Ranked: Best Boy Bands of All Time


A boy band is a group of male singers whose members are typically in their teens or early 20s, perform pop music, and are marketed to appeal to young females. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the music industry was saturated with boy bands, such as The Jackson 5 and Backstreet Boys. 

These groups were made up of young men who usually had soft voices, long hair, a clean-cut image, and an innocent demeanor. Boy bands were best known for performing a three-part harmony during their concerts.

Following are the best boy bands of all time:

Boy Band Name Active From Total Members
The Beatles 1960 4
The Osmonds  1958 5
The Monkees  1966 4
The Jackson 5 1964 5
Menudo 1977 7
Backstreet Boys 1993 8
*NSYNC 1955 5
New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) 1984 5
Boyz II Men 1985 5
One Direction 2010 5

1. The Beatles


The Beatles were an English rock boy band that became immensely popular during the 1960s. They have had more number-one albums on UK charts and sold more singles than any other act; they held five spots on US Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time. 

The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people. Their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was ranked No 1 on the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever list published by Q magazine. The group received 7 Grammy Awards from 1968 until 1970. Moreover, they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 (Performer).

2. The Osmonds


The Osmonds were formed in 1958 by brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, and Donny. Originally a barbershop quartet who performed locally in Utah, the young men were joined by brothers Jimmy and Tom as well as female cousin Marie to create a variety band. As their popularity grew throughout the 1960s, the group expanded to include nine brothers and one sister performing under the name The Osmond Family. 

The family’s act evolved from variety shows to pop music sensation during the early 1970s as they released several top ten hits, including “One Bad Apple” (1970), “Double Lovin’” (1971), “Yo-Yo” (1972), and “Down by the Lazy River” (1972). The Osmonds were also popular on television with their own self-titled show that aired weekly between 1971 and 1974.

3. The Monkees


The Monkees were a classic boy band that found success both on television and the music industry. While their initial purpose was to be an American version of The Beatles, the group quickly became famous on its own terms. For example, the group’s first album went gold (indicating sales of over 500,000 copies), selling over 10 million records in total. They also had various hit singles and won two Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award. The group’s TV show was also hugely popular, being aired in 66 countries each week and ranked number one between 1967 and 1968.

The Monkees consisted of Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork, who played a fictional rock band on their TV show by the same name from 1966 to 1968. Their real-life music became more successful than their television series. Many people considered them one of the best groups to come out of the 1960s, with a huge influence on other bands such as The Ramones and The Bangles.

4. The Jackson 5


The Jacksons were all about the soul, and their Motown sound stood out from other boy bands of their time. You can’t get any more classic than “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” or “The Love You Save” from these guys. They’ve also got a special place in our hearts as the original family band.

While they aren’t touring regularly anymore, they are still active since 2012.

5. Menudo


You may not have heard of Menudo, but they made history as the first Latin boy band and one of the longest-running in history (30 years). Menudo was formed in Puerto Rico in 1977 by producer Edgardo Díaz. Then, between 1977 and 1985, each member was replaced when he turned 16 years old. 

The original five members were Carlos Melendez, Fernando Sallaberry, Ángel López, Nefty Sallaberry, and Xavier Serbia. Their first album hit #1 on Latin charts as well as Billboard’s Top Latin Albums list. 

In 1981, Ricky Martin joined Menudo at the age of 12 before leaving ten years later after he became too old to be part of the group. They also released their first English album called “Menudo,” which got them their first US tour with The Monkees!

6. Backstreet Boys


In 1996, an American boy band was formed in Orlando, Florida. They had a moderately successful first album in the US, selling 4 million copies and hitting number 4 on the American charts.

But it was their second album that sent them to superstardom — 1997’s Backstreet’s Back launched them from the United States to Europe and Asia. They became a global phenomenon and one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.

The Backstreet Boys are among the world’s top-selling boy bands, with worldwide sales exceeding 130 million records. They are also one of the few boy bands who have continued performing together since their formation more than 20 years ago.

7. *N SYNC


Although currently the biggest boy band in the world, One Direction has some stiff competition when it comes to the best-selling boy bands of all time. You might have heard of them: The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block. But there’s another boy band that has sold a whopping 70 million records worldwide (the same as the other two combined), and they’re pretty much forgotten at this point. It’s *NSYNC, which featured future superstars Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, and Lance Bass — along with Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.

In 1995, NSYNC released their self-titled debut album. They followed it with a second and third, each more successful than the last. In 2003, Justin Timberlake branched out on his own; his subsequent albums have been successful. 

Each album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US, and their debut is still one of only two albums released in 1996 to go diamond (for more than 10 million copies sold). Though “Bye Bye Bye” remains their most popular song, “It’s Gonna Be Me” is their biggest hit in terms of sales. Released in 2000, the song reached No. 1 on five different charts around the world.

8. New Kids on the Block (NKOTB)


New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) was formed in 1984 by Donnie Wahlberg, Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, and Danny Wood. This group of talented friends was first discovered by Maurice Starr.

This group made their way to the top of the charts throughout their career with hits like “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever),” and “Step By Step.” Even today, their music can be heard everywhere, and they are still touring!

Their most recent tour was The Total Package Tour featuring fellow boy banders Boyz II Men & Paula Abdul. They have sold over 80 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling boy bands ever.

9. Boyz II Men


Boyz II Men are an R&B quartet known for its smooth vocals, which gained widespread acclaim in the 1990s. They have won more than 60 awards, including Grammys and AMAs, and sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. Boyz II Men has had four number-one singles in the US and two number-one singles in the UK.

10. One Direction


The boy band phenomenon is one of the most popular and successful trends in music today. From the very beginning, their music has been tailor-made to appeal to a wide spectrum of audiences—all while selling over 500 million copies worldwide. One Direction’s first album is the fastest-selling debut album in the United States, selling over 1 million copies in its first week. They have chart hits that no other newcomer has ever had. 


Boy bands may be a thing of the past, but there was a time when they were some of the most popular acts in music. Old school fans will probably remember singer-songwriters like the Beach Boys, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, and The Bay City Rollers, among other classic bands. It is almost impossible to rank the best boy bands of all time because there are about a handful of them you can choose from that would all be worthy of being in the top five. 

However, we did our best to come up with a list of bands based on longevity and performance history so that these groups that didn’t stand the test of time would not be included with these legendary performers.

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