Andy and David Williams) or group (The Monkees), there were a dozen soft, androgynous boys who took to the stage alone, so you could think that they were looking at you alone.
But in 1984 Maurice Starr took the multiple harmonies of R&B groups, applied them to the world of pop, and the first modern boy band, The New Kids on the Block, was born.
They were followed by Boyz II Men (1988), The Backstreet Boys (1993), 'n Sync (1995, left), 98 Degrees (1996) and a dozen others, until the old-style soloist seemed an endangered species.
Songs tended toward the heterosexist:
Let it go
If you want me girl, let me know
I am down, on my knees
I can't take it anymore
Are current boy bands more gay-friendly?
So get out, get out, get out of my head
And fall into my arms instead
I don't, I don't, don't know what it is
But I need that one thing
But you still aren't allowed to Say the Word. Louis Tomlinson (left) angrily states that those who spread "hateful" gay rumors about him and Harry Styles "are not our real fans."