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Story highlights

Boy bands enjoy the height of fandom

Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys says there's something for everyone

CNN —  

Boy bands never go on to become man bands, or at least that’s what Nick Carter believes.

As a member of the Backstreet Boys and one of the “architects” on ABC’s reality series “Boy Band,” Carter should know.

The Backstreet Boys formed in 1993, but that might as well be yesterday as far as their devotees are concerned.

“I don’t think you ever age out of being a boybander, and that’s both the beauty of it and my gift,” Carter told CNN. “We get to have fun and always be boys. [Fans] still call us boys to this day.”

And boy, what a ton of die-hard fans there are.

Don’t believe it? Tweet something negative about British boy band One Direction and see if their followers won’t come for your soul.

Directioners (as the devoted are called) are not to be messed with. Staff of the British edition of GQ received death threats following a 2015 article about the band that fans took exception to.

What is it about boy bands that make them so appealing that grown women (and men) will show up at concerts shrieking like they’re still tweens?

Here’s why we think boy bands are – and will always be – a thing.

It’s historical

From the Beatles to One Direction, every generation seems to have that one group fans love to sigh over.

And while screenshots may have replaced posters on bedroom walls, young devotion remains the same or more heightened because social media now allows performers to interact directly with their followers.

There’s something for everyone

If you are into the bad boy, the guy next door or the one who makes you laugh, boy bands offer someone to love.

And, of course, there is always that one who stands out from the others (looking at you, Justin Timberlake!)

“People love boy bands because you can relate to at least one member,” Carter said.

“Boy bands give people the right to be able to choose who their favorites are and who they can relate to. Everyone can find someone that they can call their own,” Carter added.

The thrill of the competition

Whether it be The Beatles vs. The Rollings Stones, Menudo vs. New Edition, Backstreet vs. N’Sync or One Direction vs. 5 Seconds of Summer, there are consistent competitions among fans as to THE boy band of the moment.

Sometimes there is also debate over which member of a particular band is the cutest, most talented or most likely to have a great solo career.

Even the boy band members are aware of it.

One Direction member Louis Tomlinson recently told The Guardian that of his fellow group members, Zayn Malik has the “fantastic voice,” Liam Payne has “good stage presence,” Nial Horan is “fearless” and Harry Styles “comes across very cool.”

“And then there’s me,” Tomlinson said.

Oh the nostalgia

For older fans, boy bands offer a chance to relive days when homework, dating and making curfew were life’s biggest concerns.

A really good song from a favorite band can transport anyone right back to that era, and the best songs are timeless.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out what happened when New Edition performed at the BET Awards earlier this year.

The total package

The look, stage presence, dance moves, a voice, boy band members have to have it all – and all together.

Carter said there’s a particular chemistry boy bands have to have, and that’s what he and fellow architects producer Timbaland and former Spice Girl Emma Bunton are looking for on “Boy Band.”

“We are looking for people who want to be a part of something special when it comes to being part of a team or being part of a family of brotherhood,” Carter said. “If you put one bad apple in a bunch, it’s going to spoil the whole batch.”