When you think of boy bands, what comes to mind? Let’s see… we have One Direction, The Jonas Brothers, 5 Seconds of Summer, The Wanted… Oh, and let’s not forget their Korean counterparts like EXO and BTS, who are proving to be more popular these days. Boy bands like these have definitely scored a huge following, especially among today’s generation and those from Gen Z.
But for those of you who were born in the ’90s and early ’00s (like me), we grew up singing along to the tunes of a different generation of boy bands. Our era was touted as the golden era of boy bands back when Back Street Boys and Linkin Park were the craze. When I brought up the names of these legendary boy bands to my cousin, who is 7 years my junior, it broke my heart when she said she never heard of them. I was shocked! Like seriously, you don’t know Linkin Park? They were like the coolest band during my time. “You’re missing out on some really good music!” I exclaimed. So I decided there and then that before the favourite bands that rocked my childhood became ancient history, it was my duty to spread the word about them to the younger generation and that’s exactly what I intend to do in this post. So to all my juniors out there, here are 3 famous 90s boy bands you should know. (Please don’t say don’t know la).
1. Back Street Boys
According to “Seventeen”, NSYNC took the crown as the ’90s most famous boy band. But since I was a hardcore Back Street Boys fan, I’m going to go with them (Sorry NSYNC fans. No hard feelings.) For starters, BSB members are comprised of 5 members, namely AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson, and Nick Carter. Interestingly, the band first rose to fame in Europe with a strong fan base in Germany. They then became famous in the US when they released their 1997 studio album “Back Street Boys”. Some of my favourite tunes from this illustrious boy band are “Shape of My Heart”, “I Want it That Way” and “Incomplete”.
BSB’s music is a hybrid of R&B balladry, hip hop, and dance-pop. Their songs are very soulful and romantic with catchy tunes that are complemented with mesmerizing dance moves. The group disbanded for a while in the mid-2000s but they eventually reunited in 2013 releasing their new album “A World Like This”, followed by a tour of the record in June 2015. And the amazing thing is they’re still together! Believe it or not, they teamed up with Elton John for a living room concert during this Covid outbreak.
2. Linkin Park
Now moving on to No. 2 on my list of 90s boy bands you should know. It is non-other than Linkin Park. Linkin Park is another band that’s one of a kind. Bandmates consist of Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Dae Farrell, Joe Hahn and Chester Bennington. The band was formed in 1996 in Agoura Hills CA. They went through several rebrandings from Xero in 1996 to Hybrid Theory in 1998 and finally settling on Linkin Park, a homage to Lincoln Park in Santa Monica. Back when the band was called Xero, its lead vocalist was Mark Wakefield. However, Wakefield eventually left when Xero failed to secure a record deal. He was then replaced by Chester Bennington in 1998.
Linkin Park was truly a force to reckon. Mixing nu-metal, rap-rock, and hip hop elements, their songs gave a voice to our rage, teenage angst, and frustrations. Some of their popular hits include “Numb”, “In the End” and “Crawling”. Unfortunately, the band was hit with a devastating tragedy when their frontman Chester Bennington, committed suicide in 2017. It was a depressing time for fans all over the world. Bennington was no doubt an integral part of Linkin Park. Ever since his passing, its members have been slowly trying to rebuild themselves.
3. Simple Plan
Another 90s boy band that’s close to my heart is Simple Plan. It was my cousin who introduced me to this awesome pop-punk band from Montreal, Canada. Simple Plan was formed in 1999 by childhood buddies Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau, Jeff Stinco, Sébastien Lefebvre and David Desrosiers. By end of 2004, the band established itself as one of contemporary pop-punk’s biggest-selling acts. Between 2002-2004, they released 2 full-length albums, a live CD and a full-length DVD. The band’s album sales were so good that they reached the 3 million mark!
Some of my favourite hits from Simple Plan are “Welcome to My Life”, “Perfect” and “Untitled”. Simple Plan was another great band that fed our teenage angst. “Untitled” is the perfect blend of depressing lyrics with a super emo soundtrack. While songs like “Welcome to My Life” and “Perfect” voice out the pain and frustrations every teen can relate to. Simple Plan still rocks on till today. In 2015, they released their 5th studio album “Taking One for the Team”, which debuted at No 1 in 10 countries.
And there you have it – the 3 famous 90s boy bands you should know. Actually, I could go on and on. There are so many other great boy bands from the 90s like Green Day and Hoobastank, that I can include in the list but that definitely calls for another blog post. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to oblige. Till then, toodles!
Random Rose is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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