It’s hard to imagine the music industry without boy bands. From the late 80s to the early noughties, boy bands dominated the music scene, seducing female fans with their harmonised vocals and glossy stage personas. By the end of the century, however, they faded behind rising stars in pop and RnB, until recent years. Boy bands are now experiencing a renaissance.
These are the top 10 most successful boybands of all time:
10. One Direction – 35 million records sold
One Direction shot to stardom in 2010, after appearing on British talent show, The X Factor. That they finished third has not hindered their ascendancy. All three of their albums, “Up All Night”, “Take Me Home” and “Midnight Memories”‘, released between 2011 and 2013, have made record sales. They’ve sold 35 million records to date. In the UK alone, “Midnight Memories” became the best-selling album in 2013, selling 685,000 copies.
9. Take That – 45 million records sold
Take That ruled the UK charts in the 90s with their ballads and pop songs. They’ve had 35 number-one albums worldwide. Meanwhile, two of their albums, “Everything Changes” and their “Greatest Hits” were among the UK’s best selling albums of the decade. In 1995, however, Robbie Williams shocked the world by his surprise departure from the band. The four remaining members continued without him until splitting in 1996. In 2006, they reunited and released two more albums, “Beautiful World” and “The Circus”. They have sold 45 million records.
8. Westlife – 50 million records sold
An idolised Irish band from the 90s, Westlife sold 50 million records until separating in 2012. Their accomplishments included 14 UK number-one singles. Plus, they were recorded in the Guinness World Records as the group to sell the most albums in the 21st century. The first concert of their final tour sold 85,000 tickets within five minutes.
7. N Sync – 50 million records sold
The most famous member from N Sync is Justin Timberlake. Emerging in 1995, N Sync sold 50 million records until they disappeared in 2002. They performed duets with a host of internationally acclaimed musicians including Elton John, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.
6. Menudo – 60 million records sold
The only Latin American group within the top 10 most successful boy bands, Menudo were a Puerto Rican band who made their mark in the 80s. They sold 60 million records. Ricky Martin was briefly a member of the band. Their notable popularity, particularly in Latin America, resulted in two films being made about them, titled “Una Aventura Llamada Menudo” and “Menudo: La Pelicula”.
5. Boys II Men – 60 million records sold
Boys II Men are a harmonising band from the United States, who are well known for their RnB love ballads. Their single, “End of the Road” released in 1992 was their first number-one hit in the United States, which was also well-received across the world. It set a new record by remaining on the “Billboard Hot 100” for 13 weeks. Boys II Men have sold 60 million records.
4. New Kids On The Block – 80 million records sold
New Kids on the Block sold 80 million records between the late 80s and early 90s. As well as winning two American Music Awards, they were ranked number 16 in the Rolling Stone’s “Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments”. They were originally from Massachusetts in Boston. Band member Donnie Wahlberg is the brother of A-list actor, Mark Wahlberg.
3. The Jackson 5 – 100 million records sold
Apart from selling 100 million records, The Jackson Five introduced Michael Jackson to the world, arguably one of the most famous music artists in history. Beginning their career in the 60s until the 90s, the band’s successes included 3 number-one hits on the “Billbord Hot 100”. Their music spanned across RnB, soul, pop and disco music genres and captured the world.
2. The Osmonds – 102 million records sold
The boy band of the 70s, the Osmonds were a family band adored by female fans across the world. They sold 102 millions records and even had their own animated television show. They emerged singing barbershop songs, which evolved into a lengthy career singing a variety music. The most famous member is arguably Donny Osmond, one of the youngest brothers.
1. Backstreet Boys – 130 million records sold
The Backstreet Boys are the most successful boy band of all time. From Florida, they sold 130 million records. Their first nine albums reached the top 10 on the “Billboard 2000”. Their third album, “Millennium”, released in 1999, is the best-selling boy group album worldwide, selling 30 million copies. While “Black & Blue” and “Backstreet Boys (Backstreet’s Back)”, released in 2000 and 1997 respectively, are among the top five best-selling boy group albums of all time.