Come on, everyone has a favorite. I used to share a room with my sister, and it was like a war zone! Her walls were plastered with Backstreet Boys (BSB) posters while mine were covered in Nsync.
I know I have a bias when it comes to this battle, but I have spent time looking over both bands. I have come up with three ways to judge them. Now we all know the members of both bands are good-looking (at least according to 90s standards), so I can’t really judge them on that aspect. The three categories will be Singing Ability, Dancing Ability, and Commercial Success.
Now, obviously both groups can sing, otherwise they wouldn’t be in a boy band. They both have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to different songs. They each have their own unique sound when their voices come together. While each group has five members, they both have lead singers who do most of the solos. In Backstreet Boys, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and A.J. McLean are the lead vocals. In Nsync, Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez are the lead vocals. After watching many music videos, I have noticed that the Backstreet Boys tend to distribute more of the vocals than Nsync. While you only hear Justin and JC’s voices in most of their songs, the Backstreet Boys do a better job letting everyone get heard. You can really see this in their music video of “I Want it That Way.”
While this is very interesting, I think the sound of the vocals is more important. Both bands have great voices, but Nsync has a more memorable sound. I can easily distinguish between all of their voices, but I can not do the same for Backstreet Boys. Even though they may not get a chance to showcase them enough, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass of Nsync all have really distinct and special twists to their voices. I know this has nothing to do with being in a boy band, but in 2001, Lance and Joey debuted their acting skills in the movie On the Line. While not a huge success, I was incredibly blown away by Joey’s performance of the song “Ready to Fall.” He has a great sound to his voice, and I wish he got the chance to showcase it more often. If you want to check out the video of his performance, click here. Because the members of Nsync have such distinct voices, they sound really well together when they harmonize. They know how to do it, and they do it well. Check out the way they sing the song “I Thought She Knew” a capella.
Their voices flow together so smoothly that you barely notice when each soloist begins to break apart from the group. So the winner of the Singing Ability category is: Nsync!
You can’t be in a boy band without having sick dancing skills. It was just part of the package in the 90s. Each group brings their own talent to the table; however, Nsync’s moves are far more intricate, technical and impressive than the Backstreet Boys’ moves.
I’m not saying that the Backstreet Boys are bad dancers, they are absolutely great dancers. Their moves are just as coordinated and put together as Nsync’s moves, but BSB’s moves are usually slower and less complicated than those of Nsync. Even from the very beginning, Nsync dominated the dance floor. Check out their awesome moves in their second single, “Tearin’ Up My Heart.”
Oh, just watching this video brings me back to my JC crush days. Yes ladies, I was more of a JC fan than a Justin fan. Although, who could resist that curly mop of blonde on Justin’s head?
While ”Bye Bye Bye” isn’t the greatest representation of their dance moves, it definitely proves the power that they held over the teen pop market. This music video set off a dance craze. Everyone I know knew those dance moves to the chorus of this song. Every time this song came on during a party, it was almost as if the dance floor turned into a synchronized event.
“Pop” is also another great example of Nsync’s dance skills. Check out their amazing dance break around 2:15. I wish I had half the skills these guys have. The obvious winner of the Dancing Ability category is: Nsync!
It is hard to measure exactly how successful each boy band really is, so the only way to do that would be to focus on awards. Nsync is the third highest selling boy band, behind New Kids on the Block and…the Backstreet Boys. While Nsync has received around 20 awards, including Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards and MTV Video Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys have received well over 20, not only from the U.S. but internationally. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. In the U.S., Nsync sold 28 million albums while the Backstreet Boys sold 37 million. Their 1999 album Millennium sold 40 million copies, and their 2000 album Black & Blue sold 24 million copies. The obvious winner of this category is: Backstreet Boys!
Overall Winner: Nsync!
In my opinion, so what if BSB sold more albums, Nsync has the better goods. Their singing and dancing abilities are much better, and that’s what really counts. Now I know this can be a hot issue for many people (coughMYSISTERcough), so please feel free to leave comments. Tell me, Backstreet Boys or Nsync??