28 Fun Facts About Your Favorite 90s Boy Bands
Boy bands, specifically ’90s boy bands, will always hold a special place in our hearts. Iconic bands such as Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees created tunes that we still can’t get out of our heads. A few have returned with new albums and started touring again, such as Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block. Here are some fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about your favorite ’90s boy bands.
Ryan Gosling Almost Became a Backstreet Boy
Who knew the Hollywood heartthrob could’ve been a Backstreet Boy? While the band was still recruiting members in 1992, AJ McLean lived in the same Orlando apartment complex as Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. During a game of basketball, McLean talked about forming a band and asked Gosling to join the group. Gosling turned down the offer,saying boy bands were a thing of the past.
The Main Founder of N’SYNC Isn’t Who You Think
Chris Kirkpatrick, the first member of N’SYNC, would have never started the boy band if he wasn’t rejected from the Backstreet Boys. Kirkpatrick and Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough were in the same community college choir. Although Kirkpatrick didn’t make the final cut for Backstreet, it did lead to his introduction to BSB’s manager, Lou Pearlman.
Nynuk was NKOTB’s Original Name
Before they were the New Kids on the Block, the boy band was named Nynuk. According to Buzzfeed, Starr suggested Nynuk, which is a play on the name of the dog “Nanook” in the movie “The Lost Boys.” However, Rolling Stone reported that the name was a play on the documentary “Nanook of the North.”
Boyz II Men’s Big Break Came from Sneaking Backstage at a New Edition Concert
In 1989, Boyz II Men snuck backstage at a New Edition concert, where the band and other celebrities were hanging out. They managed to perform New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” in front of members Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe.
Backstreet Boys was a Big Deal in Europe First
Europe became obsessed with Backstreet Boys’ harmonies and dashingly good looks before the U.S. In May 1996, they released their first album “Backstreet Boys,” internationally. Their European fans were so crazy and out of control that multiple European hotels banned the boy band from staying there because staff weren’t able to handle the wild crowds.
One of the N’SYNC Bandmates Found out Bass’s Sexual Orientation by Accident
Fatone was the first member to find out that Bass is gay. Bass’s date was sitting on his lap, when Fatone walked in. Bass remembered Fatone saying, “Dude, I don't care. I have so many gay friends — I don't care.” A few months later, Bass came out to the rest of the group and their reaction was positive as well.
New Kids Went from Opening Act to Headliner By the End of a Tour
The New Kids opened for teen pop icon, Tiffany, on her tour in 1988. But after "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," a single from their second album, took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, the New Kids became the supreme boy band. According to Billboard, by the end of the tour, Tiffany and the New Kids switched places because of their sudden popularity. Tiffany was then scheduled to open for NKOTB.
Elvis Presley’s 35-year Billboard Record was Broken by Boyz II Men
The famous R&B vocal acapella group, Boyz II Men, formed in 1988. Boyz II Men seemed to release one hit right after another throughout the ’90s. “End of the Road,” released in 1991, spent 13 weeks as No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Elvis Presley previously was the only person to hold that record with his song “Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog” in 1956.
N’SYNC Was meant to be an Acronym of Each Member’s Name
The band’s name is a play on the last letter of each member’s first name: JustiN, ChriS, JoeY, JasoN, and JC. The group came up with N’SYNC after Timberlake’s mom commented that the boys’ voices were all in sync.
Who Is the Best-Selling Boy Band of all Time?
The media enjoyed promoting a rivalry between N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys: Who is the best boy band of the ’90s? While N’SYNC fans might be upset, it’s a fact that the Backstreet Boys are the best-selling boy band of all time.
NKOTB’s First Album Flopped and Their Label Almost Dropped Them
The New Kids’ first self-titled album didn’t perform well when it was released in April 1986. Starr wrote and produced most of the songs. The bubble-gum pop songs had little airplay on the radio, but the band still went on a small tour throughout New England at bars, schools and clubs. Columbia Records was upset with the low numbers, but Starr convinced them to give the boys another chance.
One Man ‘Created’ the Boy Band Craze of the ’90s, Then Stole Millions From Them
Lou Pearlman founded Backstreet Boys and N’Sync after being inspired by New Kids on the Block. He also managed O-Town, LFO and Aaron Carter. But even with all the fame and riches, Pearlman couldn’t avoid greed.
NKOTB Formed a Megaband with Backstreet Boys
What’s better than one boy band? Two boy bands! After the New Kids reunited in 2008, they released two hit singles: “Summertime” and “Single” with R&B singer Ne-Yo. The New Kids performed on tour with many big artists including Natasha Bedingfield, Lady Gaga, Jesse McCartney, Jabbawockeez and the Backstreet Boys.
Marvel: “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history.”— New Kids on the Block (@NKOTB) March 22, 2018
N’SYNC’s Hiatus Was Initially Temporary
N’SYNC was active for only seven years. Their third and final recorded album was “Celebrity,” released in 2001. In 2002, they promoted it with the Celebrity Tour, and afterward announced a temporary hiatus that would last around six months.
Boyz II Men Practiced Acapella in the School Bathrooms
Boyz II Men rehearsed harmonies in their high school bathrooms due to the impressive acoustics — that, and they didn’t have anywhere else to practice. It made practicing easier that they all attended the same high school, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA).
