The idea of the boy band has been around for more than half a century, dating back to the days of The Beatles and The Jackson 5. While there were a handful of popular boy bands in the 70s and 80s, it wasn’t until the 90s that boy bands really started to take off.
From Australia to Europe and, of course, the United States, boy bands were all the craze for a handful of years. Which ones stood out the most in the days of frosted tips, Bill Clinton, and Koosh balls? Here are the 21 best 90s boy bands.
No boy band was bigger in the 90s than *NSYNC, fronted by eventual superstar singer Justin Timberlake. Thanks to hits like “Bye, Bye, Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” they became a cultural phenomenon at the end of the millennium.
Their biggest fans, most of which are now in their 30s and 40s, are still clamoring for a reunion like the Backstreet Boys had in recent years. Most of the members of *NSYNC have stayed very busy in the years since their split, with Timberlake obviously taking on the most work over the past 20 years.
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2. Backstreet Boys
Following in *NSYNC’s footsteps, the Backstreet Boys quickly gained popularity in the mid-90s. Releasing multiple albums throughout the remainder of the decade, some of their biggest hits include songs such as “Everybody,” “As Long As You Love Me,” and “I Want It That Way.”
The group packed stadiums with their classic 90s pop sound that girls and boys swooned over. They took a break in 2003 but reunited in 2005 to release their album titled “Never Gone.” The sensational pop group has the astounding accomplishment of being the best-selling boy band of all time.
Next: Our ultimate list of the best 1990s musicians & artists
3. New Kids On The Block
After being formed in 1984, this New England-based boy band rose to fame in the late 80s and remained one of the most popular boy bands in the early 90s. Some of their top hits include “Step by Step,” “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” and “Hangin’ Tough.” The group stayed together until 1994 when they shocked fans and split up.
Thankfully, the members reunited to release their album “The Block” in 2008. A few years later, they would end up performing with the Backstreet Boys under the band name NKOTBSB from 2010 to 2012. NKOTBSB has regained popularity throughout the last decade, with the group more recently releasing new music and touring.
Next: The greatest bands of the 1990s (our full analysis and list)
4. 98 Degrees
The band 98 Degrees formed in 1996, releasing their debut hit “Invisible Man” in 1997. They began touring as the opener for several Janet Jackson shows at that time. The group rose to stardom in the late 90s when they paired up with Stevie Wonder for their song “True To You Heart,” featured in the popular Disney movie “Mulan.”
Their popularity skyrocketed even more after their 1999 song “Because of You,” which placed #3 on the US Hot 100. They maintained their status into the 2000s but took an almost decade-long hiatus from 2003 to 2012. The group has made some appearances and toured here and there in the years following their hiatus, even releasing a new single “Where Do You Want To Go” in 2021.
5. Boyz II Men
Another group formed in the late 80s and grew in popularity into the 90s, Boyz II Men’s soulful hits gained a lot of attention in the earlier part of the decade. “End Of The Road” was their most popular song, released in 1992, keeping its place on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record 13 weeks. Soon after, they released their second record-breaking hit “I’ll Make Love To You,” topping the charts for 14 weeks.
An even longer stay at the top of the charts happened when the group paired up with the legendary pop diva Mariah Carey and released the song “One Sweet Day,” holding the #1 spot for 16 weeks. Although down a member in 2003, their successful career in music continues with the group has toured throughout the last few decades and won four Grammys over the course of their stardom.
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Forming in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1992, “Hanson” is comprised of brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson. Their fun pop-rock sound gave the world their biggest hit “MMMBop” in 1997. Their debut album was nominated for three Grammy awards, and they avoided being a one-hit wonder thanks to the success of “I Will Come To You.”
The group, having a more mild level of fame in comparison to their first few years, still continues to make music and release new albums to this day.
All-4-One is a soulful group that came to fame in the early 90s with hits that include “I Swear” and “I Can Love You Like That.” These songs made their way into every couple’s mixtape and still do to this day.
The group remains intact and has released a few new singles throughout the years, as well as having toured with other artists such as Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Rob Base, Salt-N-Pepa, and Color Me Badd.
This UK-based group was formed in London in 1997, with some of their most popular hits including “Keep On Movin’,” “When The Lights Go Out,” and “Until The Time Is Through.”
Five sold nearly 20 million copies worldwide and won The MTV Select Award in 1998 before splitting up in 2001. The group got back together, minus a couple of original members, and continued to make new music and mainly tour throughout Europe.
Next on the list is another UK-based boy band, BBMak, with their fun and mellow pop and soft rock sound. Forming in 1996, the Liverpool natives had a relatively quick start with their song “Back Here.” It launched their career, and they sold over three million albums within the short time they were around.
Shortly after, the group took a lengthy hiatus until 2018 when they began making music once more.
