10 of the Top Boy Bands of All Time

When it comes to music everyone has an opinion. The good news is thanks to the vast amount of choices, there’s something for everyone out there. One of the biggest music trends over the past two decades however has been boy bands. The concept of boy bands wasn’t new, but they just seemed to resonate with people and blow up in popularity.

If you’re a fan of boy bands and know all the big hits of your top band – you may be interested to learn that May 2 is Boy Band Appreciation Day. This is a chance to acknowledge this corner of the music industry and all it’s given to people.

So in honor of Boy Band Appreciation Day, here’s a look at 10 of the top boy bands of all time. Your favorite may even be on this list.

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men group performs on stage during Side by Side Celebration of Service concert at Rockefeller Center
Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

Formed back in 1985, Boys II Men weren’t just a run-of-the-mill boy band, rather they were classified as a “vocal harmony group”. The band is still active today and even toured back in 2019. Boys II Men stood out thanks to their a cappella harmonies and heartfelt ballads. They also performed with other top singers over the years and won four Grammy Awards.

Their style of music is a mix of soul, R&B, pop, and a touch of new jack swing. It made them unique then, and that continues to be the case today thanks to their distinct vocals and harmonies.

New Kids on the Block

New Kids On The Block performs live at Van Andel Arena
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tony Norkus

Then we had the era of boy bands in the pop genre. This was a crowded space for a while, and each band amassed huge fan bases that were incredibly loyal. New Kids on the Block was formed back in 1984 and consisted of Jordan Knight, Joey MacIntyre, Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, and Mark Wahlberg.

Mark Wahlberg only stuck with the band for a couple of months and then left. The remaining five stayed together, solidified and pumped out hit after hit. They became known as NKOTB and performed at sold-out arenas all around the world.

Known for such hits as Hangin’ Tough, You Got It (The Right Stuff), Step by Step, and more. In the year 1995, the band broke up, allowing everyone to do their own thing. Then in 2008 they reunited, and have just released yet another album and will be going on tour in the summer of 2024.


 Pop group N'SYNC at the 1999 Teen Choice Awards, in Santa Monica, where they won for Album of the Year.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency

This leads us to the next big boy band to hit and that was N’Sync. The group was formed in 1995 and was made up of JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Justin Timberlake. As big as NKOTB were, N’Sync became even bigger. It’s like the red carpet had been laid out for them and people were clamoring for more boy band hits.

The group ended up going on hiatus/breaking up in 2002, but would occasionally appear with each other. In September 2023 the band released its first song since breaking up, titled Better Place. It was the title track for the Trolls Band Together movie.

The Backstreet Boys

Backstreet Boys perform at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Brian Friedman

During the era of N’Sync, they had some serious musical competition by the name of The Backstreet Boys. This was another five-member boy band that seemed to pump out hit after hit, also garnering a massive fan base. Backstreet Boys formed a couple of years before N’Sync in 1993 and consisted of members Nick Carter, AJ McClean, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, and Howie Dorough.

Just like N’Sync, they exploded on the scene, filled stadiums on world tours, and seemed to have it all. But just like with so many other boy bands, they reached a point where they broke up and went their separate ways. In 2012, all members were back on board and ready to record new music and tour again. They have now sold over 100 million records, which has earned them the much-coveted title of the best-selling boy band ever.

Jonas Brothers

Kevin Jonas, Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas at the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency

Fast forward to the year 2006 and The Jonas Brothers released their first song. They had all the right ingredients of a hit boy band, each with distinct vocals. The name of their band wasn’t just a clever title either, as the three band members were brothers.

The Jonas Brothers took a little longer to reach stardom, but once they did they were huge. They took some time off for a few years and then reunited in 2019.


Singer Ricky Martin performs during the 67th Sanremo Song Festival
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrea Raffin

Boy bands weren’t just big in the U.S. market, the Latin market also went crazy for this style of music. This is why Menundo was formed in 1977 and stayed active until 2009. It was originally a band formed in Puerto Rico and didn’t just have hit songs, but also dipped their toes into acting on television.

There have been many members in the band over the years, making it a great launch pad for some. It was Menudo that gave Ricky Martin his start, as he was in the band from 1984-1989.


South Korean boy band BTS arrives for the KIIS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at the Forum Los Angeles in Inglewood, California
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro

BTS was the start of another movement altogether. Yes, BTS is still a boy band, but they are a Korean pop boy band that tapped into an audience previously popular boy bands hadn’t. BTS was formed in 2010 and includes seven members. They have released more than 12 albums and embarked on numerous tours. They’ve also won some of the biggest awards out there including Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards.

BTS is currently on hiatus but is planning a return to the music scene sometime in 2025.

One Direction

One Direction perform on stage at the fourth day of the 62th Sanremo Song Festival at the Ariston Theatre
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrea Raffin

Then we’ve got the popular boy band from across the pond, One Direction. This was a Uwas a band that competed on The X Factor in its seventh season. Not only did they do well on the show – coming in third – but they caught the attention of viewers. They went on to release a handful of albums, all of which were incredibly successful. Their last album was released in 2015 and then the members broke up to explore solo careers.


Zac Hanson, Taylor Hanson and Isaac Hanson at "The Hangover Part III" Los Angeles Premiere, Village Theater, Westwood, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / s_bukley

We’re not even going to mention the song that Hanson is most popular for because it’s a bit of an earworm. If you hear it once, it will be stuck with you. The band was formed in 1992 and is classified as pop rock. The band began with three brothers – their last name is Hanson and in 2007, the band brought in two supporting members.

They hit it big in 1995, and remain active today although nowhere near the appeal they had in the late 90s and early 2000s.

The Beatles

Picture of the Beatles at The Beatles Story is a museum in Liverpool about the Beatles and their history.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / meunierd

It’s easy to get caught up in the boy bands of the past 20 years or so, but what about the biggest boy band of all time? They were big before the boy band trend even took hold. The Beatles were more than just a band, they were a movement and a whole way of life. They hit the music scene at the right time, and as their music progressed artistically, the fans grew more rabid.

For all the records that The Beatles created, and the sheer popularity they had and continue to have today it’s hard to believe they were only together just over 10 years. Looking at their prolific catalogue of music, it’s clear they were the boy band to measure up to.

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