The Name Boyz II Men was Inspired by a New Edition Song
The original band name Boyz II Men used was “Unique Attraction.” But after hearing New Edition’s song, “Boys to Men” from the 1988 “Heart Break” album, the group decided to change their name to “Boyz II Men.”
Bass has a Part in Same-Sex Marriage History
Bass made history when he married actor-artist Michael Turchin December 20, 2014, in Los Angeles. They were the first same-sex couple to tie the knot on American TV. He invited all of his bandmates and other famous friends to the wedding, including Lisa Vanderpump, Jamie Lynn Sigler and JoAnna Garcia Swisher.
Backstreet Boys: Their First Performance was … Opening for a Whale?!
On May 8, 1993, the Backstreet Boys performed for the very first time at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. About 3,000 people attended the show, where the boys opened for none other than the trained orca, Shamu.
On April 20th, 1993 we became the Backstreet Boys. If you would have told us that 25 years later we would still be making music together, we would have never believed you. Thank you #BSBArmy ❤️ Who’s ready for another 25 years? #KTBSPA #BSB25 pic.twitter.com/105aaPNxur— Backstreet Boys (@backstreetboys) April 20, 2018
Mark Wahlberg, an Original NKOTB Member, Led a Hip Hop Group and Became an Underwear Model
Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg’s brother, was originally a member of the New Kids on the Block. However, he left after only a few months to instead pursue a solo rap career. Rumor also flew about his bad boy persona being a reason he left the group, but it was never officially confirmed. His career lead to the forming of the hip hop group “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.” "Good Vibrations" the single from their album, "Music for the People,” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991. A year later, Mark Wahlberg became a Calvin Klein underwear model.
98 Degrees Tried Passing a Demo to Boyz II Men at a Concert
98 Degrees was inspired by the harmonies of Boyz II Men, Take 5 and Jodeci. In an effort to try and be noticed by their idols, the group attended a Boyz II Men concert in Los Angeles, hoping to perform for their idols by sneaking backstage, or at the very least, getting their demo tape to them.
Your Uber has arrived ? pic.twitter.com/VveUv1mMK5— 98 Degrees (@98official) February 12, 2018
One of BSB’s Greatest Hits Makes No Sense
One ’90s boy band hit you may remember the lyrics to is “I Want It That Way.” But if someone asked you if it was a love song or a breakup song, you likely aren’t sure. When the Backstreet Boys first heard the song, they thought the lyrics were fine. However, JIVE records disagreed and ordered a rewrite. What they got back was what we know today:
98 Degrees Took a Really Long Hiatus
After releasing a bunch of Billboard hits, four platinum albums and collaborating with other famous musicians, the group agreed to take a break in 2002.
Happy Friday! ?What’s everyone up to this weekend? pic.twitter.com/zyh7QAGj0W— 98 Degrees (@98official) July 27, 2018
Joey McIntyre Was Brought In to Replace a NKOTB Member
Although New Kids on the Block was formed in 1984, they didn’t become superstars until the late 1980s/ early 1990s. Donnie Wahlberg was the first “Kid” recruited by music producer Maurice Starr. He encouraged his brother, Mark Wahlberg, his classmates Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight, and his best friend Danny Wood to tryout.
98 Degrees was One of the Few Groups to Form Independently
Many people think Lou Pearlman started all the boy bands in the ’90s, but 98 degrees actually wasn’t created by him. Instead, Jeff Timmons, Nick Lachey, his brother Drew Lachey and Justin Jeffre, formed 98 Degrees on their own. Timmons, one of the founding members, left Kent, Ohio, and flew to Los Angeles to pursue a music career. When Nick Lachey flew out to visit Timmons in Los Angeles, the two decided to start a boy band. Nick Lachey invited his friend Jeffre and his younger brother Drew Lachey to join the group.
Who’s ready for Football Sunday? ? Comment your team! pic.twitter.com/qjSW8mGhdl— 98 Degrees (@98official) September 9, 2018
Boy Band ‘Rivalries’ Were Made Up
In 1997, 98 Degrees released their first album around the same time the Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC were becoming popular. The media had fun pitting the boy bands against each other, and even the Backstreet Boys felt some rivalry toward NSYNC because they felt like Lou Pearlman had put them up against one another, according to an article in Rolling Stone. The “feud” wasn’t as large as people let on, and both bands actually respected each other and are close.
Some N’SYNC Members Can Be Seen on the Big Screen
Fatone and Bass were the first members from the group to star in a film. They both starred in 2001’s “On the Line,” which was produced by A Happy Place, Bass’s production company. Bass played Kevin, who fell in love with a girl he met on a Chicago train and tried finding her after their encounter. Fatone took on the role as Kevin’s roommate, Rod.
Japan is in Love With Boyz II Men
If you thought the U.S. was crazy for Boyz II Men, you should see their fanbase internationally. Their fan base is so large in Japan that the Boyz originally released their 2006 album, “The Remedy,” only in that country. The rest of the world didn’t have access to “The Remedy” until the band released it digitally on their website the following year, February 14, 2007. “The Remedy” was the group’s seventh studio album.
NKOTB Toured with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men
In 2013, 98 Degrees went on The View to announce The Package Tour, a summer tour including Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block. Each band gave their fans a trip to nostalgia by performing their greatest hits. 98 Degrees went on to tour with more musicians that were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s.