25 Most Popular 80s Boy Bands You Should Know

best 80s boy bands
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Hello folks! In this post, you will learn about the most popular boy bands of the 80s. Well, the 1980s witnessed the rise of boy bands that captured the attention of millions worldwide.

These bands left a lasting impression on popular culture, with their catchy tunes, and energetic performances. They sparked the interest of young fans around the world offering an escape from the realities of everyday life.

In this era, some of the most influential bands emerged from the New Kids on the Block to Menudo to New Edition. They became the inspiration for the future generation of boy bands. The bands of this era released some best chart-topping hits such as Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”, Wham!’s “Careless Whisper“, and New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step”.

Some of them indeed became the most popular songs and anthems of a generation. Without any further discussion, let’s check out the list of the 25 most popular boy bands of the 80s and know more about these fantastic bands.

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25- Boys II Men

80s boy bands: Boys II Men

Boys II Men is a famous band founded in Philadelphia in 1985. The band members include Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris. The past members were Michael McCarry and Marc Nelson. Boys II Men released numerous albums over the years, some of their most notable works include:

  • End of the Road
  • Motownphilly
  • I’ll Make Love to You
  • One Sweet Day

24- Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

British band Frankie Goes To Hollywood was formed in Liverpool in 1980. It consists of backing vocalist Paul Rutherford, vocalist Holly Johnson, drummer Peter Gills, bassist Mark O’Toole, and guitarist Brian Nash. The band incorporated a variety of genres including dance-rock, Hi-NRG, new wave, synth-pop, and dance-pop. Here are some of their best music works:

  • Relax
  • The Power of Love
  • Two Tribes
  • Welcome to the Pleasuredome

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23- Green Day

Green Day

Green Day is one of the most popular boy bands from the 80s era. It is a punk rock band formed in 1987. The current lineup consists of Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool. The band worked with several renowned bands like Warner, Reprise, Lookout!, and Epitaph. Have a look at their most successful works:

  • Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
  • American Idiot
  • Holiday
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends
  • When I Come Around

22- Tears for Fears

80s boy bands: Tears for Fears

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith founded the pop-rock boy band in 1981. The past members include Manny Elias and Ian Stanley. Their debut album The Hurting topped the UK Albums Chart. Moreover, Orzabal and Smith received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection in 2021 in recognition of their “era-defining Tears for Fears albums” and “critically acclaimed, innovative hit singles.” Let’s consider their chart-topping hits:

  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  • Mad World
  • Head Over Heels
  • Shout

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21- A Tribe Called Quest

A Tribe Called Quest

The hip-hop band A Tribe Called Quest was formed in 1985. The band members include Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi White, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. It was one of the most influential boy bands. However, it has gone through several breakups and reunions. Their final album was released shortly after Dawg’s death. Some of the most notable tracks include:

  • Can I Kick It?
  • Electric Relaxation
  • Check the Rhime
  • Scenario

20- The Boys

The Boys

English punk rock band The Boys was formed in London in 1976. The band consists of Casino Steel, Honest John Plain, Matt Dangerfield, Martin H-Son, and Kent Norberg. However, its past members include Jack Black and Kid Reid. Some of their successful music include:

  • First Time
  • Independent Girl
  • Kamikaze
  • Brickfield Nights
  • Soda Pressing

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19- U2

80s boy bands: U2

Irish rock band U2 is one of the most popular boy bands of the 80s era. The band members include Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, and Lary Mullen Jr. It rose to prominence with the albums War and The Joshua Tree. U2 worked with different record labels like Island, Mercury, Interscope, and CBS Ireland. Do you wanna know their most successful works? Here we go,

  • With or Without You
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • One

18- Naked Eyes

Naked Eyes

The new wave band Naked Eyes was formed in 1982. It originally consisted of Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher. Both of them had been a part of the band Neon. The band was one of the pioneers who used a Fairlight CMI sampling synthesizer on a recording. Rob Fisher died due to bowel cancer in 1999. Byrne revived Naked Eyes in the 2000s, performing live and releasing solo music under the moniker. Let’s consider Naked Eyes’ most notable works:

  • Always Something There to Remind Me(cover)
  • When the Lights Go Out
  • Promises, Promises
  • (What) In the Name of Love

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17- N.W.A.


The hip-hop band N.W.A. was formed in Compton. It is one of the most influential groups in the history of gangsta and hip-hop music scenes. The band included popular artists Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and Mc Ren. Their debut album Straight Outta Compton propelled them to success. Here are the most successful works of the band:

  • Fuck tha Police
  • Straight outta Compton
  • Gangsta Gangsta
  • Express Yourself
  • 100 miles and Runnin’

16- The Osmonds

80s boy bands: The Osmonds

The Osmonds were a family music band formed in the 1960s. The band members include Aland, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, and Jimmy Osmond. It became popular for blending elements of pop, rock, and bubblegum. The Osmonds also appeared in various television shows. Let’s check out their best works:

  • One Bad Apple
  • Puppy Love
  • Down by the Lazy River
  • Crazy Horses
  • Love Me for a Reason

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15- Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys

The American hip-hop band Beastie Boys was formed in 1978. It is one of the most popular boy bands of the 80s era. The band members include Mike D, Ad-Rock, MCA, John Berry, and Kate Schellenbach. Its debut album License to III became the first rap record to top the Billboard 200 chart. The band has sold 20 million records in the US. The band disbanded after the death of MCA in 2012. Here are some of the best works:

  • Ill Communication
  • Check Your Head
  • The Mix-Up
  • Intergalactic

14- R.E.M.


