The future of music

35 Best Boy Bands of All Time (Biggest & Most Popular)

June 16, 2023
boy bands

Boy bands have been a staple of the music industry for decades, capturing the hearts of fans worldwide with their catchy tunes, synchronized dance moves, and boyish charm.

These all-male groups have left an indelible mark on pop culture and have created a legion of devoted fans.

In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and explore the 35 best boy bands of all time, looking at their biggest hits, most memorable moments, and enduring legacies.

Whether you grew up with the New Kids on the Block or swooned over the Backstreet Boys, there’s something for everyone in this list of the biggest and most popular boy bands ever.

1. The Beatles: Pop/Rock/Folk

The Beatles were a legendary British rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960.

The group consisted of four members: John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals), and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals).

They are widely considered one of the most influential and successful bands in music history, with an extensive catalog of hits and an enduring cultural legacy that continues to this day.

The Beatles’ music encompassed various genres, including rock and roll, pop, folk, and psychedelic rock.

Some of their most famous songs include “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Help!”

See also: Best Beatles Songs

2. Simon & Garfunkel: Rock/Folk

Simon & Garfunkel was an American folk rock duo consisting of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

They formed in New York City in 1957 and became one of the most successful and influential musical acts of the 1960s.

Simon & Garfunkel’s music was characterized by their intricate vocal harmonies and poetic lyrics, often exploring themes of love, loss, and social commentary.

Some of their most famous songs include “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair/Canticle,” and “Homeward Bound.”

3. The Beach Boys: Pop/Rock/Jazz

Formed in 1961, the Beach Boys were known for their harmonies, catchy melodies, and songs about surfing, cars, and love.

The sounds of the California coastline heavily influenced their music, and they became a symbol of the carefree, sun-soaked lifestyle associated with the state.

The group consisted of brothers Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine.

Over the years, they released a string of hit singles, including “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “California Girls,” and “Good Vibrations.”

Their musicianship and songwriting skills set the Beach Boys apart from other boy bands.

Unlike many boy bands, they played their instruments and wrote many songs.

4. Wham!: Pop/Rock

Wham! was a British pop duo formed in 1981, consisting of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley.

They were active from 1981 to 1986, during which they achieved considerable success with their upbeat pop songs and energetic performances.

They rose to fame in the early 1980s with a string of hits, including “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Freedom,” and “Careless Whisper.”

Wham! was known for their catchy, danceable pop tunes that blended elements of pop, rock, funk, and soul.

5. The Righteous Brothers: Rock

The Righteous Brothers were a musical duo consisting of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield.

They formed in 1962 in Los Angeles, California, and were known for their powerful, soulful performances and emotive ballads.

The duo had several hit songs in the 1960s, including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which became one of the most successful singles ever and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Other popular songs by the Righteous Brothers include “Unchained Melody,” “Ebb Tide,” and “Soul and Inspiration.”

6. Seventeen: K-Pop/R&B

Seventeen is a South Korean boy band that debuted in 2015 under Pledis Entertainment.

The group comprises thirteen members: S.Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon, and Dino.

Seventeen is known for its unique style of music, which incorporates multiple genres such as pop, hip-hop, EDM, and R&B.

They are also known for their high-energy performances, which feature intricate choreography and impressive synchronization.

Some of Seventeen’s most popular songs include “Adore U,” “Very Nice,” “Don’t Wanna Cry,” “Clap,” “Home,” “Left & Right,” and “Ready to Love.”

7. SHINee: K-Pop/R&B/J-Pop/Hip Hop

SHINee is a South Korean boy band formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2008.

The group comprises five members: Onew, Key, Minho, Taemin, and the late Jonghyun.

SHINee has released numerous hit songs throughout their career, including “Replay,” “Lucifer,” “Ring Ding Dong,” “Sherlock,” and “View,” among others.

They are known for their impressive vocals, sharp choreography, and stylish fashion sense.

In addition to their music, SHINee has also been involved in various television shows, films, and musicals.

They have won multiple awards in South Korea and internationally and are among the most successful and influential K-pop boy groups ever.

8. B.T.S.: K-Pop/R&B

B.T.S. has become one of the most successful boy bands ever, undoubtedly leaving a significant mark on the music industry.

B.T.S.’s popularity has transcended borders, languages, and cultures, which is a testament to its universal appeal.

Their music has been praised for its authenticity, meaningful lyrics, and ability to connect with people on a personal level.

B.T.S. has won numerous awards and broken several records since its debut in 2013, including being the first Korean act to have a number-one album in the United States.

