The 5 Worst Trends Started By the Class of '99
|NKOTBSB at Toyota Center|
Easily the biggest - and most reviled - trend of the late '90s was the revived boy-band phenomenon. Stepping in to fill the void left by the all-grown-up Boyz II Men, pre-fabricated megastars the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC championed flashy pop harmonies and immaculate facial hair, and the imitators came quickly. Remember 98 Degrees and O-Town? How about Hanson? Admit it, you liked "MMMBop."
Zenith of Popularity: The Backstreet Boys' Millennium, released May 18, 1999, became one of the biggest sellers in music industry history, moving more than 30 million units worldwide.
Why It Was Lame: The boy bands were a cynical money-maker from the very beginning, and almost no effort was made to hide that fact. After witnessing the cash-register destruction caused by New Kids on the Block, professional shyster Lou Perman put together the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC and hit it big. He'd continue the formula with O-Town, Take 5, LFO and a bunch of other hot dudes, many of whom later sued him.
In 2006, it was discovered that Pearlman had been running a massive Ponzi scheme. He's now serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison.
Where Are They Now: None of the Class of '99 found true solo success outside of Justin Timberlake, who fancies himself a leading man these days. The other Backstreet Boys and *NSYNCers pop up occasionally on reality TV, and Nick Lachey hosts stuff. The Backstreet Boys co-headlined Toyota Center last year with NKOTB, new music probably not forthcoming.
The ex-idols who keep out of the limelight are probably all too happy to put the whole thing behind them.