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Boy Bands & Fan Girls

Every good boy band needs a mob of screaming, crying, fainting and adoring girls.

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    You can thank Simon Cowell for One Direction. The boys, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, were formed in the U.K. in 2010 on Cowell's singer-search series "The X Factor." In March, 1D's freshman album, "Up All Night," earned them bragging rights as the only U.K. group to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. If that's not impressive, try watching them sing their current chart topper "What Makes You Beautiful" whilst cuddling puppies. If you still don't understand what the fuss is about, then see them with their shirts off in Sydney.

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    One Direction fans collapsed in tears. Getty Images
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    One Direction fans race after the boys and turn on the waterworks.

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    New Kids on the Block has the right stuff, baby—and fans agree. The pride of Boston has sold more than 80 million records since their formation in the '80s, and they continue to entertain fans since reuniting in 2008 after splitting for 12 years. Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg worked on solo projects during the hiatus, but have returned with a new album and tour, including a joint tour with Backstreet Boys.

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    Boy band svengali Lou Perlman formed the Backstreet Boys in 1993 after holding an open casting call in Orlando, Fla. A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and his cousin Kevin Richardson, and Nick Carter, who were already friends, all made the cut. Backstreet joined New Kids on the Block for a supergroup (NKOTBSB) joint tour last year. Even through solo projects by Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, A.J. McLean, and Kevin Richardson relegating himself to semi-regular band member status; the group has consistently toured and released new music for the past 19 years.

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    In 1995, Lou Perlman formed *NSYNC with Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and J.C. Chasez. Justin said bye bye bye in 2002 and enjoyed a successful solo career. The band subsequently broke up, and the boys have steadily worked in TV and other projects.

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    Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons make up the R&B-lite ballad belting 98 Degrees. Fans who are clamoring to see the group reunite for a rumored 2012 summer tour will have to wait. Dad-to-be Nick Lachey took to Twitter to shoot down the prospect of “una noche” on the road with the band, citing impending parenting duties. 98 Degrees has been on hiatus since 2002, but the boys have been steadily busy working on solo projects.

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    Former Disney Channel fixtures The Jonas Brothers: Nick, Joe and Kevin, formed in 2005, and enjoyed enormous success—including sold-out tours, movies and hit albums. Now on a hiatus, the brothers are pursuing other projects independently.

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    A fan needed treatment by paramedics during a Jonas Brothers performance.

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    Jonas Brothers fans react to the boys in concert.

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    A mass audition in 2009 brought together Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes as Brit-Irish boy band The Wanted. The boys have cracked America with dance-pop hit “Glad You Came,” which peaked at the number three spot on the “Billboard” Hot 100.

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    Big Time Rush is the iPod generation’s answer to The Monkees—a boy band developed through a scripted TV series. The Nickelodeon-produced band launched in 2009 after a casting call found Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson.

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    The boys of McFly have been making tweens go wild in the U.K. since their formation in 2004. Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Harry Judd have dominated the charts across the pond with their pop-rock tunes, edging out The Beatles as the youngest band to debut at number one on the U.K. Albums Chart. So what sets them apart from their Brit boy band peers? They have a penchant for losing their clothes on Twitter.

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    Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman formed Boyz II Men at their Philadelphia high school in 1988. The R&B group garnered enormous success from highly emotional ballads that had staying power throughout the '90s. McCary left the group in 2003, citing health issues, but the Boyz continue to perform together as a trio.

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    Zac, Isaac and Taylor Hanson MMMBop’d their way to fandom in 1997 as Hanson. The brothers continue to make music and tour.

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    Third time was a charm for Lou Perlman, the creator of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, when he developed O-Town on the boy band-search reality series “Making the Band” in 2000 for ABC. Jacob Underwood, Ashley Parker Angel, Erik-Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick, and Dan Miller ultimately made the cut, but the boys disbanded in 2003.

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    Identical twins John and Edward Grimes became Jedward in 2009 after becoming finalists on U.K.’s “The X Factor.” The Irish wunderkinds have turned what would’ve been 15 minutes of fame into a cash cow brand—endorsing everything from video games to candy, and they have a loyal fan base to thank. Next stop for the boys: conquering America. Their puerile shenanigans have made them a favorite among U.S. bloggers.

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    The Jedward twins know how to treat their fans.

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