Before Bieber: A History of Teen Idols
Justin Bieber is the latest pop star to inspire mania among the masses. But who made girls faint before this baby-faced phenom?


Tween and teen girls everywhere are going berserk for Justin Bieber, but the Usher-discovered singer is just one in a long line of musical heartthrobs.

Let's go all the way back and remember those who paved the way so that Bieber could blow dry his hair on YouTube.

From left: Frankie Avalon, David Cassidy, and the Biebster himself.


Justin Bieber

YouTube videos posted by his mom led to this16 year-old's discovery. Now we're in the middle of full-blown Biebermania.

(© 2009 Joey Terrill All Rights Reserved)

Jonas Brothers

These Disney dreamboats are still going strong, but they've got competition in J. Biebs. Add that to oldest brother Kevin's recent nuptials and the inevitable aging process, and the tight pants crew could be looking at early retirement.


Justin Timberlake

Spawned from 90's boy band 'NSync, JT somehow has a successful solo career as a sex symbol.


Backstreet Boys

Comprised of AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson, this 90's boy band has sold over 130 million records worldwide. 


Who doesn't remember "MMMBop"? Brothers Zac, Isaac and Taylor were originally mistaken for girls, but fans soon realized what was up and commenced screaming and fainting.



Along with the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync cornered the market on boy band pop idols in the late nineties. But let's not forget 98 Degrees, which boasted dreamboat Nick Lachey.

'N Sync consisted of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick and became the highest selling boyband of all time (behind the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids on the Block).

Bobby Brown

Before he became a reality TV train wreck, Bobby was a respectable teen idol, earning swoons with songs like "My Prerogative" in the late 80s.

Bobby began his music career with the boy band New Edition, but left in 1986 to go solo.

New Kids on the Block

NKOTB, as they were known, swept the nation in the late 80s, forcing every girl to decide between Jon, Jordan, Joey, Donnie, or Danny.


Michael Jackson

The late Michael Jackson had a long, long career, beginning in his childhood, but it's perhaps his teen idol phase that's most memorable. Jackson's "Thriller" years made him a bonafide dreamboat. That baby tiger didn't hurt, either.


Though its heyday was in the 80s, this Puerto Rican boy band has been going since the 70s. Its secret? No, it's not the metallic spandex pants. Members get kicked out when they get too old -- like, over 17. Ricky Martin was once a Menudo boy.

Leif Garrett

After a stint as a child actor, Garrett made his way on the pop charts in the 80s with hits like "I Was Made for Dancin'."

Unfortunately, he didn't escape teen stardom unscathed; Garrett was arrested in February for heroin possession.

Donny Osmond

Donny was one half of sibling act Donny & Marie, but he was also a hunk in his own right. He became a teen idol in the early 70's as a solo singer.

David Cassidy

This 70's dreamboat starred in the musical series "The Partridge Family," and toured solo. Cassidymania got so extreme that a girl was trampled to death during a gate stampede at one of his concerts. 

Davy Jones

Look closely at Davy's hair... look familiar?! (Ahem, Bieber.) Davy and his bob began making girls like Marcia Brady scream in the mid 60s, when he hit the scene with pop TV group The Monkees.


The Beatles

Beatlemania began in the early 60's, catapulting John, Paul, George and Ringo to superstardom. Eventually, the boys from Liverpool made their way out of pop idol category altogether and became music legends.


Ricky Nelson

The singer got his start on TV with "Ozzie and Harriet" but went on to score #1 records in the late 50's.

Frankie Lymon

Lymon started his music career with The Teenagers, churning out hits like 1956's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." In 1957, Lymon went solo, but sadly, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25.

Frankie Avalon

Wholesome Frankie was manufactured as the anti-Elvis.

Elvis Presley

The king of teen idols is also... The King. Elvis got the girls all shook up in the late 50's, and continued working the crowd until his death in 1977.


Paul Anka

Paul got his start writing hits like "My Way" for Frank Sinatra! He hit the big time with tunes like "Diana" and "Lonely Boy" and his songwriting skills led to a long career.


The 50's teen idol was sold completely on his looks and rose to fame via "American Bandstand." The gig was up when it was revealed that his singing voice had been altered.

Frank Sinatra

Though currently favored among manly men, Sinatra was actually the original teen idol, appealing to bobby soxers across America during the 1940s. Sinatramania was the beginning of teen pop music.


Before Bieber: A History of Teen Idols

Justin Bieber is the latest pop star to inspire mania among the masses. But who made girls faint before this baby-faced phenom?

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