Of course, all-male bands had been popular in the past. “Beatlemania” gripped the UK and then the world in the 1960s, when fans notoriously screamed and fainted at the sight of The Beatles. And The Jackson 5 had a similar effect on American teens.
But it was during the ’90s when boy bands really took off. And it was also when they became known for singing and dancing, rather than actually playing musical instruments.
Sure, it’s hard to see now why girls fell for groups of guys with spray tans prancing around in skin-tight pants. But to really understand the boy band phenomenon, we actually have to go back to the ’80s.