10. Bell Biv DeVoe
Made up of the original members of the already popular group New Edition (sans Bobby Brown), Bell Biv DeVoe didn’t need much help climbing the charts in the early 90s. This Boston-based group had the most success with their songs “Do Me!” and “Poison,” both of which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The albums that followed didn’t have nearly as much success, and they released their most recent album in 2017 and continue to participate in reunion tours.
11. LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones)
LFO’s start began in 1995 with their debut album that featured two of their most iconic songs “Summer Girls” and “Girl On TV.” They reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and the group sold over two million albums in the late 90s. They were also nominated for top-selling single of the year at the Billboard Music Awards.
Ultimately, the group split in 2002 before reuniting in 2009, but it was short-lived when one of the original members, Rich Cronin, passed after a battle with Leukemia. In 2018, another member, Devin Lima, passed after his battle with adrenal cancer. Brad Fischetti, the only surviving member of the band, toured with the early 2000s pop band O-Town to keep LFO’s dream alive.
12. Take That
Take That took Europe by storm in 1990. The Manchester-based group has nearly 30 top 40 hits. Their songs “Back For Good,” “Sure,” and “Babe” were among their number one hit songs.
On a global scale, they have sold over 45 million albums, with a bulk of those coming from the European market. Of the group’s members, Robbie Williams would go on to have the most solo success.
The pop group Westlife was formed in Dublin, Ireland, and gained traction in 1999 following the release of their self-titled debut album. Some of their best work includes “Flying Without Wings” and “I Have A Dream/Seasons in the Sun.”
They released 11 more albums between 2000 and 2021. The group has been one of the most steadily successful pop boy bands in the UK, winning multiple honors at the World Music Awards, Brit Awards, and MTV Awards.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Boyzone formed in 1993, but didn’t release its debut album “Said And Done” until 1995. They released two more albums towards the later part of the decade with “A Different Beat” in 1996 and “Where We Belong” in 1998.
Some of their biggest songs include “No Matter What,” “Love Me For A Reason,” and “All That I Need.” By 2013, Boyzone had sold 25 million records worldwide, had 12 hit songs reach at least number two on the charts, and was crowned the second most successful boy band in Britain.
15. Human Nature
The lone Australian group on the list, Human Nature came onto the scene with their debut album “Telling Everybody,” which was released in 1997, and followed it up with their second album “Counting Down” in 1999.
Some of their 90s hits include “Don’t Say Goodbye,” “Last To Know,” and “Be There With You.” With their signature doo-wop style, Human Nature is still going strong to this day without any members leaving.
16. East 17
East 17 was formed in England in 1991, and since then, has gone through many members with only one of the original members still in the group. They released four albums between 1991 to 1996.
Worldwide, they’ve sold over 18 million records, with four top 10 albums under their belts. Some of their hits include “If You Ever,” “Let It Rain,” and “Stay Another Day.”
17. Another Bad Creation
Though more associated by some to be a hip hop group, Another Bad Creation or ABC certainly qualifies for boy band status. Comprised entirely of children and a poppy sound, they could be considered the definition of a boy band, with a pair of albums released in the early 90s.
The group released two hit songs with “Iesha” and “Playground” before parting ways following their sophomore album and have not reunited since.
Naturally, the boy band trio Youngstown was formed in the Ohio town of the same name. If the group doesn’t sound too familiar, your memory might be jogged if you watch the Matthew Broderick-led “Inspector Gadget” film. On the movie’s soundtrack, they recorded their biggest hit with “I’ll Be Your Everything.”
Sadly, they wouldn’t last long as the group went their separate ways in 2005 and is one of the boy bands on the list to not have any sort of reunion.
Jodeci was formed in 1989 in North Carolina, and they got their shot at stardom when they were signed to Uptown Records two years later in 1991. Their debut album “Forever My Lady” birthed their Billboard Award-winning single, “Come And Talk To Me.”
Their debut album won multiple awards for best R&B album, with their record sales reaching 20 million worldwide. Eventually, two of Jodeci’s members, K-Ci and JoJo, would branch out for a successful duo career.
Originally named Forte, 112 originally consisted of up to six members, but now finds itself with just two. After struggling to find their footing, they broke through in 1996 with their debut self-titled album, and two years later released “Room 112.”
The Grammy Award-winning group reached the top 20 on the charts multiple times in the 90s, but it wasn’t until 2001 that they scored their first top 5 song with “Peaches & Cream.”
Next: The top K-pop boy groups & bands
21. Dru Hill
While most people are familiar with the solo career of Sisqó thanks to hits like “Thong Song,” many might not realize his time with the R&B collective Dru Hill during the 90s.
During the decade, the band released a pair of albums, with several hit songs as a result. This includes top 10 jams like “In My Bed,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and “Never Make A Promise.” The group remains intact, with Sisqó still the lead singer.
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