Boy Bands and the Timeline of Jams

Starting from the Osmand Brothers to PRETTYMUCH, boy bands have made a lasting impact on our society.


Glenn Francis

The Backstreet Boys at iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Bella Rao, Columnist

Boy bands are not a new concept, and each generation seems to have a new group of boys that sends teenage girls into a frenzy. Starting from the early ‘50s, the world has been fascinated and drawn into these young, good-looking, pop boy bands. Starting from the Osmond Brothers in 1958, to our newest upcoming boy band, PRETTYMUCH, boy bands have been around for generations.

The Beatles were one of the first heart-throb boy bands, making their way to fame in 1962. They consisted of four members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrsion. They were inviting and reached out to their fans with songs like “Hey Jude,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They influenced the rock world not only with their music, but with a young, good-looking group of men that topped the charts with their now-iconic music.

Next came The Monkees and Jackson 5. Their hit songs revolve around love, with titles including “I’m A Believer” and “I Want You Back,” respectively. They made their debuts in ‘66 and ‘69. The Monkees grew from being a sitcom band to an actual band. This resembles the rise of One Direction, who met on “America’s Got Talent” and later formed to become an actual band. Jackson 5 formed with five members of the Jackson family, including the popular solo artist Michael Jackson. One Direction also follows the pattern of the Jackson 5, which later split up, with band members continuing their careers as solo artists.

As the era of the boy band continued, international bands started to come into the limelight, including the group Menudo. Menudo was a Latin pop group consisting of five members. The group reached international fame in 1980 and started the current pattern of international boy bands making it big in the United States. As international boy bands have evolved, fans all around the United States have fallen in love with their type of music. This also leads into America’s new interest in K-pop, with massive hits like BTS and NCT Dream. Both bands sing in their native language, and despite the fact that all fans may not know the language, they still enjoy listening to these groups. 

Arriving in 1988, the classic New Kids on the Block started producing music. This group exploded into the fame and the life of a “boy band.” This band topped the charts at number one for three weeks in a row with “Step by Step.” Throughout their career, they produced six albums and reserved their spot in boy band history. Another group from the era, Boyz II Men, also made history and found themselves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their song, “One Sweet Day,” blew up, staying number one on the charts for 16 weeks. They have received four Grammys and produced 10 different albums. Because of their rapid ascent into stardom, Boyz II Men are considered one of the most successful acts in boy band history. 

Another international boy band made its way into America, known as the Backstreet Boys. This European band made it big with their debut single, “We’ve Got It Goin’ On” in ‘97. This group of five not only sent three albums in a row to the top of the charts, they produced heart-throbbing songs like ‘I Want It That Way” and “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).” Following the Backstreet Boys only two years later was NSYNC, another group of five who stood on stage and danced while performing their hit songs, “I Want You Back” and “I Want It That Way.” These two bands performed for their fans and helped establish the well-known boy band look.

Fast forwarding to 2006, we are given the definitive 2000s boy band, the Jonas Brothers. This trio of brothers filled the gap of boy bands that we were missing for so many years. The Disney Channel heart-throbs have impacted their generation with their looks, songs, and lasting legacy for many “Gen-Z” kids. Shortly thereafter came the well-known boy band previously mentioned, One Direction. One Direction brought a new, British twist to boy bands. Composed by Simon Cowell, these five gorgeous boys quickly came to fame in 2011. Unlike any boy band before them, One Direction conquered the UK, United States, and other major countries, topping the charts in over 16 countries. This group will go down in history as one of the most iconic boy bands.

The newest boy band is known as PRETTYMUCH. Another group managed by Simon Cowell, these five boys are making their way into the big lights. With several EP’s and solos released, an album is on the way. These boys preach the stereotypical love songs, with titles such as “Eyes Off You” and “Would You Mind.” At their shows they sing and have choreographed dances while teenage girls scream at the top of their lungs. PRETTYMUCH isn’t as well known yet, though they are climbing their way up the charts. 

Boy bands have been around for as long as we can remember. We thank the Osmond Brothers and the Beatles for their start to an amazing way to express music. All of these previously mentioned bands are full of jaw-dropping boys, dance moves, and iconic songs that we all love, and will never forget.