More boys

From several sources on Facebook, this charming photo of the Backstreet Boys with pandas:

Enthusiastic text:

Backstreets Back, ALRIGHT!

Just one week before the Fortune Global Forum 2013, the Backstreet Boys arrived in the city of Giant Pandas — Chengdu, for their 20th Anniversary concert tour. See how adorable they look sitting there? The pandas look cute too!

I wrote on Facebook:

I realize it’s part of the brand name, but BSB are scarcely boys any more: Carter, the youngest, is 33, and Richardson, the oldest, is 41.

And we’re back on the topic of who counts as a boy.

On BSB, from Wikipedia:

The Backstreet Boys (sometimes referred to as BSB) are an American vocal harmony group, formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The group consists of A. J. McLean [born 1/9/78], Howie Dorough [born 8/22/73], Nick Carter [born 1/28/80], Kevin Richardson [born 10/3/71], and Brian Littrell [born 2/20/75]. They rose to fame with their debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996). In the following year, they released their second international album Backstreet’s Back (1997) and their U.S. debut album which continued the group’s success worldwide. They rose to superstardom with their third studio album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000).

BSB are the best-selling boy band in history (with the Jackson Five in second position and New Kids on the Block in third). And they have endured. Here’s the Wikipedia outline summary of boy band history:

1.1 Early history

1.2 1960s: The Osmonds, The Jackson 5, The Beatles, and The Monkees

1.3 1970s and 1980s: Menudo, New Edition, and New Kids on the Block

1.4 1990s: Boyz II Men, Take That, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync

1.5 2000s: Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Jonas Brothers, Super Junior and F4

1.6 2010s: NKOTBSB, Big Time Rush, One Direction, The Wanted, and comebacks of 1990s-early 2000s boy bands

BSB are headliners on their appearance in the 1990s, again in the 2000s, and in fact again in the 2010s, in NKOTBSB; from Wikipedia on New Kids on the Block:

New Kids on the Block (also initialized as NKOTB) are an American boy band from Boston, Massachusetts, assembled in 1984 by producer Maurice Starr.

… After secretly reuniting in 2007 and recording a new CD, the group released that new album and embarked on a concert tour in 2008. … The group was on tour with the Backstreet Boys in 2011–2012 as NKOTBSB.

Of course, by 2011-2012, NKOTB were neither new nor kids. (Donnie Wahlberg is now 43.) But the name remains; after all, it’s just a label, not a description.

On boy bands, again from Wikipedia:

A boy band (or boyband) is loosely defined as a vocal group consisting of young male singers, usually in their teenage years or in their twenties at the time of formation. [Note the careful “at the time of formation”.] Being vocal groups, most boy band members do not play musical instruments, either in recording sessions or on stage, making the term somewhat of a misnomer. However, exceptions do exist. Most boy bands dance as well as sing, usually giving highly choreographed performances.

… Controversy: Since the 1990s, bands such as Backstreet Boys and LFO have disliked the term “boy band” and have preferred to be known as a “male vocal group”. …Boy bands have been accused by the music press of emphasizing the appearance and marketing of the group above the quality of music, deliberately trying to appeal to a pre-teen audience and for conforming to trends instead of being original. Such criticisms can become extremely scathing. Boy bands are often seen as being short lived, although some acts such as The Jackson 5, Backstreet Boys, Hanson, Human Nature, SMAP, and Westlife (before they split up in 2012) have sustained lasting careers, and bands like New Kids On The Block, Boyzone, and Take That have had successful comebacks.

… Despite negative critical reception, boy bands continue to be generally successful, with some notable ones managing to sell millions of records. Some of the bands like Backstreet Boys, The Jackson 5, and New Kids on the Block are even listed among the world’s best selling music artists.

So: get in a boy band when you’re a kid, make a success of it, and you can be a boy forever.

2 Responses to “More boys”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Chris Ambidge on Facebook:

    The last line of your post is: “So: get in a boy band when you’re a kid, make a success of it, and you can be a boy forever.”

    Or be born in the right place (and I’m not talking Never-Never Land); I have my (paper) birth certificate in front of me now. It was issued the day I was born, and Robert CH Sibley (registrar for the subdistrict of Northampton West) certified the facts of my name, my date of birth, and “Sex:………..Boy……..” (carefully hand written in fountain pen on the dotted line). So there you go – the certificate is nearly sixty years old and I’m a boy for EVER.

  2. alantekab Says:

    Reblogged this on Alan Tek Abraham Blog.

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