Their music videos have also set records for the most views on YouTube, and they have performed at several high-profile events, including the Grammy Awards.

Additionally, B.T.S. has used its platform to advocate for critical social issues like mental health, self-love, and acceptance.

9. Westlife: Pop

Westlife is an Irish boy band that was formed in 1998.

The group comprises Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.

They have released thirteen studio albums, two greatest hits, and twenty-eight singles.

Westlife is known for its pop ballads and has sold over 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling boy bands ever.

In the early 2000s, Westlife had a string of number-one hits in the U.K. and other countries, including “Swear It Again,” “If I Let You Go,” “Flying Without Wings,” and “World of Our Own.”

They collaborated successfully with other artists, including Mariah Carey and Diana Ross.

10. VoXXclub: Folk Pop

VoXXclub is a German folk-pop band that was formed in 2012.

The group comprises five members: Michael Hartinger, Christian Schild, Florian Claus, Korbinian Arendt, and Stefan Raaflaub.

VoXXclub’s music combines traditional Bavarian folk music with modern pop elements, creating a unique and energetic sound.

The band gained popularity in Germany with their debut album Alpin in 2013, which reached number three on the German charts.

Since then, they have released several more albums and singles, including “Ziwui,” “Rock mi,” and “I mog di so.”

11. The Monkees: Rock/Pop

The Monkees were an American rock band formed in 1965 for a television series of the same name.

The band consisted of four members: Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith.

Although they were initially created as a fictional band for a television show, they quickly became a real-life sensation and had a successful music career.

The Monkees released numerous hit singles, including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Daydream Believer.”

They also released several albums, some accompanied by successful tours.

12. Bee Gees: Pop/Rock

The Bee Gees started as a pop band in the 1960s but later became one of the most successful disco acts of the 1970s.

The British-Australian pop group is known for its distinctive falsetto vocals, tight harmonies, and catchy melodies.

Some of the Bee Gees’ most famous songs include “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep is Your Love,” and “Night Fever,” which were all part of the soundtrack to the movie “Saturday Night Fever.”

They also wrote and produced many hits for other artists, including “Islands in the Stream” for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

13. The Temptations: R&B/Soul

The Temptations is known for its unique blend of R&B, soul, funk, and pop music, as well as its intricate harmonies and choreography.

The legendary American vocal group was formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1960.

The group’s original members were Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams.

Over the years, there were several lineup changes, but the group continued to produce hits and gain critical acclaim.

Some of their most famous songs include “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” and “Get Ready.”

The Temptations have sold over 100 million records worldwide and have won multiple Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

14. The Osmonds: Pop/Country/Rock/R&B

The Osmonds are an American family music group that succeeded enormously in the 1970s.

The group comprises Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, and Donny Osmond brothers.

The group’s music is mainly pop and rock, but they have also recorded country, gospel, and disco songs.

The Osmonds were first known as a barbershop quartet in the 1950s, performing on local radio shows and concerts.

They then gained popularity in the 1960s as a bubblegum pop group with hits like “One Bad Apple” and “Yo-Yo.”

In the 1970s, they transitioned to a more mature sound and achieved even greater success with hits like “Crazy Horses,” “Down by the Lazy River,” and “Love Me for a Reason.”

15. The Jackson 5: Pop/R&B/Disco/Soul

The Jackson 5 was a highly influential boy band formed in Gary, Indiana, in 1964.

Composed of brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson, the group quickly gained popularity for their energetic performances, catchy pop songs, and unparalleled musical talent.

They achieved massive success in the 1970s, selling millions of records and becoming one of the most beloved and iconic boy bands of all time.

Their biggest hits, such as “A.B.C.,” “I Want You Back,” and “Never Can Say Goodbye,” remain timeless classics to this day and are still widely recognized and celebrated.

It’s hard to argue against The Jackson 5’s place as one of the best boy bands ever.

Their music continues to captivate and inspire new generations, and their impact on the music industry and popular culture cannot be overstated.

See also: Best Jackson 5 Songs

16. Tokio Hotel: Rock/Pop

Tokio Hotel consists of four members: twin brothers Bill and Tom Kaulitz (lead vocals and lead guitar, respectively), Georg Listing (bass guitar), and Gustav Schäfer (drums).

German rock band gained international fame in the mid-2000s with their hit singles “Durch den Monsun” and “Monsoon,” which topped the charts in several countries, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Their debut album, Schrei, was released in 2005 and was a commercial success, selling over a million copies in Germany alone.

17. Jonas Brothers: Power Pop/Rock

The Jonas Brothers are an American pop-rock band that formed in 2005.

The group comprises three brothers: Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Nick Jonas.

