Boy bands back on the scene
NEW YORK -- It seems like we can never say goodbye, bye, bye to boy bands. A decade after 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys dominated the entertainment world, boy bands have returned and are making a comeback.
One Direction, the British quintet that placed third on the U.K.'s "X Factor" in 2010, will see its album, "Up All Night," debut high on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart this week.
The Wanted, another U.K.-based quintet, is spending its second week at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart with the jam "Glad You Came."
Big Time Rush, a four-member boy band that also has a hit Nickelodeon show readying its third season, recently wrapped a sold-out tour at New York's Radio City Music
Hall, and will embark on a larger U.S. and Canadian trek this summer.
Mindless Behavior, formed by record executive Vincent Herbert, who discovered Lady Gaga, debuted at No. 2 on the R&B charts in late 2010 with its album "#1 Girl," and has toured with Janet Jackson and Justin Bieber, among others.
"It's just exploding," said Ernie D., the creative director and on-air personality for Radio Disney. "It's really amazing to see, especially on my end, hearing all the calls from the listeners."
It's reminiscent of a time when 'N Sync battled the Backstreet Boys as music's top act, selling millions of albums and concert tickets, thanks to the millions of girls who invested time, their parents' money and screamed pleas for their favorite boy band.
'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, who rose to fame in the 1990s and carried that through the new millennium, were followed by others successful boy bands, such as 98 Degrees, O-Town and Dream Street.
Before that, it was New Edition in the 1980s. And before that, there was the Jackson Five and the Osmonds, and so on.
But now, there are various boy bands releasing music simultaneously, helping drive each other to the top of the charts.
"It's giving us that little competition that makes us want to go further and excel further than we are right now," said 22-year-old Carlos Pena Jr. of Big Time Rush.
"It's cool to see more boy bands, but us, Mindless Behavior, we want to show the fans what we got," said Mindless Behavior's Prodigy, who is 15. Roc Royal and Princeton, both 14, and Ray Ray, 15, round out the group.
Big Time Rush recently had its TV film, "Big Time Movie," reach more than 13.1 million total viewers when it debuted on Nickelodeon recently. They also released an EP of the same name to accompany the film, which features cover versions of classic Beatles songs.
The group members said they weren't excited about being coined a "boy band" when they debuted in late 2009.
"We hated that term to start with," 21-year-old James Maslow said.
"Because the term hadn't come back yet," added Kendall Schmidt, 21. "We kind of feel like we paved the way for it to come back."
Radio Disney's Ernie D. says the new crop of boy bands are finding success much faster than groups in the past.
"The way it's happening now, it's a little more sudden than last time. Because back then you had to build your fan base, get a following. Now with all social media, you have a fan base immediately ... (and) as soon as you nail that fan base, you're on the rise for sure."