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How to Make a Boy Band

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Boy bands are a worldwide phenomenon. From Take That to Backstreet Boys to Westlife, ever since the early '90s the pop music charts have been full of boy bands1.

What is a Boy Band?

So what is a boy band? Generally a group of five (although anomalous groups have been recorded) boys (generally between the ages of 16 and 25 at the birth of the band) who sing and dance, but don't play their own instruments (bands such as A1, therefore, aren't really classified as boy bands).

The Members of a Boy Band

The members of almost every boy band there has ever been can be classified as follows:

The Fat One Who Writes The Songs

The 'fat one who writes the songs'2 is often also the lead singer of the band, and is usually blond. Often referred to as the 'talent' of the band, he is not the one all the teenage girls fancy. Examples of this are Gary Barlow (Take That), Ronan Keating (Boyzone), and Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys).

The Cute One

The cute one is the one all the teenage girls scream for at the concerts, and the one who gets the most Valentine's cards. Floppy hair and puppy-dog eyes are a must, and this boy band member normally sings lead on at least two songs on every album. The cute one is also normally the member with the highest vocal range, and who sings the high 'twiddly' bits in the background of songs. Examples of these are Mark Owen (Take That), Stephen Gately (Boyzone), and Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys).

The Rebel

There has to be a rebel in every boy band. This is the member with the face full of metal and/or dreadlocks, the one your Mum would be horrified if you brought home. Examples of the rebel include Howard Donald (Take That), Shane Lynch (Boyzone), and AJ (Backstreet Boys).

The Dancer

There is one member of every boy band whose main purpose seems to be dancing in the background. Normally the best dancer in the band, they never get any recognition as all the attention is taken up by the cute one and the fat one who writes the songs. Examples of the dancer include Jason Orange (Take That), Keith Duffy (Boyzone) and Kevin Richardson (Backstreet Boys).

The Other One

There is always another one in the band - one who doesn't seem to have any purpose at all really, but who is normally quite talented and just doesn't get noticed. Examples of the other one include Robbie Williams (Take That), Mikey Graham (Boyzone), Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys).

How To Make A Boy Band

  • Hold well-publicised (preferably televised) auditions in various cities.
  • Pick one 'boy' between the ages of 16 and 25 from each of the above categories.
  • Make sure none of the boys admit to having a girlfriend/being married/having children/being gay until you have built up a massive fanbase.
  • Choose a name for your band that although original, sounds exactly like every other boy band there has ever been.
  • Release Bee Gees covers for your first five singles, while you try to teach the fat one who writes the songs how to write songs.
  • Shift the image of your band after a couple of years when their popularity starts to wane, so that you are now appealing more to either the gay market or to housewives.
  • Tour the world with your band and bask in their reflected glory.

Other Bands

This formula for creating a boy band can be easily applied to other bands too, for example the Spice Girls. In this case, Baby is the cute one, Scary the rebel, Ginger the fat one who writes the songs, Sporty the dancer, and Posh the other one. If one looks closely, there aren't, in fact, many bands which this formula cannot be applied to. Even members of bands with a different number of people can be slotted into these headings.

Still Need Help?

If you still need a little help creating your band, take a look here. Josie and the Pussycats was released in 2000, and is a film all about creating a successful band.

1New Kids On The Block were the first 'real' boy band, and ever since there's been no going back.2The 'fat one who writes the songs' label was originally attached to Gary Barlow (Take That), and from then on has been used to describe any lead singer of a boy band who writes songs and isn't the best-looking one, whether he is fat or not.

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