Boy band

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A boy band (or boyband), in pop, hip hop and R&B music, is loosely defined as a popular music act consisting of about 3-6 male performers. Despite the term "band", boy band members usually do not play musical instruments, either in recording sessions or on stage, although exceptions do exist.

Some such bands can evolve out of church choral or Gospel music groups, but are often created by talent managers or record producers who hold auditions. Due to this and their general commercial orientation towards an audience of preteens, teenyboppers, or teens, the term may be used with negative connotations in music journalism. Boy bands are similar in concept to girl groups.



Early history

The earliest form of boy band music took place in the late 19th century with the use of a capella Barbershop quartets. They were usually a group of males and sing in four part harmonies. The popularity of Barbershop quartets had been prominent into the earlier part of the 20th century. A revival of the male vocal group took place in the 1950s with the use of Doo-wop music. Doo wop was a predecessor to the previous boy bands and they sung about topics such as love and other themes used in pop music. The earliest traces of boy bands were in the mid 1950s and the term boy band was not used. The Ink Spots was one of the first boy bands. The term boy band was not established until the late 1980s. Before that times they were called male vocal groups or hep harmony singing groups.[1]


The earliest predecessors of the boy band genre were groups such as The Osmonds, The Jackson 5, and The Monkees, which helped form the template for boy bands. While The Monkees were a manufactured act who featured members with distinct (albeit fictional) personality types, The Jackson 5 were a family group that established many musical conventions that boy bands follow. For instance, their music featured close harmonies from soul music and catchy pop hooks influenced as much as they were Motown acts like The Supremes. All members of the band sang, which is a common convention of boy band, as opposed to having a front man and the rest on instruments. This is effectively so that no one person dominated the stage. Even so, the members conveniently fitted into the convention of having stereotypical personality types (Michael Jackson being the "cute one", to give an obvious example).

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