The phones are ringing off the hook! Thirty-seven-year-old divorcees are storming the building! The Donnie Wahlberg Fan Club has quit his job at Chick-fil-A! As a tie-in to a local performance of Altar Boyz,Times editor Kelly Smith and I concocted a list of history's greatest boy bands. The result has been pandemonium. I'm pretty sure I can fight the Menudo fans, but the 98 Degrees mob looks really angry getting out of its AMC Pacer.
10. 98 Degrees
The 98ers had a couple of hits — Because of You and Give Me Just One Night — but to be brutally honest, we couldn’t sing a lick of either of them. Nobody’s heard a peep out of them since about 2002, though they’ve never officially broken up. Drew Lachey, winner of the second season of Dancing With the Stars, and brother Nick Lachey, tabloid king with former wife Jessica Simpson, are the only members we could pick out of a lineup.
As far back as the ’70s, Menudo was bouncing around the Puerto Rican mall circuit in their tight, shiny pants smiling out bubble-gum pop. But they didn’t get the American girls in full scream until the ’80s. Maybe you remember Like a Cannonball from the movie Cannonball Run 2? No? Well, trust us, they were hot. Ricky Martin left Menudo to be Livin’ la Vida Loca with a solo career. The group has churned out and chewed up dozens of forgettable names. Today’s version is five teens picked through the MTV reality series Making Menudo.
8. New Kids on the Block
NKOTB owes a Florida radio station big time for giving Please Don’t Go Girl some love on the airwaves in 1988 as the band was struggling. They kept the hits coming with You Got It (The Right Stuff), I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) and Step By Step until waning popularity did the group in. But wait! The “kids,” now ages 36 to 40, reunited last year. You can see them May 30 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa. Members include bros Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre (on the first season of Dancing With the Stars!), Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood
7. Backstreet Boys
Another brainchild of Pearlman, the Orlando group hit the stratosphere of superstardom in 1999 with Millennium, spawning endless radio play of hits I Want It That Way, Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely and The One. The album hit No. 1 in 25 countries. Member Nick Carter, who grew up in south Hillsborough County, has been known to show up in Tampa clubs.
6. Boyz II Men
These harmonizing hunks weren’t about cheeseball pop, but Motown-Philly soul, an amalgamation of grooving goodness. They excelled at serious swoon tunes in the ‘90s: End of the Road, I’ll Make Love to You and On Bended Knee. None of the Boyz or, for that matter, the Men had much solo success. But although Michael McCary dropped out, remaining members Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris still perform, and recently had a guest spot on Dancing With the Stars. (We’re starting to see a trend here...)
Squeaky-clean bros Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson are the do-gooders of pop, right down to their 1997 feel-good hit MMMBop. If there’s any dirt on these guys, it’s on their feet. Highly involved in charities, Hanson combines walks — sometimes barefoot — and shoe drops with its concerts to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa.
4. ’N Sync
A product of fallen mogul Lou Pearlman, the group has one of the best pedigrees in boy-banddom: Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone. It was impossible to zip through the radio in 2000 without hearing the relentlessly chipper Bye Bye Bye (also dubbed one of the most annoying songs of that year). J.T. has pulled off a rare feat in boy bands: crazy success in a solo career. Bass became a NASA-certified cosmonaut; he never made it to space, but he did compete on Dancing With the Stars. Fatone hit it big on Broadway, plus did a few films and TV shows — including, you guessed it, DWTS!
3. Jonas Brothers
Nick, Joe and Kevin, the JoBros, the hottest ’tween-pop trio in all the land! Eeeeee! The cutie-pie prides of Wyckoff, N.J., the shaggy-haired Disney kids write and perform their own janglers, which has helped them attain cool cred with older, savvier power-pop fans. Whether we’re still talking about them five years from now, who knows? But their upcoming tour didn’t just sell out in minutes — it shut down the overworked computers at Ticketmaster. They’ll be at the St. Pete Times Forum on Aug. 18.
2. New Edition
There’s nothing better to hear at a beach amusement park -- perhaps while riding the Himalaya! -- than New Edition’s Candy Girl. Or maybe Cool It Now. Gobs of R&B talent in this mid-'80s Boston crew, and don’t overlook their influence: From Ne-Yo to Kanye West, the good-time synth-bounce of New Edition can still be heard today. Before he went loopy and married Whitney, Bobby Brown was a fresh-faced star with jangle-leg dance moves. Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant would also have solo fame. Members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie Devoe went on to form Bell Biv Devoe, which had a few smashes, including Poison ("Rob Moore, you're dead!")
1. Jackson 5
With all due respect to Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, when you watch footage of the Jackson 5, your eyes are drawn to one person and one person only: a cherubic-faced kid named Michael. From ABC to I Want You Back, MJ was a smiling, spinning, soulful marvel, the budding birth of pop perfection. Born in Gary, Ind., in the 1960s, the Jackson 5 would influence the future of boy bands. But that wee lead singer, someday to be crowned the King of Pop, would change the boundaries of music, TV and American culture.
Source. Oh Lord.
Pics from random insane google searches.
*disclaimer, I did not make this list.
But I'm bored and I thought it would trigger fun conversations hopefully.