Boy bands ruled the music industry from the late ’80s all the way to the early ’00s, selling millions of records and touring stadiums across the globe. Then pop-punk took over, soon bowing to hip-hop and the ladies of pop who rule today. As the boy band era ended, Nick Lachey inked a reality TV deal, Justin Timberlake moved into acting, and most band members waited in the wings, ready to jump on a comeback whenever opportunity knocked.
But in the last few years, with bands like the Jonas Brothers and One Direction taking center stage, we’ve seen a resurgence of boy band love. In honor of our latest Billboard magazine covers, featuring The Wanted and One Direction, we bring you the best the teen phenomenon has to offer: the top 10 boy bands of the last 25 years, according to our charts*
*(scroll to the bottom of the page to read about how this chart was formulated.)
|10. New Edition
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Hit Me Off” (No. 3)
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Mmmbop” (No. 1 for three weeks)
|8. Jonas Brothers
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Burnin’ Up” (No. 5)
|7. 98 Degrees
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (No. 2)
Key Billboard 200 Album: “Revelation” (No. 2)
The Ohio-born boys of 98 Degrees met up and formed the band in L.A., started playing shows and were signed to Motown to release their first album in 1997. The group teamed up with Stevie Wonder for a track on the “Mulan” soundtrack and later collaborated with Mariah Carey on “Thank God I Found You.” After going on hiatus in 2002, Nick Lachey scored a reality show gig with (former) wife Jessica Simpson, and more recently, hosting NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Rumors of a 98 Degrees reunion show have been making waves recently and an announcement is expected later this year.
Key Hot 100 Song: “Peaches & Cream”(No. 4)
Key Hot 100 Hit: “I Swear”(No. 1 for 11 weeks)
|4. ‘N SYNC
Key Hot 100 Hit: “It’s Gonna Be Me” (No. 1 for two weeks)
3. New Kids On the Block
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Step by Step” (No. 1 for three weeks)
|2. Backstreet Boys
Key Hot 100 Hit: “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (No. 2)
|1. Boyz II Men
Key Hot 100 Hit: “One Sweet Day” feat. Mariah Carey (No. 1 for 16 weeks)
HOW THIS CHART WAS FORMULATED: This list of the top 10 Boy Bands is based on actual chart performance on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts from January 1987 through through the charts dated March 10. Rankings are based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 having the greatest value and weeks at lower rankings proportionately less. To ensure equitable representation of an artist’s biggest songs and albums, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those eras.