How 90s Boy Bands Shaped Pop Culture

The 90s has been one great decade and can be said as an era of revolution. From technology to the media industry, everything changed in a unique perspective which is why the 2000s and onwards have been one great journey for us. One main influence on the pop culture of the 90s and even 2000s was the Boy Bands that had a sudden rise in popularity. Although this popularity was not much long-lasting, it created a certain impact on pop culture.

90s Popular Bands and their Impact on Pop Culture

There has been a major impact on pop culture due to the boy bands of the 1990s which created a new wave of music that wasn’t seen before. Specifically targeting the different issues of youth, creating emotional connections, sadness, social problems, a teen’s life, and others were discussed while many issues of elders were also discussed. These bands gained huge attention from both, young and old men and women. With sponsors, these bands became the new fashion icon introducing different elements in the industry that were not there earlier.

New Kids on the Block

The band that got successful too soon was an American boy band based out of Massachusetts. New Kids on the Block was started in 1985 by brothers Jonathan, Jordan Knight, Joey Mcintyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. The band got highly successful during the 1990s as it had sold over 80 million records worldwide along with several awards. Due to a sudden rise and then fall in 1994, it always stayed in the eyes of the media making it one of the impactful bands.

The band was sponsored by large-scale companies such as Coca-Cola. People started to follow the band and merchandise such as lunch boxes, buttons, T-Shirts, comic books, dolls, trading cards, and even cartoon shows were started from this band making a keen influence on pop culture. One of the famous tours of the 90s had a total of 3.2 million people attending these shows. The official fan club had a membership of 200,000 members making it one of the largest fan clubs in the US.


Right after New Kids on the Block disbanded in 1994, there was another American boy band formed in 1995 in Florida with the name of NSYNC or as most people say it N-Sync. Since the boy band music was already very popular at this time, NSYNC became a perfect replacement for the New Kids on the Block. Members of this band include Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, and Lance Bass.

The band became one of the most successful ones in 2000 when they sold one million copies in one day for their second album named No Strings Attached. Justin Timberlake became a fashion icon and many people started to follow him. One of the biggest influences on pop culture was the dances and visual moves. Moreover, there were movies on the band too which became popular very soon.

The Backstreet Boys

Unarguably one of the best boy bands of all time that was formed in the 1990s and got very successful was The Backstreet Boys. Members of this band included Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, and Brian Littrell as well as Kevin Richardson. Their debut album named Backstreet Boys became an international hit in 1996.

The Backstreet Boys were quite close to their fans which is one of the main reasons why the band became a pop icon to follow. There were advertising campaigns where five fans of the band would win a $2000 shopping spree along with their favorite star. Many youngsters got influenced and one of them wanted to start a comic series on it. However, only a single comic book named The Backstreet Project was released.

Take That

Take That was formed in 1990 in Manchester which initially comprised Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, and Robbie Williams. Barlow was the lead singer and song composer of the band. The band is known for having 8 number-one albums on the UK albums chart and has also received 8 Brit Awards. With over 14 million album sales, it was one of the best boy bands of the era.

One of the main reasons why boy bands like Take That were a keen influence on pop culture was that they were mainly young singers that created a major appeal to the youth and active teenagers. Word of mouth promotion was very common among this age group. Therefore, people started to follow bands like Take That. From fashion to dance as well as changing the music industry all over the world, Take That played an important role as it was one of the best bands in the UK.

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Unlike the ones we mentioned above, the Boyzone was an Irish Boy Band that came forward in 1993 including Keith Duffy, Stephen Gately, Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, and Shane Lynch. It is among the very few boy bands of the era which is still heard by a large number of active listeners. Up until 2018, Boyzone has released 7 albums and 9 compilation albums becoming one successful boy band of all times.

By 2013, the band had sold over 25 million records worldwide. Boyzone was split in 1999 but came back in 2007 with massive tours. They were able to gather a large audience in these tours. The band had made appearances in a TV show prior to becoming a band which made their entry into the industry easier and their music being more liked by the audience. The band recorded songs for a few movies as well.


The youth was getting more involved in music with different types of boy bands coming with new albums and their songs. With pop and R & B Music, Five was one of the most popular British boy bands which were formed in 1997. The members of this band included Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, and Scott Robinson. Five was a major influence to pop culture due to its immense success all over the world.

Within 4 years, the band had sold more than 10 million copies of the records after which the group split up. Their songs were mostly related to Hip Hop music or Rap making them quite appealing for the listeners. More than 500,000 people have attended the concert at one time. People started to follow the dresses worn by the band members along with other accessories. Five was a major influence on the young boys.

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Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men which is pronounced as Boys to men is an American boy band that started in 1987 but got famous particularly in the 1990s. The band consisted of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman. Boyz II Men found fame on Motown Records during this decade and also joined hands with Micheal McCary. Much of their songs including Motownphilly, It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday, and End of the Road has been very successful and reached the top of charts globally.

What made Boys II Men a key influence to pop culture was that the band sang emotional ballads and a mix of Cappella harmonies. These types of songs particularly attracted the teens but also some adults bringing attention to the important aspect of emotional well-being and psychological health of a person. Throughout the 90s and even in the 2000s, the band performed exceptionally for which it has received four Grammy Awards as well. The band is still working on newer albums and single songs.

West Life

West Life was formed in 1998 in Ireland. Band members included Nicky Bryne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan, and Bryan McFadden as well. The career of McFadden with the band was short-lived as he parted ways in 2004 to become a solo pop artist. Some of the top songs by the band which became worldwide success include If I Let You Go, I Wanna Grow Old With You, Fool Again, Flying Without Wings, and Queen of My Heart.

West Life has been one of the top boy bands of all times as recognized by the 12 million viewers on MTV in a poll conducted in 2012. This shows how the band itself was a major influence on the viewers and further on, the pop culture. The band took the position of The Jonas Brothers after this poll. Several other music awards have also been racked up by the band.


90s boy bands have been a great influence on pop culture. With many of these songs, the interest of teens in media increased. Earlier, the media was usually centered towards the elders including fashion and other aspects while young boy bands became a key source of inspiration for the young boys to follow. With different types of songs, large-scale audience gatherings, and awards, boy bands surely were one of the most interesting ones during the 90s and 2000s.