Google has released its ranking of the most searched boy bands so far in 2019. Why now, when barely a quarter of the year has passed? Because, as *NSYNC made famous back in 2000, it’s gonna be May. (Read more about the nearly 20-year road to meme here.)
So where does the group that just performed at Coachella with Ariana Grande land on Google’s list? At No. 8 — though should they reunite to tour (the jury’s still out on whether a Justin Timberlake-less version would be embraced by fans at large), expect the guys to rise.
Topping the list? K-Pop kings BTS. Their latest album, “Map of the Soul: Persona,” is already among the year’s biggest movers and the guys also made history as the first-ever K-Pop act to be a musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.” On YouTube, their song ‘Boy With Luv’ (featuring Halsey) racked up over 78 million views within 24 hours of release.
In second place: those lovable mop-tops of the 1960s, The Beatles; followed by The Jonas Brothers, Backstreet Boys (who just wrapped a successful Las Vegas residency), “X Factor” alums One Direction and New Kids on the Block. Chinese-Korean boy band EXO comes in at No. 7 while 5 Seconds of Summer round out the Top 10.
Still, any celebration of boy bands on this day belongs to Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick, who regularly join in on the “May Day” fun.
“I remember when we recorded the song, Max Martin kept telling Justin to sing it more ‘May’ instead of me, so Justin kept singing may, may, may, and then it became just became May,” Kirkpatrick told Variety last year. “When it was over, I remember Justin saying, ‘Man, that sounds like May more than me’, but it didn’t really catch on until someone made that meme.”
The meme in question debuted in 2012 on Buzzfeed, with Timberlake’s head attached to a photo of an April calendar. Since then, thousands more have ushered in the first of May every year.
Most-searched boy bands in 2019 (year-to-date, U.S. only), according to Google:
2. The Beatles
3. Jonas Brothers
4. Backstreet Boys
5. One Direction
6. New Kids on the Block
10. 5 Seconds of Summer