From 1960 To Now — The Top 30 Boy Bands Of All Time

Music is considered to be one of the most important forms of art and a very important way of expressing feelings and emotions. Music has developed into several different kinds of genres, from pop to rock and even dance music. We are going to focus and present you with the most important boy bands that were formed from 1960 until today. Our favorites are #24#12 and #3!

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

#30. Five Seconds Of Summer

Formed in 2011 in Australia, the boy band Five Seconds of Summer used to play locally and post their videos on YouTube, until Louis Tomlinson from the band One Direction, saw their videos and started sharing their songs. The first big concert the band played was to open the concert for One Direction in 2013.

Photo: Courtesy of Shirlaine Forrest

Their first three singles, “She Looks So Perfect”, “Amnesia” and “Good Girls” all had a good start and reached the top 40 in several charts around the world. In July 2014, the band released their first album “Five Seconds of Summer”, but only in 2015, with the release of their second album “Sounds Good Feels Good” they reached top 1 on the charts.

#29. One Direction

The five members of the band One Direction met each other at the reality show The X Factor. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson were all competitors in the solo category and were eliminated. They were later called as a band and ended in the third place

Photo: Courtesy of Dave Hogan

Luckily for the boys, Simon Cowell was left mesmerized after their performance and signed a contract with them. Their first single “What Makes You Beautiful” was a complete success that reached Top 1 in the UK and Top 4 in the US. All four albums they released earned platinum certifications and the band continues to be one of the best selling boy bands out there.

#28. The Wanted

The Irish based boy band “The Wanted” was formed in 2009 after an immense audition of more than 1000 teenage boys. The management of the band was in charge of Scooter Braun, known for being the manager of pop star Justin Bieber. In 2010, the band released their first single called “All Time Low”.

Photo: Courtesy of Florian G. Seefried

Their first single reached Top 1 in the UK charts and was followed by two other singles that reached the top 10. In 2011, the single “Glad You Came” took the band once again to the Top 1 of the charts, but the dream of the band came to an abrupt end in 2014 when they decided an indefinite hiatus.

#27. Big Time Rush

As it happened with The Monkees more than four decades ago, Big Time Rush was formed specifically for the Nickelodeon TV show of the same name, that was one of the biggest and most important live-action series in the network. Luckily, the band also had a very good time.

Photo: Courtesy of Bryan Bedder

Big Time Rush (also known as BTR), started thanks to a show about a group of male teenagers who unexpectedly get a chance to pursue their dream of a music career together. The show aired for four seasons and the band released three studio albums, which were all a complete success. However, in 2014, the members of the band parted ways.

#26. JLS

The members of the band UFO formed in U.K. in 2006, Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes, J.B. Gill, and Aston Merrygold, auditioned to participate in the contest X-Factor, but due to some legal problems with another band, they were forced to change their name to that of JLS. The band finished 2nd in the show, but not all was lost, as they signed a contract with Epic Records in January 2009.

Photo: Courtesy of Dave Hogan

One of the most successful boy bands in the U.K., JLS had a very good impact in the charts, and five of the seven singles they released ended in Top 1 in the charts. Not only their songs were very successful, but also their albums, as three of the albums they released reached the platinum status. The band separated in 2013.

#25. Super Junior

Yet another K-pop band formed by SM Entertainment saw the light in November 2005 and was called Super Junior. The headline of the band changed constantly, as the main idea behind it was to shed light on those kids who had a background in television and theaters. The band had, at their peak, 13 members onstage at the same time.

Photo: Courtesy of Han Myung Gu

It was not until 2009 that the band could break out of the Korean music market and slowly enter the Asian market, especially in Japan. With the release of their third album “Mr. Simple” in 2011, the band came to U.S. soil. The band celebrated ten years in 2015 and won the International Artist Award at the Teen Choice Award.

#24. Jonas Brothers

The boy band Jonas Brothers was formed in 2005 when the president of Columbia Records, Steve Greenberg, heard them perform the song “Please be Mine”. The first single they released in 2006 was called “Mandy” and was featured in the MTV channel, and so they gained the popularity they deserved.

