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Why do boy bands have short careers?

12:00 AM July 18, 2017

One Direction. Photo by Jason Merritt

The dissolution of One Direction was inevitable. All the signs indicating it was about to happen were evident as soon as Zayn Malik left citing reasons of his being worn out and mentally drained from touring. Zayn Malik’s abrupt departure from One Direction set the wheels in motion for the boy band’s coming to an end.

I noticed how people have been quiet about One Direction being no more. Is it because they do not care anymore for them as much as they once did? Or is it because they just got tired of them? Who knows, right?


Currently, Zayn Malik and Harry Styles are pursuing successful and long term solo careers. Trying to break away from being tagged always to One Direction will take time since that is where they got their start and how they came to prominence. Whether that is an objective they want to happen anytime soon remains to be seen.

That is what happened with One Direction as I have explained above. Interestingly enough, something almost similar happened to a boy band that came before One Direction who were known as NSYNC.


Justin Timberlake is a perfect example of a former boy band member who not only survived but thrived without his former boy bandmates. While one can raise the argument that he would have made it either way without the rest of NSYNC because he was the most popular member, it was certainly more than that. It was because he had the most musical talent to offer.

Nowadays, people rarely equate Justin Timberlake to NSYNC. Unless it is that they are acknowledging his beginnings in the music industry or making an analysis on the boy band situation now. Justin Timberlake has certainly moved forward from that chapter in his professional career and he has, without a doubt, made an even bigger name for himself on his own.

And rightfully so. Justin Timberlake is viewed and treated as a solo artist because of the tremendous success he enjoys now.Can the same career changing scenario happen to Zayn Malik and Harry Styles as they embark on their individual career journeys?

Another point I want to touch on is this… the thing with boy bands that can also lead to their eventual demise is that when listeners are bombarded relentlessly with their music, it can become sickening and tiresome even for a fan to keep hearing their songs played over and over again. It just reaches a point when their music is no longer appreciated. One ends up wanting something else even for the most hardcore of fans.

I think some of the former fans of One Direction have had their musical tastes shift to something else. Not necessarily to a specific artist but more onto a different genre. Naturally, as these fans get older their musical tastes also get refined in the process. As they continue to mature so will their preferences of songs they will enjoy and the kinds of artists they will support now over the disbanded boy bands.

Whatever their status may be right now, trust me when I say that the likelihood of all the five members of One Direction getting back together is slim to none. This is not the first time an extremely popular boy band like One Direction has come along so I know what I am talking about.

Boy bands always have a certain lifespan when it comes to their popularity and staying power. It usually lasts around 5 to 7 years if they are lucky. Some lesser known and more obscure boy bands disappear as quickly as in a year or two if they fail to garner a chart-topping hit or make an immediate mark in an overly saturated industry packed to the brim with similar artists of their ilk. When you think of it, it is an almost winless battle for a majority of them, and for the few boy bands that get to become household names they are certainly the best of their class.


To the kids and teens who are saddened by the breakup and end of their favorite boy bands, fret not because there will always be more of them. The music industry will churn out more of them because boy bands in any incarnation they come in have become a permanent part of the music landscape and they do serve a purpose. Needless to say, it is because there is a huge market for them catering mostly to the very young.

Just wait and they will come whether you want them to or not.

My only advice I can give you kids and teens is this. Do not get too obsessed over these boy bands. Enjoy the music for the time being they are around but do not be reluctant either in discovering other artists and genres.

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TAGS: Boy Bands, Entertainment, news, One Direction
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