Battle of the boy bands
Although the Backstreet Boys have an album due out later this year, most girls who grew up during the '90s and early 2000s would argue the five-piece boy band fell off the map a long time ago - about the same time their bleached and gelled hair went out of style.
Regardless of their relevance - or lack thereof - to the current music scene, the Backstreet Boys remain firmly ingrained in the pop culture memories of millions of college-aged females. To this day, fans of '90s boy bands often question each other's allegiance to either the Backstreet Boys or their rivals, *NSYNC.
The similarities between the two groups are striking: both bands formed in Orlando, Florida during the early '90s, both bands' popularity peaked at the turn of the millennium, both disappeared from the charts around 2002 and both of thei r career s started out at Jive Records.
The Backstreet Boys first hit the music scene in 1996 with a self-titled full-length album, featuring hit singles "Get Down (You're the One for Me)" and "We've Got it Goin' On." The Justin Timberlake-led boys of *NSYNC hopped on board in '97, debuting with their own self-titled album, which featured "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "I Want You Back". Ringing some bells yet?
Jump forward five years, and each band had produced three addi t ional albums . Apparently, the new millennium did not hold much for pop boy bands, however, as both groups fell apart just a few years into the decade.
So other than their names, were the two groups really different at all? According to their passionate, semi-obsessive fan bases, yes. As far as who really was the better band, that's an issue which even the heated debates of 90s girls can never decide.
During my preteen years, I was a fervent supporter of the Backstreet Boys. I recall my excitement leading up to the release of their Millennium album and the hours I spent with my girlfriends belting out the lyrics and making up dance moves to "Larger than Life." But as I approach my twenties, whenever I feel nostalgic, I find myself scrolling down my iPod past the "B's" all the way down to the "N's." It's not that I never get the urge to blast Millennium on my car speakers when I'm in the car alone, but *NSYNC somehow has proved more appealing to my "grown-up" senses than the Backstreet Boys.
Perhaps it's my appreciation for the only lasting talent out of the ten boys: *NSYNC's Justin Timberlake. For starters, J.T.'s current net worth is valued at $70 million, whereas the Backstreet Boys made $60 million between the five of them. Since his days with *NSYNC, Timberlake has created his own solo recording label, has acted in multiple films - including the Academy Award-winning movie The Social Network - and has proved his comedic chops with scene-stealing performances on Saturday Night Live. With his sultry vocals and suave dance moves, Timberlake added an additional spark to his pop boy band, a star the Backstreet Boys never had. The "best boy band ever" debate will never truly be resolved, but maybe now, a decade after their last big hits, is a good time to do some reevaluating of your own.