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Gries

Their first album, “It’s about time”, which was released in 2006, did not work out as expected. On the other hand, when the brothers released their second album, called “Jonas Brothers”, reached the top 10 of the charts. The third album, “A Little Bit Longer” stayed in Top 1 for several months. In 2013, the band split up and came back in 2019!

#23. TVXQ

The music label SM Entertainment were in charge of producing several K-pop boy bands, and TVXQ was one of the most promising. Their first public appearance was in 2003 playing in a show for BoA and for Britney Spears as show openers, and the first single they released, “Hug”, reached the top 5 of the Korean charts.

Photo: Courtesy of Koichi Kamoshida

By the end of the 2000s, TVXQ became known as one of the most important K-pop bands. In 2009, three of the original members filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment, as they considered that a 13-year long contract was illegal. The band came back in 2011 with only two members and continue to be one of the best-selling K-pop bands out there.

#22. Blue

Antony Costa, Duncan James, Lee Ryan, and Simon Webbe formed the U.K. pop band “Blue” around the 2000s after a project by producer Simon Cowell failed. The first single, “All Rise”, reached number 4 in the UK charts in 2001, and it was co-produced and co-written by Stargate.

Photo: Courtesy of Gareth Davies

By 2004, the band had already released three albums that reached number one and that had featured ten singles that reached top 10. The band parted ways in 2004 and reunited in 2009 to release two new albums in a five-year span. After that, in 2014, the band separated once again.

#21. Y2K

The now known film producer Chris Stokes had another hobby before the 2000s, and by that we mean that he used to be a music producer. The first band he produced was the R&B band “Y2K”, also known as “Boys of The New Millenium”. They first hit the boards with their 2001 single “Uh-huh”.

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Gries

The band released their second album, “Pandemonium”, in 2004, featured not one, but two singles to hit the charts. The first one of them was “Bump, Bump, Bump” that reached number 1 in the pop charts and the single “Girlfriend” which entered the top 40. At the end of that same year, the band disbanded, and the only member who continued playing music was Omarion.

#20. O-Town

O-Town will always be remembered to be one of the first bands to have been formed in a reality show, this one created by MTV and called “Making the Band”. As the show gained significant success, it came back for two consecutive years.

Photo: Courtesy of KMazur

The first single of the band to reach the charts was called “Liquid Dreams”, which was preceded by the most known song of the band, “All Or Nothing”. As happened with several other boy bands, their second album was a complete letdown and did not sell as well as expected. The band split up in 2003.

#19. Westlife

Named at first Six As One, this Ireland-based band tried to contribute to the legacy left behind by New Kids On The Block. While trying to obtain their first record contract, several arguments within the band made three of the members leave.

Photo: Courtesy of Brian Rasic

Afterward, the new members Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden joined and the band took the name Westlife. Between 1999 and 2006 the band became one of the most popular pop bands in the UK and had several of their singles hit the Top 10!

#18. Shinhwa

Considered one of the longest playing K-pop groups out there, the boy band Shinhwa was formed in 1998 by SM Entertainment but later changed to Good Entertainment in 2003. Several years passed until the band could create an independent music record company.

Photo: Courtesy of Han Myung-Gu

The first album of the band did not gather any significant fame, and it was not until their second record, T.O.P that they became famous worldwide. In 2008 the band entered a hiatus due to the military service and came back in 2012 with their album “The Return”.

#17. Arashi

For this band, we are going to go to another continent and talk about a Japanese pop band formed in 1999 by music producer Johnny Kitagawa. The name of the band was Arashi, which roughly translates to “Storm”. Their first single was named after the band and was featured as the 1999 Volleyball World Cup.

Photo: Courtesy of J Storm

Their next single, “Good Morning Nipon/Horizon” struck at the first position in the Japan charts. As happened with several boy bands of the time, their sales started to fall, but in 2007 they released a new single called “Love So Sweet”. After that hit, they continued releasing albums and have sold more than 30 million worldwide.