The Jonas Brothers gained fame through their appearances on the Disney Channel, starring in their television series, “Jonas,” and in the Disney Channel original movie, “Camp Rock.”

Their self-titled second album, released in 2007, was a commercial success, with hit singles such as “S.O.S.” and “Hold On.”

The band continued to release successful albums, including A Little Bit Longer, Lines, Vines and Trying Times, and Happiness Begins.

18. The Wanted: Pop/Dance

The Wanted was a British-Irish boy band that formed in 2009.

The group consisted of Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, and Nathan Sykes.

They rose to fame with their 2010 debut single, “All Time Low,”  which peaked at number one in the U.K. charts.

The Wanted went on to release three studio albums and had several other hit singles, including “Glad You Came,” “Chasing the Sun,” and “I Found You.”

19. One Direction: Rock/Pop

One Direction is undoubtedly one of the most popular boy bands of all time.

The band was formed in 2010 on the U.K.’s version of The X Factor and quickly gained worldwide fame with their catchy pop songs, infectious personalities, and charming good looks.

They have sold over 70 million records worldwide, won numerous awards, and their concerts have consistently sold out in minutes.

In addition to their musical success, One Direction has positively impacted their fans.

They have consistently used their platform to promote positive messages, such as inclusivity, equality, and self-acceptance.

20. Take That: Pop/R&B

Take That is a British pop group formed in Manchester in 1990.

The original lineup included Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams.

Over the years, the group’s lineup changed several times, with Robbie Williams leaving the group in 1995 to pursue a solo career and Jason Orange leaving in 2014.

Some of their most popular songs include “Back for Good,” “Relight My Fire,” “Never Forget,” and “Patience.”

They have won several awards throughout their career, including Brit Awards and Ivor Novello Awards.

21. The Knack: Rock/Pop

The Knack was an American rock band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles.

The band consisted of Doug Fieger (vocals/guitar), Berton Averre (lead guitar), Prescott Niles (bass), and Bruce Gary (drums).

The Knack’s debut album, Get the Knack, was released in 1979 and included their biggest hit, “My Sharona,” which topped the charts and became one of the year’s best-selling singles.

The album became a commercial success, selling over a million copies in its first month and eventually reaching the number-one spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

22. Menudo: Dance/Rock/Pop

Formed in Puerto Rico in 1977, Menudo rose to international fame throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, thanks partly to their frequent rotation of members (a signature element of the group’s concept) and their catchy, upbeat Latin pop songs.

The band’s lineup changed so frequently that it became known as the “Menudo Factory,” and the group became a launching pad for the careers of many young singers.

Some of Menudo’s most popular songs include “If You’re Not Here,” “Hold Me,” and “Claridad.”

23. Commodores: R&B/Soul/Pop

The Commodores are an American funk and soul band formed in 1968 in Tuskegee, Alabama.

The founding members included Lionel Richie, Thomas McClary, Milan Williams, William King, Ronald LaPread, and Walter Orange.

The group signed with Motown Records in 1972 and released their self-titled debut album in 1977.

The album featured the hit singles “Brick House” and “Easy” and helped establish the band’s sound, which blended funk, soul, and pop.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Commodores continued to release successful albums and singles, including “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” and “Nightshift.”

24. Earth, Wind & Fire: R&B/Jazz/Soul

Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969.

The band’s founding members included Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Ralph Johnson, and Andrew Woolfolk.

The band’s music blends funk, soul, jazz, pop, and rock elements and is characterized by its tight horn section, intricate vocal harmonies, and positive messages in its lyrics.

Earth, Wind & Fire released their self-titled debut album in 1971, but their fifth album, That’s the Way of the World (1975), became their breakthrough.

25. Söhne Mannheims: Pop/R&B

Söhne Mannheims (Sons of Mannheim in English) is a German music group formed in 1995 in Mannheim, Germany.

The group’s members have changed, but the founding members included Xavier Naidoo, Michael Herberger, and Claus Eisenmann.

The band’s music combines elements of soul, funk, rock, and reggae and is known for its socially conscious lyrics and politically engaged themes.

Their songs often address racism, poverty, and political corruption.

Söhne Mannheims released their debut album, Zion, in 1999, which included the hit single “Geh davon aus” (Assume It).

26. Kool & The Gang: Pop/R&B

Kool & The Gang is an American funk and R&B band formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964.

The band’s original members included Robert “Kool” Bell, his brother Ronald Bell, George Brown, Robert Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky West, and Charles Smith.

Kool & The Gang has released many popular hits throughout their career, including “Celebration,” “Get Down On It,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Ladies Night,” “Summer Madness,” and “Cherish.”

