Christmas is a time for giving. And for boy bands, that usually means putting on their chunkiest sweaters, adhering to all the chestnut-roasting and kissing under the mistletoe cliches and complementing their multi-part harmonies with enough sleigh bells to give Santa Claus tinnitus.
But which pin-ups over the years have delivered the best musical present?
It could be argued that Wham!’s “Last Christmas” – a song so ubiquitous it sparked a survival game based on avoiding it throughout the whole of December – was the progenitor of the trend. But to avoid the debate about whether George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s chart-topping duo could really be described as a boy band, our Christmas list only focuses on the heartthrobs who emerged from the late 1980s onward, when the concept of the all-singing, all-dancing, all-male group truly kicked in.
To narrow things down further, were only rewarding those who came up with something original. That means there’s no place for The Wanted’s take on Bing Crosby’s classic “White Christmas” or The Vamps’ cover of Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.” And to prevent the domination of those who truly committed to the season by recording a full-length holiday album, we’re being Scrooge-like and limiting each boy band to just one track.
So if you’ve grown sick of the yuletide staples that clog up the Hot 100 at the end of every year, here are ten teenybopper-friendly alternatives.
And to check out our list of stone-cold candy cane classics, head here for Billboard’s 100 Best Christmas Songs of All Time.