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Boy Bands to Swoon Over from the 1960s to Now

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L-R: Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus, and Keith Hines in the national tour of "Jersey Boys."

Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

It’s pretty easy to identify a boy band. Are five guys between the ages of 13 and 30 standing near each other, wearing matching outfits, and harmonizing? Are they wearing a lot of hair gel? If the answer to all of these questions is a yes, chances are, you’ve spotted a boy band. In honor of the arrival of our favorite boy group—Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons—whose story comes to life in Jersey Boys at the Ahmanson Theatre May 16 – June 24, 2017, we have rounded up a list of our favorite boy bands and some of their best songs. Let us know your favorites, including anyone you think we unfairly missed, on Facebook or Instagram! Personally, we swoon for the boys in matching blazers.

  1. The Beatles (1964)

    It doesn’t matter if you’re five, 15, or 80: you’ve heard of the Beatles. And you’ve probably loved the Beatles, too. You may not remember their historic live television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show or the hysteria that erupted each time they performed, but their music continues to affect modern-day compositions and chart-toppers.

  2. The Temptations (1964)

    The Temptations are one of the most iconic groups produced by Motown Records. Not only are they the unsung heroes of the Men in Matching Blazers movement, but they were just as well-known for their choreography and distinct harmonies. They’ve sold tens of millions of albums, making them one of the most successful musical acts of all time.

  3. The Jackson Five (1969)

    Another Motown Records success story, the Jackson 5 need little introduction. Before birthing the career of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the Jackson brothers topped the charts with songs like I Want You Back and ABC.

  4. Menudo (1980s)

    You can thank Menudo for the other-worldly gift that is Ricky Martin. Formed in the 1970s, this Puerto Rican boy band became one of the most popular Latin American acts of the 1980s. The group’s rotating lineup—which included Martin from 1984–1989—featured more than 30 members during its 32-year life span.

  5. Boyz II Men (1991)

    Kings of the “new jack swing” or “swingbeat” genre—which fuses hip-hop with R&B—Boyz II Men topped the Billboard Hot 100 with their first single “Motownphilly” in 1991. With smooth harmonies, mock turtlenecks, and matching silk pajamas, the Boyz became one of the most successful R&B groups of all time, selling 60 million albums worldwide.

  6. Backstreet Boys (1996)

    Most women over the age of 24 and under the age of 34 remember the moment they held the Backstreet Boys album Millennium in their hands and popped it into their boom box for the first time. It was a moment that changed lives, and sparked countless middle-school fights about Nick Carter’s moral character. After years out of the spotlight, they are again going strong with a summer tour and a residency in Las Vegas.

  7. *N Sync (1998)

    *N Sync and the Backstreet Boys were forever caught in a metaphoric battle of the bands. Most tweens camped on one side or the other. Those of us who chose correctly can take indirect claim to Justin Timberlake’s magnificent rise to musical royalty.

  8. Jonas Brothers (2006)

    The Jonas Brothers started out as Disney-fied, barely pubescent, purity ring-sporting tween icons. Their innocent pop-rock sound garnered them a Grammy nomination and an AMA Award while the two youngest brothers were still in their teens. Perhaps more impressively, they sold over 17 million albums worldwide. Kevin is now an entreprenuer, Joe is a musician with dance-rock band DNCE, and Nick has taken up the mantle of Former Awkward Tween Heartthrob, Current Adonis.

  9. One Direction (2011)

    The English-Irish boys of One Direction got their start on England’s The X Factor reality TV show in 2010, where they took third place. Unlike most talent competition finalists, One Direction leapt to fame after the show, igniting the frenzied adoration of tweenage girls around the world. After having four albums debut at number one, they have ascended to the realm of royalty and are free to date models and grace the covers of magazines.

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