The “boy band” genre has been copied into languages and cultures other than the Anglo-American. The Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, appealing to young Latina audiences, was founded in 1977. Menudo had a convention unique among boy bands: when a member turned 16, became too tall, or their voice changed, they were ejected and replaced. Members of Menudo were generally aged 12–14.
Although the term “boy band” did not exist until the 1990s, Boston group New Edition is credited for starting the boy band trend in the 1980s. Maurice Starr was influenced by New Edition and popularised it with his protégé New Kids on the Block, the first commercially successful modern boy band. Starr’s idea was to take the traditional template from the R&B genre (in this case his teenage band New Edition) and apply it to a pop genre.
New Edition is an American R&B male music group formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978 that was most popular during the 1980s. They were the progenitors of the boy band movement of the 1980s and 1990s and led the way for groups like New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men.
At the height of their early popularity in 1983, the group consisted of Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, and Ricky Bell. Early hits included songs like 1983′s “Candy Girl” and 1984′s “Cool It Now”. Brown left in late 1985 to embark on a successful solo career. The group continued for a time with four members, but eventually recruited singer Johnny Gill to record their 1988 album Heart Break. The group went on hiatus in 1990, while its various members worked on side projects, such as the group Bell Biv Devoe. Gill and Tresvant also recorded successful solo albums.
New Kids on the Block
New Kids on the Block are an American boy band that enjoyed success in the late 1980s and early 1990s and went on to sell 80 million records worldwide. Assembled in Boston in 1984 by producer Maurice Starr, the members consist of brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. They won two American Music Awards in 1990 for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. After having disbanded in 1994, several attempts were made to get the group back together, all of them unsuccessful. After secretly reuniting in 2007 and recording a new CD, the group released that new album and embarked on a concert tour in 2008. The album, entitled The Block was released on September 2, 2008.
Backstreet Boys are an American vocal group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The band originally consisted of A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson. In 2006 Richardson left the group to pursue other interests leaving the band as a four-piece, but the remaining members did not rule out a possible return of the singer.
They rose to fame with their debut album, Backstreet Boys (1996). The following album, Backstreet’s Back (1997) continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000). After a three-year hiatus, the band regrouped and have since released three albums: Never Gone (2005), Unbreakable (2007) and This Is Us (2009).
The band has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the biggest selling groups of all time. According to Billboard, they are the first group since Sade to have their first seven albums reach the top 10 on the chart.
Formed in Orlando, Florida in 1995 and launched in Germany by BMG Ariola Munich, ‘N Sync consisted of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick and became the third highest selling boyband of all-time (behind the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids On The Block). After heavily publicized legal battles with their former manager Lou Pearlman and former record label Sony BMG, the group’s second album No Strings Attached sold over one million copies in one day and 2.42 million copies in one week, giving it the highest first week album sales ever. In addition to a host of Grammy nominations, ‘N Sync has performed at the Academy Awards, the World Series, the Super Bowl and the Olympics, and sang or recorded with the likes of Elton John, Mandy Moore, Aerosmith, Mary J Blige, Britney Spears, Nelly, Michael Jackson, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, and Gloria Estefan. The group also appeared as themselves on The Simpsons, in an episode entitled “New Kids on the Blecch”, which aired on February 25, 2001. The band are among the highest selling musical acts of the first decade of the 21st century, and have emerged as one of the most acclaimed boy bands.
While ‘N Sync announced a “temporary hiatus” in spring 2002, the band has not recorded new material since. The group’s official website shut down in summer of 2006, and in 2007, Lance Bass confirmed that the group has “definitely broken up.” In March 2010, the group’s website was relaunched to keep fans updated on the various members’ projects.
The Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brother gained popularity from the Disney Channel children’s television network. From the shore region of New Jersey, the band consists of three brothers: Paul Kevin Jonas II (Kevin Jonas), Joseph Adam Jonas (Joe Jonas), and Nicholas Jerry Jonas (Nick Jonas). In the summer of 2008, they starred in the Disney Channel Original Movies Camp Rock and it’s sequal, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. The band has released four albums: It’s About Time, Jonas Brothers, A Little Bit Longer, and Lines, Vines and Trying Times. In 2008, the group was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards and won the award for Breakthrough Artist at the American Music Awards. As of May 2009, before the release of Lines, Vines and Trying Times, they have sold over eight million albums worldwide.