#16. LFO

The history of LFO is not a very happy one, but they deserved a spot in this top 30. In the 1990s the band started making some covers like “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman and “Step by Step” by New Kids On The Block. In 1999 they released their first album that got a platinum certification. Everything looked good for the band!

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Kravitz

Sadly, when they released their second album titled “Life is Good”, it did not sell as well as they expected. In 2002 the band split and reunited briefly in 2009. In 2010 and after several years in treatment against leukemia, band member Rich Cronin died.

#15. 98 Degrees

This Ohio-based boy band was formed in the city of Los Angeles when a group of friends found their way to make music. Unlike the rest of the other teen bands out there, 98 Degrees wrote their own lyrics to the songs, and that was one of the band’s main characteristics.

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Kravitz

Their 1997 single “Invisible Man” was the first to hit the charts in the United States. The band continued releasing singles and even partnered with Mariah Carey for their song “Thank God I Found You” that reached number one! Sadly, in 2003 the band separated, and singer Nick Lachey started their solo career.

#14. *NSYNC

At the same time that the Backstreet Boys were formed, one of the potential members that did not cut to the final selection, Chris Kirkpatrick got to an agreement with Lou Pearlman who told him that, if he could find the rest of the members, he could form another boy band. Chris got the members and the band *NSYNC was formed and signed to BMG.

Photo: Courtesy of Micelotto

The band also went to Sweden to meet with Max Martin, and by 1996 they released their first single, “I Want You Back” and reached Top 10! Finally, the band reached the United States chart and in 2000, they released their second album “No Strings Attached”. Justin Timberlake’s career started here!

#13. Hanson

The band of the three Hanson brothers, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, started their small band in their hometown of Tulsa in Oklahoma. The brothers released two albums and played at festivals in an effort to find a manager or producer that would want to sponsor them. After several producers had turned them down, producer Steve Greenberg signed them to Mercury records.

Photo: Courtesy of Tim Roney

The first produced record by the band was named “Middle of Nowhere”, and their first single “MMMBop” was such a hit that put them into the pop music scene. They finally reached the charts with their single “I Will Come To You”, that positioned them in the top 10 of the charts! Sadly, their second album was pretty disappointing.

#12. Backstreet Boys

In 1993, music producer Lou Pearlman gathered a group of kids to start one of the pop bands that would become a global hit. They built their teen audience by performing at first in schools and shopping malls, and afterward, they went to Sweden to meet with pop producer Max Martin.

Photo: Courtesy of Brian Rasic 

The single “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” became the first Top 10 single of the band, and thanks to that they became one of the most famous pop bands in the world. In 1999, their album “Millenium” sold more than 1 million records! Up to date, the band still tours and is acclaimed by lots of fans worldwide!

#11. Boyzone

Continuing with the tradition started by New Kids On The Block and then by Take That, Ireland did not want to stay behind and tried to make their own boy band, called Boyzone. Music producer Louis Walsh started with the auditions in 1991 and by 1994 the band was formed with Shane Lynch, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Mikey Graham and Keith Duffy.

Photo: Courtesy of Mike Prior

The band was known in Ireland thanks to their cover song “Working My Way Back to You” and in November 1994 they got to the UK charts with their cover “Love me For a Reason”. Sadly, one of the original members passed away in 2009, but they continue playing. In 2018 the band celebrated their 25th anniversary!

#10. Take That

As a consequence of the fame of New Kids On The Block in the United States, the British wanted to have their own version, and it was Nigel Martin-Smith who managed Take That. The first member to join was Gary Barlow, and the last one was Robbie Williams.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Putland

The band started, at first, with a TV show appearance in 1990. It was not until 1992 that the band reached a peak of fame with their version of the song “It Only Takes a Minute” by Tavares. Un 1996, the band was already Top 1 in the UK charts! The band disbanded in 1996 after Robbie Williams abandoned it in 1995 to pursue his solo career.

#9. Boyz II Men

Formerly known as Unique Attraction, the boy band Boyz II Men was created at the Philadelphia High School for several art club presentations. In 1989, the band played as show openers for New Edition, and that was when the band started to obtain more fame.

