I love boy bands unironically. Apparently, you guys do too, as evidenced by the fact that we still get visits to our 2012 April Fool's Day post announcing NSYNC's decision tour again (so, so sorry about that) and our post about the top five boy bands of the '90s. While most people can rattle off the bands from our first list — Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Boyz II Men, Hanson, and 98 Degrees — fewer are able to name any more than that.
But the '90s were a boy band pinnacle; some might even argue they were an over-saturation (but not me, because I'll take all the boy bands I can get). Here are five that are often forgotten when we discuss the '90s boy band craze, but who still had fans (me) who bought their CDs (me) in a time when buying CDs was still a thing people did.
LFO's first and biggest single, "Summer Girls," was totally nonsensical, completely weird, and awesomely '90s. The trio's debut album actually sold more than 2 million copies, a feat almost unheard of today. They had one other Billboard hit, "Girl on TV," which featured Jennifer Love Hewitt in the video. But the band will forever be known for that song with random lyrics: New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits/Chinese food makes me sick/And I think it's fly when girls stop by for the summer/For the summer.
BBMak is the culmination of adult contemporary music. Their songs are pretty much what all elevator music aspires to be. The group formed in 1997, and released their first album in 1999. "Back Here" (the group's first single) reached number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart... but it skyrocketed to number 1 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart. They had two other singles that did well in the U.S. and performed in Times Square during MTV's annual New Year's Eve celebration. One of its members, Stephen McNally, later auditioned for "The X Factor" in 2007. He didn't win.
Believe it or not, Simon Cowell signed this Irish boy band back in 1998. They sold more than 50 million albums worldwide before disbanding in 2012. Westlife had 14 number one singles, the third-highest in UK history, just behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. (Seriously!) That said, they were not quite as popular in the U.S. as they were elsewhere. Here, they only had one single called "Swear It Again." I can't hate on Westlife, though, as they've recorded/performed with some of the biggest names in music, including Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Lionel Richie, and Sinead O'Connor.
Remember when Diddy had an MTV reality show called "Making the Band"? Before he took over the show, music producers tried to cash in on the boy band phenomenon and create The Next Big Thing. O-Town, named after the town, Orlando, FL, was formed in 2000, thus technically not making them a '90s boy band, but whatever. "All or Nothing" was their biggest single, receiving several award nominations. However, as with most projects created via reality shows, O-Town only lasted a few years, particularly because they emerged at the tail end of the boy band craze. However, in 2011, four of the band's five members — Trevor, Dan, Erik, and Jacob — started to work on a follow-up to their second album, which is (possibly) still in the works.
If you've never heard of B2K, you are totally missing out. It was comprised of Lil' Fizz, J-Boog, Raz-B, and Omarion (who later went on to have a solo career as a singer and actor). They formed in 1998, and it was their 2001 song "Uh Huh" that made them famous. Like all great boy bands, B2K had a Christmas album and the entire group later starred in the film "You Got Served," a dance movie similar to "Step Up." If I had to describe the band to someone who has never seen them, I'd tell them to imagine Sisqo during the time of "Thong Song" and multiply that by four — pleather vest and all.
2ge+her was a fake boy band created for an MTV film/TV series of the same name. The movie spoofed the entire bubblegum pop/boy band craze by creating a fictional, over-the-top group that was supposed to exaggerate boy band tropes to the point of making them insufferable. Instead, 2ge+her actually became somewhat successful. The "band members" were played by actors, but then the actors and "band members" sort of started to meld together and suddenly 2ge+her was making money from this "fake" project. In 2012, MTV signed off so the band could reunite (?!). Whatever, I'm totally down.
Do you remember any of these boy bands? How do you think '90s boy bands compare to today's lot?