Ah, boy bands. You either love them, love to hate them, or secretly know all the lyrics to all the songs and sing them in the privacy of your own home but tell no one about it. So… yeah. Anyway. These perfectly styled and packaged groups of 4 or 5 guys rise to superstardom and then usually implode after years of rumors about will they or won’t they. Jealously, fame, money, whatever the reason, they usually end up breaking up (to the dismay of their legions of passionate fans) and evolve into solo careers. Some of those solo careers are just as successful, if not more so, and some simply fall flat. Just look at what’s happening with the One Direction solo careers. We won’t mention any names. So, who’s your favorite former boy band member who started a solo career?
Many of the Backstreet Boys tried to have solo careers, but don’t ask us what any of their singles are. Nick Carter was the only one with a bit of success as a solo artist, but we still can't tell you many of his songs either.
Jordan Knight took a long time to go solo from New Kids on the Block. It wasn’t until 1999 when he decided to release his first single. Sorry to say, it didn’t go so well and he rejoined the group and started touring again. So, things kind of worked out anyway.
The MTV show Making the Band helped us all realize that music, especially pop music is a machine. This reality show put guys through the paces and created a fairly successful boy band called O-Town. No surprise to anyone, O-Town did not last long. Ashley Parker Angel tried to start a solo career but did not make it far, although he has found some success since on Broadway.
98 Degrees had stiff competition: The Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC. But they held their own for quite awhile. After the boy band was no more, Nick Lachey had a pretty successful career, but mainly not due to his music. He is probably best known for his marriage to Jessica Simpson and their hit MTV show, Newlyweds. How would we have gotten through the late 90s without MTV?
Image: US Magazine
What song did you think of when you saw his name? Was it The Thong Song? How could it not be? This celebrator of all things thong-related got his start in the boy group Dru Hill.
We are going way back with this name, but those of you who know Donny will know that this entertainer used to be a member of a family band. He has been solo for quite some time and has gained a far bigger following than his family.
Image: Live Nation
This “bad boy” of the UK boy band, Take That, went off on his own in the late 90s. He scored some success in the US but he has always been a star in his native UK.
New Edition produced many R&B hits throughout the 80s, but the true star of the group was bad boy Bobby Brown. Whether you know him due to his music, his personal life, or both, he is definitely the breakout star of New Edition.
If you lived during the 90s, you could not escape the power that was Ricky Martin. We were all livin’ la vida loca during that time. But you might not know that he started off in the popular Puerto Rican boy band Menudo.
All three of the Jonas brothers have tried to do their own thing. Kevin stars in a reality show and Joe is the lead in the successful group DNCE, but only Nick has been able to go completely solo.
JT. The solo artist, actor, comedian, and more. He seems to be unstoppable. We don’t need to tell you that he was the lead member of N’SYNC and then created a career for himself even bigger and longer than that of his boy band.
Image: Huffington Post
Honestly, has there been a time when Michael wasn’t a star? Every since he took the stage as a member of the Jackson 5, there was no stopping him. After he left the group, he went on to become one of the biggest names in pop music, well pretty much all music. We don’t need to go on about MJ, his name speaks for itself.
It seems strange to call The Beatles a boy band, but in reality, they were a band full of boys that had many pop hits. So, I guess it counts. John Lennon went on to have a successful career outside of The Beatles, creating the iconic song Imagine.
Another member of The Beatles who needs no introduction. Paul McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney, in fact, is a living legend.
Last, but not least, we have the former members of One Direction. They say they are “on hiatus” but we all know what that means. Sorry, 1Ders. Zayn was the first member of One DIrection with a solo career. He had success with Pillowtalk and a song from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
Zayn might have done it first, but Harry is the one that everyone has been watching. He is the member of One DIrection that everyone thought would make it the furthest. Is he the JT or Paul McCartney of One Direction? With his new album just out, only time will tell.
Image: Rolling Stone
Yes, we are grouping these three together. No offense, but let’s face it, they have not had the success of the other two One Direction members above. Their solo careers are in the works but they are going to need a huge hit to place them in the same league as Harry or Zayn.
Image: Now magazine
As you can see, many of these faces have disappeared off the pop culture radar. Sometimes time is not kind to boy band members, but we will always have the boy bands themselves to enjoy for eternity.