Fact or Fiction

Boy Bands

by Amanda Flinner

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The idea of boy bands has been around a long time, even as far back as the a cappella barbershop quartets of the early 1900s or the doo-wop groups of the '40s and '50s. Motown introduced a score of pop-friendly R&B vocal groups throughout the '60s and signed the Jackson 5 at the end of the decade. But you can't lump all guys who sing together into the boy band category or else we could easily toss the Beatles on the heap.

Boy bands are typically harmonizing vocal groups manufactured or controlled by a record label or talent manager to tap into the market of screaming teenage girls. And there's always a bad boy thrown into the mix for greater appeal. Rather than play instruments, they perform choreographed dance routines. Songwriting is largely left up to teams of hitmakers.

The term boy band didn't appear until the '80s, when groups like New Edition and New Kids on the Block were singing and dancing their way into the hearts of millions of teen girls. Backstreet Boys led the resurgence in the late '90s when boy band fever spread from Europe to the US, and continued well into the next decade, with 'N Sync, Hanson, the Jonas Brothers, and One Direction plastered on bedroom walls throughout the nation. Can you separate the fact from the fiction: boy band edition?

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Comments: 1

  • Harry Johnston from UkNice quiz
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