Why Did It Take 16 Years For Another Boy Band to Hit No. 1 on the Hot 100?

Buried throughout the information that the Jonas Brothers had managed a triumphant bow at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week with their reunion single "Sucker" — a historic event for a quantity causes — was a revelation that took many pop followers unexpectedly: The tune was the primary No. 1 hit from a boy band on the chart since B2K's P. Diddy-assisted "Bump, Bump, Bump" in 2003. 

That's a very long time. Now, 2003 got here after most the profitable TRL-era boy bands have been already previous their prime, so maybe it's not terribly shocking that none the Backstreet Boys/*NSYNC class teams have topped the chart since. But that timespan nonetheless covers a major quantity main boy bands the 21st century — together with One Direction, The Wanted, 5 Seconds Summer, BTS and, course, the Jonas Brothers throughout their unique run. Considering the quantity iconic pop tracks these teams have been liable for over the lest decade and a half or so, it's fairly jarring to listen to that not a single one them went to No. 1. 

The easiest clarification for that is one which may really feel equally counter-intuitive for pop obsessives: Radio hasn't actually been all that into boy bands this century. There are exceptions, certain, and a handful singles from these aforementioned teams have managed to interrupt by means of — One Direction scored a pair No. 5 hits on Billboard's Radio Songs chart with 2012's "What Makes You Beautiful" and 2014's "Story My Life," whereas The Wanted and 5 Seconds Summer have scored a No. 2 hit every on that itemizing with 2012's "Glad You Came" and 2018's "Youngblood," respectively. But these are the one songs from the 5 teams mixed to make the Radio Songs high 10, and none the teams in addition to One Direction have even charted one other high 40 hit there. With its No. 46 debut this week, "Sucker" is already the Jonas Brothers' greatest Radio Songs hit. BTS has by no means made the chart. 

Without constant radio assist, it's been laborious for these teams to mount an actual cost on the high spot the Hot 100. At the height the iTunes period within the mid-to-late '00s, the Jonas Brothers bought about as constantly nicely as any main pop artist, scoring 5 high 5 hits on Digital Song Sales — however streaming wasn't but half Hot 100 calculations on a serious scale, and radio play wasn't sufficient to get the group previous No. 5 on the Hot 100 ("Burnin' Up," 2008). 5 Seconds Summer's early chart success broke down equally; throughout the group's first two albums, six tracks charted on the highest 10 Digital Song Sales, however radio presence was minimal, leading to none these best-sellers making it previous No. 16 on the Hot 100 ("Amnesia," 2014). 

Why has radio been so reluctant to embrace these teams' singles? It might have one thing to do with them being out step with overarching developments in pop music basically. Savan Kotceha, co-writer One Direction's breakthrough hit "What Makes You Beautiful," as soon as talked to Billboard about devising boy band hits to function "counter-programming" to what else is occurring on radio at the moment. "You do the precise reverse what's happening," he defined his unified boy band idea. "Because to me, I really feel like teenage ladies have to really feel it's their very own factor. If you're simply attempting to be Usher, they'll simply purchase Usher." 

That idea might clarify why One Direction thrived with throwback power-pop because the early-'10s charts pulsated with big-tent EDM and tonight's-the-night social gathering rap, or why the Jonas Brothers discovered success with a sprightly, PG-rated kind pop-punk within the mid-to-late '00s, when the Hot 100 was dominated by midtempo balladry and Auto-Tuned hip-hop. But it additionally might clarify why many the most important hits by each teams by no means actually discovered their footing on radio: It was laborious to fit an infectious arena-rock singalong like "Best Song Ever" in high 40 playlists alongside Calvin Harris and Pitbull, identical to it was robust for a guitar-driven new wave nugget just like the Jonas' "S.O.S." to search out room in between hits by Chris Brown and Nelly Furtado. Tellingly, the 2 greatest radio hits for boy bands this era have been way more in keeping with modern radio developments: the dance-floor-geared hedonism The Wanted's "Glad You Came" in 2012, and the melancholy, '80s-flavored chug 5 Seconds Summer's "Youngblood" final 12 months. 

The instance 5 Seconds Summer — which in contrast to the JoBros of their first incarnation, does overlap with the period streaming becoming a member of the Hot 100's knowledge combine — can be illustrative boy bands not essentially having streaming success commiserate with their cultural impression, both. While radio lastly did embrace 5SOS on "Youngblood," the streaming world by no means fairly caught up: the monitor stalled at No. 25 on Billboard's Streaming Songs tally, and thus managed a No. 7 peak on the Hot 100. One Direction managed extra success on streaming throughout their run, with three Streaming Songs high 5 hits, together with a No. 2 peak for 'Best Song Ever" (which additionally ended up the highest-charting boy band Hot 100 hit this pre-"Sucker" interval, reaching No. 2 on that chart) — however the group's greatest radio hits and largest streaming hits ten did not match. (Notably, "What Makes You Beautiful" did attain No. four on the On-Demand Streaming Songs chart earlier than the general Streaming Songs chart's debut the following 12 months.)

Ultimately, it took till "Sucker" for all of the components to correctly line up for a Hot 100-topper: The tune debuted at No. 1 on each Digital Song Sales and Streaming Songs, and is already making an impression on the airwaves. The clarification there would possibly simply be a mixture a very good tune and good timing — after a six-year absence, the Jonas Brothers seem to have chosen the precise proper second to return, as "Sucker" has not solely blasted to the highest the charts, however reignited huge curiosity of their again catalog: The day their comeback single dropped, it was one 5 JoBros singles to seem in the daily Spotify U.S. Top 200 chart. It appears that for arguably the primary time, there's room for boy bands in each the radio and streaming worlds — and whereas it might be an unrepeatable fluke, it wouldn't be an enormous shock to see some extra boy band reunions come out the woodwork briefly order to see if the general public might be suckers for them, too.