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One Direction and Boy Bands from the Past

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Screaming teenage girls, sold out arenas and little privacy are all synonymous with the boy band. This once dying musical breed is back in full force today thanks to One Direction. The five piece British band that’s all the rage with the tabloids has just embarked on the North American leg of their Up All Night world tour that’s already selling out shows for 2013. This got us thinking about other boy bands and the huge hysteria they once commanded only to quickly fade away. By looking at past boy bands and their careers what can we expect from One Direction? How long will they be successful? Will they break up? How many reality TV shows will they appear on once their golden days are over? And most importantly are you the future Mrs. Harry Styles? Time to summon our crystal ball and find out!

The Jackson 5

  • Career: Formed in 1964 and lasted until 1990, have since come back for reunion shows and tours
  • Members: Brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and of course Michael
  • Known for: "ABC", "I Want You Back", and "I’ll Be There"
  • Pinnacle moment: December 14, 1969 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show where Michael made himself a household name
  • Records Sold: 100 million +
  • Legacy: The launching pad for the great solo career of Michael (as well as Jermaine Jackson) but we all know who had the bigger impact
  • Would you have heard of Gary, Indiana if it weren’t for them?
  • Their place in music history was cemented with their 1997 induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Verdict: The best of the best, all other boy bands wish they could be as influential and famous as The Jackson 5, and dance as well too!

New Kids on the Block

  • Career: Formed in Boston with an original run form 1984-1994, 2008-present
  • Members: Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight
  • Known for: "Hangin’ Tough", "Step by Step", and "I’ll Be Loving You"
  • Pinnacle Moment: Jordan Knight starring on season 3 of The Surreal Life... Yeah
  • Records Sold: 80 million
  • Legacy: Influencing Marky Mark, younger brother of Donnie, to pursue a career in music, we talkin’ Good Vibrations
  • Reunited in 2008 and have been touring since. But I’d rather not hear five 40 something’s singing "Step one! We can have lots of fun, Step two! There’s so much we can do"

Verdict: They had their fame and now seem to be milking the cash cow of glory past. But it doesn’t bode well that their most famous member Mr. Mark Wahlberg only stayed in the band for a few weeks.


  • Career: Formed in Orlando in 1995, went on hiatus in 2002
  • Members: Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Cosmonaut Lance Bass, and Joey Fatone
  • Known For: "Tearin’ Up My Heart", "Bye Bye Bye", and being damn good action figures
  • Pinnacle Moment: Album "No Strings Attached" selling 9.9 million albums in 2000, a record for most album sales in a year that still stands today
  • Records Sold: 56 million
  • Legacy: Justin Timberlake’s extremely successful solo career, and Lance Bass going into space
  • Verdict: With such successful record sales and the popularity of Justin Timberlake we think a reunion tour would be a massive hit with fans and their wallets, but that all depends on what Mr. Justin thinks.

    One Direction

  • Career: 2010 - Present
  • Members: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Liam Payne
  • Known For: "Up All night", "What Makes You Beautiful", "Gotta Be You"
  • Pinnacle Moment: First UK group to debut at No. 1 on U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for "Up All Night", Harry Styles dating TV host Caroline Flack who is fifteen years his senior
  • Records Sold and girls fainted: 1 million and counting

Prediction: One Direction has brought back the once dying musical breed of the boy band. They’re already selling out shows for the summer of 2013 while Simon Cowell laughs all the way to the bank. The band seems poised for a successful run in the next few years. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see them broken up by 2017 as Harry Styles pursues a successful solo career in music and acting leaving the rest of the band in the where are they now category as music teachers at London high schools or as judges on the X-Factor.

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