Photo: Courtesy of Fred Duval

Michael Bivins, from the band New Edition, then decided to start managing the group. Their first single, “Motownphilly”, reached number 3 on the charts for pop music. After that, the band released single after single, and up to date, the band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide!

#8. New Kids On The Block

Not only did producer Maurice Starr make the band New Edition very famous, but following their success, he contributed to another emerging band, which until today continues to be very famous, New Kids On The Block. The cast started with Donnie Wahlberg, who was in charge of recruiting the rest of the members.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Linssen

Donnie got the rest of the members and among them was his brother, the now-famous actor, Mark Wahlberg, who left the band pretty early. Their first album was recorded in 1986, but it would not be until 1988 that they got to the charts with their song “Please Don’t Go Girl”.

#7. New Edition

In the late 1970s, a group of friends by the names of Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Travis Pettus and Corey Rackley got together and formed the boy band New Edition. The band became famous after performing in a talent show in 1982.

Photo: Courtesy of GAB Archive

Even though they did not win the competition (they finished second), the hoster and music producer Maurice Star was so impressed by their performance that he invited them to his studio. The band delivered several hits like “Candy Girl”, “Hit Me Off” and “Cool It Now”. In 2014, they reunited and their album got to position 12!

#6. Menudo

The boy band Menudo owes its fame to the famed Puerto Rican producer Edgar Diaz, known for having managed the band La Pandilla. Menudo started to become more famous from 1971 to 1980, when their hit songs started reaching the Billboard tops.

Photo: Courtesy of Bolivar Areliano

When they achieved significant fame, not only were they featured in the Billboard, but also several TV chains presented their songs, such was the case with ABC. The song “Hold Me” got to the Billboard Hot 100! Ricky Martin, one of the most prominent Latin American singers started his career in Menudo!

#5. Bay City Rollers

During the decade of 1970, and after the boom of bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, a new band came to the main stage, and its name was The Bay City Rollers. The band was formed in 1974 in Scotland.

Photo: Courtesy of Jorgen Angel

What is curious is the name of the band. To be honest, the members of the band said that when the time came to choose the name, they threw a dart at a map of the United States and it landed near Bay City! Their number one hit in 1975 was named “Saturday Night”.

#4. The Osmonds

Another brother band was formed in 1958, but first saw the light as a “barbershop quartet”. The name of the band (and of the brothers) was “The Osmonds”. After a few years playing as a barbershop quartet, they became regular on a TV show called “The Andy Williams Show”.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

When the Jackson 5 became more famous, The Osmonds tried to follow in their footsteps and changed their line up, putting the younger brother on the vocals. Donny, as Michael Jackson, went to pursue a solo career, and during 2017 the whole band of brothers reunited and are back on stages!

#3. Jackson 5

We all know the Jackson 5 and many of us know that this band was the beginning of the musical career for Michael Jackson. The band was created in 1969 and its members were Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Michael.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

The band was known only in their hometown, and after opening the show for the Supremes in 1969, they released their first single in October of that same year. By the end of the 1970s, Michael’s fame overshadowed that of the band and he started his own career.

#2. The Monkees

This boy band arose as a direct consequence of The Beatles’ film “A Hard Day’s Night”. As such, a television show that told the misadventures of a four-person band called “The Monkees” was created.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

The cast was not only hired because they were talented actors, but because they were very good at playing music. The TV show was such a hit that the directors decided that the band should play outside of the TV show, and the band started performing in theaters. Their hit song was “Last Train to Clarksville”.

#1. The Beatles

Born in 1962, this rock band was composed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, and they paved the way for every classic rock band we know today. Nowadays, The Beatles continue to be one of the most known bands of all time.

Photo: Courtesy of Hulton Archive

Although they have been considered (and still are) by many as a pop boy band, they are not. Even the Rolling Stones, which were kind of their competitors, said that they are the most influential rock band of all time. “Help!” and “Hey Jude” became hymns of their generation.

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    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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