The Lead Defines
The lead singers of boy bands define the band's singing style. The singer's unique voice sets the tone for how the rest of the band sounds. An example of this is Panic! At the Disco's Brendon Urie. He has an incredibly unique, raspy voice and that is the reason the band has the rockin' sound they have. Another example is Harry Styles from One Direction. Harry is known to have a very soft, longing voice so the rest of the band mimics him when singing their parts.
It is normal for some boyband leaders to move on from the boyband and start a solo career. They use the group's popularity to build on. Usually this signals the end of the group until potential future reunions. Examples of this include Michael Jackson from The Jackson 5, Donny Osmond from The Osmonds, Ricky Martin from Menudo, Justin Timberlake from *NSYNC, and Ronan Keating from Boyzone. Sometimes the most successful solo star from a band is not the most popular member such as Robbie Williams as opposed to lead singer Gary Barlow from Take That. Some boy band members have gone on to successful careers elsewhere in the media.
The Background Follows
The most important thing about the singing styles of these bands is that the background boys follow the leader. If the background boys are not able to match their tone to the lead singer, then the whole band sounds terrible. This is called Vocal Tone Matching. It is important for the tones of all of the boys to be able to match during choruses and together parts so that the songs sound cohesive.
In most cases, the band's 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 cannot harmonize well together. However, for clarity of each voice, recording each voice individually is most commonly the norm with most modern vocal groups. In recent years auto-tune has become a popular tool for boy bands who are unable to sing to a high standard. Some boy bands have come under fire for this issue of using auto-tune. Some have also come under fire for lip syncing in their performances as well, for example New Kids on the Block.
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