Hit ParadeSlate

The Bridge: What Made Them Beautiful

Boy-band expert Maria Sherman says fans should own their fandom and not internalize anti–boy band denigration.

[This edition of my Hit Parade—“The Bridge” bonus series is available to Slate Plus subscribers only. A link to the episode show page is below. To sign up for Plus—and tell Slate that Hit Parade sent you!—visit slate.com/hitparadeplus.]

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by critic and author Maria Sherman, author of Larger Than Life: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS, who learned to stop worrying and embrace her One Direction obsession. She says boy bands are defined by both how they perform and who cheers them on—harmony vocals are key, but ultimately, she says, it’s the female fanbase that determines what makes a band of cute boys a boy band.

Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, gives her a chance to turn the tables with a question of her own, and previews next month’s full-length episode. Slate Plus members can sign up for a chance to be our trivia contestant on a future episode here.

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.

Content retrieved from: https://slate.com/podcasts/hit-parade/2024/04/how-girl-fans-anoint-boy-bands