Best Boy Bands of the 80s & 90s

We’re gearing up for a RED, WHITE, AND BOY BAND WEEKEND on Throwback Nation Radio! You’ll hear ALL your favorite songs from ALL your favorite boy bands as you kick off your July 4th festivities!

PLUS, we have a special guest with us – CHRIS KIRKPATRICK from N’SYNC!

So to get you in the mood, let’s go back to the origins of boy bands! Many consider The Beatles as the first boy band, leading to the creation of The Monkees, The Osmonds, The Jackson 5, and many more throughout the 60s and 70s.

But when the 1980s rolled around, boy bands really started to heat up and girls have been screaming for them ever since!

Now, when we refer to boy band, here’s the official definition. “A pop group composed of young men whose music and image are designed to appeal primarily to a young teenage audience.” We’re going to take it a step further and stipulate that for our ranking purposes, the band must have more than two men (it can’t be a duo). So, here we go… our list of the Top Ten Best Boy Bands of the 80s & 90s!

#10 – Color Me Badd. This group formed in 1985 with Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Sam Watters, and Kevin Thornton. They envisioned themselves as an R&B group, but songs like “I Wanna Sex You Up” and “All 4 Love” were in constant rotation on pop radio. Raise your hand if you remember Donna Martin and Kelly Taylor stalking the boys at their hotel on an episode of “Beverly Hills 90210?!?”

#9 – Menudo. This Puerto Rican boy band launched Ricky Martin, but its original lineup consisted of two sets of brothers, all ranging in age from 9 to 13! The group formed in 1977 but hit its height of popularity in the mid-80s. The group has a long, long list of members because the boys had to leave after turning 16! Menudo has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide.

#8 – 98 Degrees. Brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre all grew up in Ohio and decided to form a band in 1996. The group’s biggest hits were “Because of You” and “The Hardest Thing.”

#7 – Hanson. Brothers Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson formed this band in 1992. They are best known for their 1997 hit song “MMMBop.” At the time, the brothers were 16, 14, and 11 years old! The brothers still record music under their own independent record label.

#6 – New Edition. This group was formed in 1978 by Bobby Brown, and they were meant to be a new edition of the Jackson 5. The group is considered to be the blueprint of for what would become the modern boy band! The original lineup of Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant brought hits like “Candy Girl” and “Cool It Now.” The group went on hiatus in 1989.

#5 – Bell Biv DeVoe. During New Edition’s hiatus in 1989, three members decided to form a new group. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe became Bell Biv DeVoe, or BBD. They released their album Poison in 1990, with a “new jack swing” sound of hip-hop, funk, soul, and pop.

#4 – Boyz II Men. This group started as a quartet in 1985 with Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCrary. They gained international success in 1991 with “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye.” Their #1 single “End of the Road” held the top spot on the Billboard Chart for 13 weeks! McCrary left the group in 2003 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, leaving the remaining members to perform as a trio.

#3 –  N’SYNC. Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and JC Chasez formed this boy band in 1995. Girls went crazy for songs like “Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me,” and “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” The band called it quits in 2006.

#2 – New Kids on the Block. These guys have been “Hangin’ Tough” since 1984! Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood were HUGE from 1984 to 1994. They took a brief break but they’ve successfully reunited for summer tours, new albums, and even an NKOTB Cruise!

#1 – Backstreet Boys. To date, this group remains the most popular boy band of all time in terms of sales. AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell have sold more than 100 million records worldwide! Rolling Stone readers also named it the best boy band of all time in a recent poll. They rose to fame in 1996 with hits like “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”and “I Want It That Way.” You’ll hear ALL their hits during our RED, WHITE, AND BOY BAND WEEKEND on Throwback Nation Radio!

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