What's the best boy band of all time?

Boybands_lWho to elect President? What to eat for lunch? Who should win So You Think You Can Dance? Comparatively, fairly easy decisions to make. But boy bands? That’s a debate for the ages.

To get you guys started, we compiled a list of the top 20, keeping in mind a range of essential boy band skills: dance moves and/or musical instrument usage, harmonizing abilities, overall shelf life (including reunions), swoon/squeal level and, of course, willingness to perform in shopping malls. It was stiff competition but here is the final list. It pains me to have to even compare the wee Jonas Brothers (pictured, top) to the magnificent Hansons (pictured, bottom). But PopWatchers, it’s now time for you to make one of the most difficult decisions of your life: #1 boy band. Ever. Let us know who you vote for below.

addCredit(“Hanson: Derek Santini/Camera Press/Retna”)

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  • Stephanie


  • BrandonK

    Do The Beatles count? I’d say Hanson is pretty far up the list as far as boy BANDS go. *NSYNC was great, but they didn’t really play instruments, so I wouldn’t classify them as a band.

  • Stephanie

    for the record, I’m 25 years old and STILL love *nsync. in fact, my friend gave me *nsync’s HBO concert special on dvd for christmas and to this day, I watch it everytime I come home (I gave it to my sister who has moved from barney and friends to justin & co.). I still remember all the dances! yeah!

  • cookiemac

    well they’re always called the country boy band, so I would have to nominate Rascall Flatts. You can’t compare the amount of album sales they’ve had

  • Jill

    God that list brought me back. I loved LFO, NSYNC, O-Town, etc growing up. I suppose I still do to be honest.
    In my opinion, I think the list is missing BBMak and Boyzone but that’s just me.
    Kudos on acknowledging 2gether! They were hilarious AND super talented. When my friends and I went to see Alpha Dog, it wasn’t Justin we were excited to see, it was Alex Solowitz. My inner 13 year old totally came out when I saw “Mickey Parke.”
    And to anyone reading this list and voting Bye, Bye, Bye to Take That. Check out Patience and rethink that vote. I am bias as Robbie Williams is my favorite singer but their 90’s tunes are great campy fun and their new just is just plain great pop music.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t believe you had the Backstreet Boys ranked behind NSYNC. I’d go on my rant like I used to back in 2000 why BSB kicked NSYNC arses, but I’ll take the high road.
    LOVED the pic of early Robbie Williams, too. Grrr…

  • GeeMoney

    *NSYNC rocks! Glad to see they are ranked above the Backstreet Boys. They are such a better band. The fact that anyone could possibly think otherwise is truly mind-boggling.

    • kristin

      I think it is mind-boggling you find NSYNC better than the BSB… They have been together for 17 years while NSTYNC wont even get back together

  • Winona

    #1 vote goes to the Beatles – but Hanson is a very, very close second.

  • Vonda

    *NSYNC all the way! :-)

  • Meghan

    *NSYNC! I still work out to the No Strings Attached album.

  • TSD

    How can anybody not put New Edition on top? Jackson 5 is a great #1. New Edition for me rival Jackson 5.

  • Martin Haro

    No. 1: The Beatles.
    Backstreet Boys ranks higher on my list than *NSYNC because I discovered them first in winther ’97 (ditto the Spice Girls, during a month-long exchange in France – it was Eurofuntastic!).


  • Ben

    This list didn’t make sense. You had actual bands, like Hanson and Jonas Brothers (who bug the living daylights out of me) with manufactured pop acts. Do they even compare? They’re different breeds of music groups? That being said, I go with Westlife even though I am disturbed that you had an old picture from when Brian was still with them and didn’t mention that they’ve had 14 number one singles in England. They and Take That prove that male singing groups can have quality careers and not just be crap like O-Town.

  • Verity

    While I will admit to having been an ardent ‘N Sync fan back in the day (and that I’ve been known to whip out their self-titled album and “No Strings Attached” while on long road trips), I think I ultimately have to give my vote to the gloriously talented Boyz II Men. Their music from the early days is still just as beautiful today as it was then. And I always feel a little something whenever I hear them sing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” And “Down on Bended Knee.” And “The End of the Road.” Oh gosh, that whole II CD is wonderful. And I was so excited when Michael Buble featured them on his latest album. That pairing was a surprisingly good blend. Anyway, I loved ‘N Sync but I’m still in love with Boyz II Men.

  • Susan

    Glad to see Westlife made the list! Americans truly don’t know what they’re missing here. Radio programmers in 2002 loved their potential US single, but when they found out who it was, they said they can’t play boy bands. But they could play that awful cover version that Ruben Studdard did of Flying Without Wings!!!

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