Reacting to 90s Boy Bands
This Is What Your Fave '90s Boy Bands Look Like Now
In addition to producing hits like "Tearin' Up My Heart" and "Bye Bye Bye"—not to mention a ridiculously successful solo star in Justin Timberlake—the boys of *NSYNC were also fearless pioneers in fashion trends, sporting looks like the shiny, unidentifiable fabrics pictured above. Side note: Apparently the asterisk in *NSYNC was suggested to them by an illusionist, who thought a star would connect them with success.
Even though the gang unofficially broke up in 2002, they reunited for a special performance at the MTV VMAs in 2013 to support Justin for his Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (and were groomsmen later that year in Chris's wedding). Gone are the frosted tips—well, except for Joey's much more subtle version—and flashy clothes, replaced by sleek black suits and still-swoon-worthy smiles.
Although the world was split into Team BSB and Team *NSYNC, the numbers don't lie: Backstreet Boys sold more than 175 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band in history. Back in the late '90s, the boys favored dark clothing—black leather, especially—and tinted sunglasses all day, every day.
The band celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2013 with an independent album and reunited at a Balmain x H&M event this fall, and the members have made supportive appearances for Nick's run onDancing With the Stars. As for their looks, well, A.J. and Kevin's facial hair situations have altered slightly, and Brian definitely added more leather—and color—to his wardrobe. Otherwise, it looks like the group has barely aged.
This foursome found its niche in the R&B world—they signed with Motown records—as a way to differentiate themselves from huge pop acts like the Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. In 1998 they chose function over fashion in their puffy down vests, but even when taking Justin's bleached-blond hair into account, the group was nothing short of adorable.
98 Degrees came together in 2013 for a Package Tour with New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, where they performed almost 50 shows without being any less good-looking. Justin thankfully ditched his blond locks in favor of a more natural hue, and the guys still like their vests, but they're definitely more stylish. In other words, welcome to adulthood, guys.
Known for their smooth, emotional ballads, Boyz II Men broke records with singles like "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day." At their peak, the boys frequently matched or coordinated outfits—like these varsity jackets over their button-downs.
While Michael left the group in 2003 due to health issues, Nathan, Wanya, and Shawn continued performing as a trio, participated in the Package Tour with 98 Degrees and New Kids on the Block, and released their 11th album in 2014. Aside from all that success, the remaining three have gained their own style—along with some facial hair—and transformed from boys to men (sorry, had to).
NKOTB were young teens when they recorded their first album, and by the early '90s the group had faced major success—listed them as the highest-paid entertainers in 1991, beating out Madonna and Michael Jackson. We'resurethey seemed cool back then with their tough-guy poses and all-American, laid-back duds.
After releasing a new album in 2008, NKOTB went on several tours, including this summer's The Main Event with TLC and Nelly (oh, and you may have spotted Jonathan on season 26 ofThe Amazing Race). And the group has learned how to smile for the camera! They all look different—so different we almost didn't recognize a few of them—but with blue jeans, T-shirts, and leather jackets, the guys still have an all-American vibe… it's just a bit more refined.
The trio of brothers from Ohio was known for their long blond hair and catchy singles like "MMMBop" (great, now that's stuck in our heads again). They definitely took fashion risks back then—Isaac somehow pulls off a velour collared shirt, while Taylor layers necklaces and baby bro Zac dons leather pants.
A quick 18 years later and these days the brothers record under their own label, 3CG Records, and make the occasional cameo (like in Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" music video and onDancing With the Stars). Now all three brothers have darker 'dos, and Isaac and Taylor have cropped cuts. Their style is more classic, but pieces of their old edginess—like their necklaces and Taylor's beanie—peek through.
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