The Boy-Band Blueprint

From the Beatles to One Direction, all the young dudes are 'N Sync

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the U.S. and the Fab Four's legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1964. While the lads quickly distanced themselves from their largely fabricated image as mop-topped Beatlemania-inspiring dreamboats, their blueprint for a successful boy band--smart one (John Lennon), cute one (Paul McCartney), quiet one (George Harrison) and funny one (Ringo Starr)--lives on. Whether their successors played surf music, suave R&B, novelty songs or sugary ballads, here's a look at the connections and characteristics that have defined five decades of adorable pop acts.

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