowtalk,” was released, and his debut album, Mind of Mine, is gearing up for the same kind of chart domination. His success is not only huge for R&B, but the fact that Malik excelled where his former boy band, One Direction, showed another kind of leap.

For boy band performers who go their own way, it’s difficult to not only sustain a career but capture people’s attentions in the first place. Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson set a high bar for what could be attained by solo success in that they not only scored numerous Number One hits but they also crafted the mold for what it meant to be a male pop star.

From Timberlake to Nick Carter, take a look at how post-boy band careers have stacked up on the U.S. charts for those who have dared to go rogue and find their own paths outside of their pop groups. The infographic above illustrates a selection of positions for each star’s highest charting single.

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