25 Most Popular Boy Bands of All Time

March 22, 2018 by Evan Comen

While young, all-male vocal groups singing love songs have existed since the a cappella barbershop quartets in the 19th century, the concept of a boy band is a more recent phenomenon.

Some of the first popular boy bands consisted mostly of family members, such as the Jackson 5 and the Osmonds. In addition to their tight harmonies and similar appearances, the camaraderie between the members appealed to listeners and helped build the groups’ audiences.

Since then, boy bands have grown to become some of the most successful musical acts in history. In their heyday in the 1990s, groups such as Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC were some of the best-selling acts, topping the Billboard album charts and selling better than older and more established acts like The Rolling Stones.

These groups eventually faded into musical history, but there has been a small recent resurgence in boy bands, with acts like One Direction, The Jonas Brothers, and Big Time Rush. In South Korea, the boy band format is alive and well as part of the K-pop genre, and shows no sign of slowing down. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed over five decades of music, considering Billboard chart performance and album sales to identify the most popular boy bands of all time.

Click here to see the most popular boy bands.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

>25. O-Town
> Songs on Hot 100: 3
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 37
> All time unit sales: 1.0 million
> Top song: “All or Nothing” (No. 3 for 1 weeks)

Source: Az Yet / Twitter

>24. Az Yet
> Songs on Hot 100: 3
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 73
> All time unit sales: 1.0 million
> Top song: “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (No. 8 for 1 weeks)

Source: Gabe Palacio / Getty Images

>23. LFO
> Songs on Hot 100: 5
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 61
> All time unit sales: 1.0 million
> Top song: “Summer Girls” (No. 3 for 4 weeks)

Source: Courtesy of Universal Music Group

>22. Soul for Real
> Songs on Hot 100: 2
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 51
> All time unit sales: 1.0 million
> Top song: “Candy Rain” (No. 2 for 4 weeks)

Source: Courtesy of BMG

>21. No Mercy
> Songs on Hot 100: 4
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 80
> All time unit sales: 0.5 million
> Top song: “Where Do You Go” (No. 5 for 3 weeks)

Source: Giulio Marcocchi / Getty Images

>20. B2K
> Songs on Hot 100: 7
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 90
> All time unit sales: 2.0 million
> Top song: “Bump, Bump, Bump” (No. 1 for 1 weeks)

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

>19. Bay City Rollers
> Songs on Hot 100: 8
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 105
> All time unit sales: 2.5 million
> Top song: “Saturday Night” (No. 1 for 1 weeks)

Source: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

>18. Jonas Brothers
> Songs on Hot 100: 16
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 108
> All time unit sales: 2.0 million
> Top song: “Burnin’ Up” (No. 5 for 1 weeks)

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

>17. Hanson
> Songs on Hot 100: 3
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 49
> All time unit sales: 7.0 million
> Top song: “MMMBop” (No. 1 for 3 weeks)

Source: Courtesy of RCA Music Group

>16. Hi-Five
> Songs on Hot 100: 7
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 113
> All time unit sales: 1.0 million
> Top song: “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)” (No. 1 for 1 weeks)

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

>15. The Jacksons
> Songs on Hot 100: 13
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 150
> All time unit sales: 5.0 million
> Top song: “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” (No. 7 for 3 weeks)

Source: SilkFans / Facebook

>14. Silk
> Songs on Hot 100: 8
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 118
> All time unit sales: 3.5 million
> Top song: “Freak Me” (No. 1 for 2 weeks)

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

>13. BLACKstreet
> Songs on Hot 100: 9
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 145
> All time unit sales: 5.5 million
> Top song: “Before I Let You Go” (No. 7 for 4 weeks)

Source: Shai / Twitter

>12. Shai
> Songs on Hot 100: 7
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 130
> All time unit sales: 2.0 million
> Top song: “If I Ever Fall in Love” (No. 2 for 8 weeks)

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

>11. Color Me Badd
> Songs on Hot 100: 10
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 200
> All time unit sales: 3.5 million
> Top song: “All 4 Love” (No. 1 for 1 weeks)

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

>10. The Osmonds
> Songs on Hot 100: 12
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 133
> All time unit sales: 2.0 million
> Top song: “One Bad Apple” (No. 1 for 5 weeks)

Source: Thos Robinson / Getty Images

>9. All-4-One
> Songs on Hot 100: 5
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 116
> All time unit sales: 5.0 million
> Top song: “I Swear” (No. 1 for 11 weeks)

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

>8. 98 Degrees
> Songs on Hot 100: 8
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 155
> All time unit sales: 7.5 million
> Top song: “Invisible Man” (No. 12 for 2 weeks)

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

>7. New Edition
> Songs on Hot 100: 16
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 225
> All time unit sales: 7.5 million
> Top song: “I’m Still In Love With You” (No. 7 for 1 weeks)

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty Images

>6. 112
> Songs on Hot 100: 15
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 307
> All time unit sales: 5.5 million
> Top song: “Peaches & Cream” (No. 4 for 2 weeks)

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

>5. New Kids on the Block
> Songs on Hot 100: 11
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 193
> All time unit sales: 16.5 million
> Top song: “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” (No. 3 for 1 weeks)

Source: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

>4. One Direction
> Songs on Hot 100: 29
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 279
> All time unit sales: 7.0 million
> Top song: “What Makes You Beautiful” (No. 4 for 2 weeks)

Source: Larry Busacca / Getty Images

>3. ‘N Sync
> Songs on Hot 100: 10
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 192
> All time unit sales: 28.0 million
> Top song: “This I Promise You” (No. 5 for 1 weeks)

Source: David Becker / Getty Images

>2. Boyz II Men
> Songs on Hot 100: 18
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 358
> All time unit sales: 27.0 million
> Top song: “I’ll Make Love to You” (No. 1 for 14 weeks)

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

1. Backstreet Boys
> Songs on Hot 100: 17
> Cumulative weeks spent on Hot 100: 308
> All time unit sales: 37.0 million
> Top song: “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” (No. 2 for 2 weeks)

The music and management style of modern boy bands largely began with New Edition and New Kids on the Block. After forming as schoolchildren in Boston in 1978, New Edition found major success performing R&B songs during the 1980s.

Managers and producers attempted to recreate the boy band template with some runaway successes, and more failures. The general concept of a boy band has been applied through many cultures and languages. Menudo, for example, has a largely Puerto Rican fan base and is one of the most popular boy bands in the world. Bay City Rollers got their start in Scotland and have gone on to sell 2.5 million records in the United States, among the most of any boy band.

To determine the most popular boy bands of all time, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all-male vocal groups in any pop genre according to their performance on the Billboard Hot 100 and album sales. Boy bands were given the highest possible score for a song that spent a week at No 1., and the lowest possible score for a song that spent a week at No.100, and were ranked on the aggregation of those song scores. Certified record sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America and are for the United States. Boy bands were ultimately ranked on an index that gave full weight to a band’s Billboard chart performance and record sales, and half weight to the number of songs a band has had on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the peak position of a band’s top song. A boy band’s top song is determined by its performance on the Billboard Hot 100, identified with the same ranking system used to rank the bands in this piece. The list of musical groups that qualify as boy bands came from Ranker, a digital polling site that generates lists using crowdsourced polls, and from Wikipedia. To be considered, band members needed to have started out relatively young.