Georgia University students formed the band R.E.M. in the year 1980. The band’s lineup includes vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Bucks, drummer Bill Berry, and bassist Mike Mills. It emerged as a leading figure in the alternative rock scene of the 1980s and 1990s. With 90 million albums sold it became one of the best-selling music acts in the world. Let’s consider their most successful works:

  • The One I Love
  • Everybody Hurts
  • Nightswimming
  • Losing My Religion

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13- Dead or Alive

80s boy bands: Dead or Alive

The pop band Dead or Alive was formed in Liverpool in 1980. Its core members were Pete Burns, Steve Coy, Tim Lever, and Mike Percy. Their breakthrough came with the album “Youthquake”. The band’s music style incorporated Hi-NRG, synth-pop, dance-pop, and new wave. Here are some of the most successful music works:

  • Brand New Lover
  • Something in My House
  • You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)
  • Lover Come Back to Me
  • Turn Around and Count 2 Ten

12- Bros


The next one on the list is the British pop band Bros. It was formed in Camberely in 1986. The band members include twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss along with Craig Logan. It achieved mainstream success with chart-topping songs. After Craig’s departure, the Goss brothers released two albums until disbanded in 1992. Some of their most notable works include:

  • When Will I Be Famous?
  • I Owe You Nothing
  • Cat Among the Pigeons
  • Drop the Boy

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11- Culture Club

Culture Club

Culture Club is one of the most influential boy bands of the 80s. The band was formed in London in 1981. It comprises vocalist Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig, and drummer Jon Moss. Culture Club has sold over 50 million records worldwide including several certified and chart-topping songs. Let’s go and check out some most successful ones:

  • Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
  • Time (Clock of the Heart)
  • Church of the Poison Mind
  • Karma Chameleon
  • Victims

10- Menudo

80s boy bands: Menudo

Edgardo Diaz formed the boy band Menudo in 1977. Several publications including Billboard and US Weekly ranked Menudo as one of the Biggest Boy Bands of All Time. Diaz has constantly changed the lineup of young performers. The original lineup consisted of brothers Carlos, Oscar, Ricky Melendez, & brothers Fernando Sallaberry, and Nifty Sallaberry. some of the band’s notable works include:

  • Subete a mi Moto
  • If You’re Not Here (By My Side)
  • Hold Me
  • Claridad

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9- Run DMC


Run DMC was a famous hip-hop band formed in 1983. It consisted of Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Misell. One of the most popular hip-hop acts, Run DMC became the first hip-hop band to get a Gold record. The band released numerous hit albums and singles. Some of its best works include:

  • It’s Like That
  • Peter Piper
  • Rock Box
  • My Adidas
  • Walk This Way

8- Kajagoogoo


Kajagoogoo was a new wave band formed in 1978. The band members include Limahl, Nick Beggs, Jez Strode, Steve Askew, and Stuart Neale. The latter joined the group as a replacement for Nick Beggs. Its breakthrough came in 1983 with the single “Too Shy” which topped the UK Singles Chart. The band disbanded and reunited several times. Let’s check out Kajagoogoo’s best works:

  • Too Shy
  • Big Apple
  • The Lion’s Mouth
  • Ooh to Be Ah

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7- Guy

80s boy bands: Guy

American boy band Guy was formed in New York City in 1987. The original lineup included Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall, and Timmy Gatling. However, after releasing the debut album Damion Hall replaced Timmy Gatling. The band is considered the pioneer in developing and popularizing the new jack swing genre. Let’s consider some of the band’s most successful tracks:

  • Groove Me
  • Let’s Chill
  • Piece of My Love
  • I Like

6- Tony! Toni! Tone!

Tony! Toni! Tone!

Tony! Toni! Tone! is one of the most popular boy bands of the 80s era. It was formed in Oakland in 1987. The band consists of D’wayne Wiggins, Timothy Christian Riley, and Raphael Saadiq. It rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Here are some of their most popular tracks:

  • It Never Rains (In Southern California)
  • If I Had No Loot
  • Feels Good
  • Anniversary
  • Lay Your Head on My Pillow

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5- Duran Duran

Duran Duran

Duran Duran is a new-wave band formed in 1978. The band is famous for its catchy pop hooks and innovative music videos. The current lineup includes Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor. Their breakthrough album Rio became an international hit. Duran Duran has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Here are some of their best songs:

  • Rio
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Girls on Film
  • Save a Prayer

4- Wham!

80s boy bands: Wham!

Wham! was a successful pop duo formed in 1981. It comprised George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. The band sold over 30 million records despite pf their short-spanned career. Their second album “Make It Big” peaked at #1 on the UK and US charts. Let’s have a look at their most successful works:

  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
  • Freedom
  • Club Tropicana
  • Last Christmas

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3- New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block is one of the most influential boy bands from the 80s. It was formed in 1984. The band’s original lineup consisted of Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. The band has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are some of their most notable works:

  • Step by Step
  • Please Don’t Go Girl
  • Hangin’ Tough
  • You Got It (The Right Stuff)

2- A-ha


Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha was formed in 1982. The band rose to prominence in the mid-1980s. Its members include vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and guitarist/keyboardist Magne Furuholmen. The band has released several hit studio albums, EPs, and singles. Let’s check out some of the most successful works:

  • The Sun Always Shines on TV
  • Take On Me
  • Cry Wolf
  • Hunting High and Low
  • Scoundrel Days

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1- New Edition

80s boy bands: New Edition

New Edition is a pop/R&B band formed in 1978. The band’s original lineup includes Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ralph Tresvant. It is one of the pioneering acts in the boy band genre. The 80s boy band New Edition was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame. Here are some of the band’s most notable works:

  • Can You Stand the Rain
  • Candy Girl
  • Heartbreak
  • Cool It Now
  • If It Isn’t Love

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