The band has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

27. New Edition: Pop/R&B

New Edition is often considered one of the best boy bands of all time, with a successful career spanning several decades.

The group formed in Boston in 1978 consisted of Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, and later, Johnny Gill.

The group’s early success came in the 1980s with hits like “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now,” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”

They were known for their synchronized dance routines and their smooth R&B sound.

28. New Kids On The Block: Pop/Rock

New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) is an American boy band formed in 1984 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The group comprises Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, and Danny Wood.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, New Kids on the Block became one of the biggest pop acts in the world, selling over 80 million records worldwide.

They had numerous hits, including “Hangin’ Tough,” “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” and “Step by Step.”

After disbanding in 1994, the group reunited in 2008 and embarked on a successful comeback tour.

They have since released new music and continued to tour.

The group has also been credited with paving the way for other boy bands, such as Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.

29. *NSYNC: Pop/Rock

*NSYNC was an American boy band popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The group was formed in Orlando, Florida, in 1995 and consisted of five members: Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass.

The group achieved massive success with their debut album, NSYNC, which was released in 1997 and included hit singles like “I Want You Back,” “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” and “Here We Go.”

30. Hanson: Pop

Hanson is a group of three brothers, Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson, who gained fame in the late 1990s with their hit song “MMMBop.”

The band was formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1992 and has since released numerous albums and toured extensively worldwide.

While they are best known for their early pop hits, Hanson’s music has evolved to include a broader range of genres, including rock, folk, and blues.

They remain active and continue to release new music and tour.

31. Backstreet Boys: Pop/Rock

The Backstreet Boys rose to fame in the 1990s and have sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling boy bands in history.

The Backstreet Boys were known for their harmonies and vocal abilities, which set them apart from other boy bands of the time.

Their songs often tackled themes of love, heartbreak, and relationships, which resonated with fans of all ages.

Hits like “I Want It That Way,” “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” and “As Long As You Love Me” are still beloved by fans today.

The Backstreet Boys also paved the way for other boy bands that came after them.

They inspired a new generation of fans to appreciate the genre, and their influence can still be seen in today’s pop music landscape.

Their success was not just limited to the United States; they became a global sensation, with fans worldwide.

32. 98 Degrees: Pop/Rock

98 Degrees is a famous American boy band that rose to fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1996 and consisted of brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons, and Justin Jeffre.

They released their debut album, 98 Degrees, in 1997, which featured the hit singles “Invisible Man” and “Because of You.”

The album reached platinum status in the United States, setting the stage for the group’s future success.

33. Boyz II Men: Pop/Rock/R&B

Boyz II Men is an American R&B vocal group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The group was formed in 1988 and originally consisted of four members, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Michael McCary.

The group has had several hit singles over the years, including “End of the Road,” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “On Bended Knee,” and “Water Runs Dry.”

They have won four Grammy Awards and have sold over 60 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling R&B groups ever.

34. Color Me Badd: R&B/New Jack Swing

“Color Me Badd” is an American contemporary R&B band popular in the early 1990s.

The band was formed in Oklahoma City in 1985 and originally consisted of four members: Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon, Kevin Thornton, and Sam Watters.

The group achieved mainstream success in 1991 with their debut album C.M.B., which featured hit singles such as “I Wanna Sex You Up,” “I Adore Mi Amor,” and “All 4 Love.”

The album reached number three on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified 4x platinum in the United States.

35. Jodeci: R&B/New Jack Swing/Soul

Jodeci consisted of two pairs of brothers: Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and Joel “JoJo” Hailey, and Donald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate and Dalvin DeGrate.

Jodeci’s music is known for its soulful vocals, catchy hooks, and a mix of traditional R&B with hip-hop and gospel music elements.

They rose to fame in the early 1990s with their debut album, Forever My Lady, which included hit singles like “Stay,” “Come and Talk to Me,” and the title track, “Forever My Lady.”

The album was certified triple platinum and helped to establish Jodeci as one of the premier Soul bands of the era.

Best Boy Bands of All Time – Final Thoughts

The list of the 35 Best Boy Bands of All Time includes some of the biggest and most popular groups in music history, each with a unique sound, style, and fanbase.

While some of these bands have disbanded or gone through lineup changes, their legacy lives on through their music, videos, and concerts.

As music continues to evolve and new boy bands emerge, the impact of these legendary groups on the industry cannot be denied.

They have set the bar high for what it means to be a successful boy band, inspiring countless others to follow in their footsteps.

You may also like: Best 90s Boy Bands

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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