The boy band phenomenon


Kaelyn Savard

The Beatles, the Backstreet Boys and so many more boy bands have impacted generations of listeners through their music and influence.

Frances English, Writer

From The Beatles to BTS, boy bands have maintained a firm grasp on all things music-related, but what makes these groups so popular worldwide, earning them unstoppable fan bases and millions of dollars?

The Beatles: one of the first boy bands that had a crucial role in creating the stereotype that we know of today. Their music was globally praised as the group built a massive following that mainly consisted of teenage girls. Not only did their musical mark on society inspire future generations of artists to come, they also set a precedent for all-boy bands that would have the same huge appeal.  

When you think of boy bands, you may think of pop music, dance moves and fashion, but what exactly makes them so likable? In an interview with CNN, Nick Carter, a member of the Backstreet Boys, said that one reason they seem to catch the eyes of many is that everyone can relate to at least one of them. Unlike solo musicians, groups have multiple members with multiple personalities, so it’s easier for one to find someone that they genuinely want to see more of. 

When choosing a target audience, where else do boy bands go than to the hearts of teenage girls? Everything that makes up a boy band seems to make the perfect recipe for a love interest, according to many young girls across the county. Qualities such as catchy music, stylish clothes and a positive attitude hold importance to their demographic, and this appeal keeps boy bands alive to this day . 

What boy band will prove to be the most influential and popular of all time?


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For Generation Z, when we hear the phrase, “boy band”, we often think of the group we grew up with: One Direction. Even though this group only lasted five years, they played a massive role in society, becoming one of the most popular music ensembles of their time. Fans still listen to their music today, expressing undying support to all members despite their prolonged hiatus. Through enticing marketing strategies, One Direction also contributed to another meaning behind the label of a boy band: money.

The abundance of merchandise, concert tickets and sponsorships make these types of bands huge moneymakers. As a combined group, One Direction has a net worth of 340 million dollars. BTS, the popular K-pop group with a growing number of fans, had a net worth of 100 million dollars in 2021. Whether it’s at the discretion of the members or from the work of their marketing team, boy bands are heavily used for money, but fortunately, avid listeners can find a way to look past that when buying their own fan-made merchandise. 

The issue with boy bands is that they are not forever (hence the name “boy bands” and not “man bands”). As these groups go their separate ways, this may be sad for fans, but many redirect their adoration toward members who decide to follow independent careers. Generally, at least one member from any given boy band grows into a success by themselves. This was the case for Justin Timberlake, former frontman of NSYNC, and Harry Styles, former member of One Direction. These ex-cardboard-cutouts have become household names and are still creating their own content today. 

Whether you love them or hate them, there is no doubt that boy bands have continuously played an influential role in society. Although pop culture has shifted throughout the years, boy bands still maintain their popularity and continue to live in the hearts of many devoted fans.

What do you think?