A boy band (American English) or boyband (British English) is a style of manufactured pop group featuring about between three and six young male singer/dancers, but normally five. Often, they evolve out of church choral groups, or are put together by producers who audition the groups for looks and dancing ability (and sometimes singing ability).
In most cases, their music is written, arranged, and produced by a producer who works with the band at all times and controls the group's sound - if necessary, to the point of hiring session singers to record guide vocals for each member of the group to sing individually (if the members can not harmonize together well). A typical boy band performance features elaborately choreographed dancing, with the members taking turns singing (or, sometimes, lip-syncing) to pre-recorded music.
However boybands, having started off singing other people's music, often do compose their own music, or a member composes music for the band later in their career.
Equally important to the group's commercial success is the group's image, carefully controlled by managing all aspects of the group's dress, promotional materials (which are supplied to teen magazines), and video clipss. Typically, each member of the group will have some distinguishing feature and be portrayed as having a particular personality stereotype - such as "the baby", "the bad boy", "the nice boy" - whilst managing the portrayal of popular musicians is as old as popular music, the particular pigeonholing of boy band members is a defining characteristic of boy and girl bands.
The commercial success of specific boy bands does not tend to last long. As the fans (mostly preteen girls) of boy bands age, their musical tastes evolve and they seek something different. If success is sustained, often one or more members of the band will leave and seek a solo career (particularly if they have some songwriting ability), though few manage sustained solo success.
See also: Girl group
Famous boy bands
See also: Girl group