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“It’s not just the Brits and Irish who have a stronghold on the boy band market, though. Korean pop music, or K-pop, has crossing over into American markets, and with it bringing along a slew of boy bands with the choreographed routines and polish of the ‘NSYNCs and Backstreet Boys of yore, along with the hip-hop swagger that’s been mostly dominating radio airwaves for the last several years. (To be fair, there’s no shortage of K-pop girl groups, either—Girls Generation performed on Letterman earlier this year and the group is signed to Interscope, while 2NE1 have been working with will.i.am on an American debut.)
Big Bang in particular stands to gain success in the U.S.—even shooting their latest video for the inanely catchy single “Bad Boy” in Brooklyn. The hysteria they induce overseas is frankly hard to conceive, as they’re more than just household names. They’ve conquered Japan, plan to work with producer Swizz Beatz and Chris Brown, and won an MTV European Music Award in 2011, beating Britney Spears for Best Worldwide Act. In fact, Swizz Beatz has cut a production deal with South Korea’s ON-Media, and told The Fader that he hopes to “migrate the cultures.” “My goal is to have music speak as the international language it is.”
The current slew of boy bands poised to take over the U.S. is certainly international. Aside from Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush, the closest thing we have stateside to a classic boy group is NKOTBSB (that’s New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys supergroup) reunion tours to look forward to. And those tours actually do quite well, thanks to nostalgia-loving fans.
So it’s your move, America. Future boy bands, step forward. If you thought your chance at decorating girls’ bedroom walls with posters of your face were obliterated because you are not the one-man phenomenon that is Justin Bieber, you’re in luck: you can get there with the help of your friends. Just remember there can only be one “shy one” per group.”
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