One Direction. The Wanted. Big Time Rush. The Backstreet Boys (seriously). Boy bands, which last had their heyday in the late 1990s, made a glorious return to the pop-music scene this year, bringing with them legions of crazed teenage fans. One Direction, a British quintet, blazed the path for the genre’s triumphant return. In November, hoards of fans took over 30 Rock in New York City five days before the band’s appearance on the Today show to promote their new album, Take Me Home, which quickly jumped to the top of the Billboard charts. Another U.K.-based band, the Wanted, had two chart-topping singles and several sold-out shows in the U.S. Nickelodeon even created a TV show about a boy band called Big Time Rush. The show was renewed for a fourth season, while the band by the same name is working on its third studio album. With all this fresh hype, even the Backstreet Boys couldn’t resist getting back into the game, and will release their eighth studio album in early 2013.
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