Anatomy of a Boy Band Fan

Why do we love boy bands so much? From early 90s Backstreet Boys (who recently came out with a new single in the year 2018) to more modern K-pop favorites, it seems that the craze surrounding bands of boys has been around forever. Why are we, as music fans, drawn to these groups and what creates the global phenomenon of their culture?


A small group of friends in Liverpool in 1960 decided to experiment with rock music. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of this band so I’ll give you a bit of background information. They called themselves The Beatles and they arguably changed the entire world of music within the decade they were active. They are globally known as the best-selling music artists of all time. Archival footage from the era shows sheer madness surrounding events that this four piece boy band attended. CBSN posted a video insight into “Beatlemania” in 2014 – you can view that video by clicking here. What caused the massive draw to these seemingly average group of friends? It’s personal. It seems that everyone has a favorite Beatles song. You may know someone who even attended a concert of theirs. It seems that The Beatles are classic and unforgettable – they were able to create a personal and meaningful connection to millions of people – without ever having to meet them personally. Developing that kind of community can change someone. It’s an experience and a feeling that’s hard to forget.


In more modern times, when recalling popular boy band culture it’s easy to remember One Direction. I experienced this phenomena firsthand. Having no interest in boy bands when I was a pre-teen or teenager must’ve caught up to me, because I found myself falling into the trap of One Direction fandom and subsequently, I made lifelong friends. I had no interest in this type of pop music beforehand, but once again – something about the community and the togetherness drew me to this group and helped me create friendships and memories I’ll never forget. I’ll literally never forget them because I have a One Direction themed tattoo because of it. We all make choices in this world, folks.



An article from The Odyssey Online delves into the science of boy band obsession with this quote: “Within a band, there are plenty of different personalities and voices whereas with a solo artist you either like them or you don’t. Glamour magazine writes in their article about boy bands, ‘It’s basic arithmetic: Why have one Justin Bieber when you can have five?’ The more variety there is, the higher chance you will actually identify with one of the members. It’s not just the looks of an artist that make us stick around, however.” This is especially true in the age of social media. With direct access to the personalities of artists you favor, it’s easy to feel connected to complete strangers and develop feelings of attachment. This feeling is not exclusive to female-minded individuals. What is considered a stereotypical girl-y phenomenon, I ask you to consider your favorite band. Does it consist of multiple members who are men? Congratulations. Welcome to the dark side – you like a boy band.


Now that I’ve given you some examples of the science behind the music, I encourage you to branch out musically and see if there is somewhere you can resonate with a band of boys. It’s a slippery slope and I hope this post has acted as a tutorial of sorts – research, listen, rinse, and repeat.


Anatomy of a Boy Band Fan

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