Every decade has had it's share of pop stars who became famous at an early age. The 50s gave us Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, and Ritchie Valens, the 60s had Brenda Lee and Paul Anka, and the Jackson 5 and Osmonds were huge in the 70s. The 80s were no exception. In the mid to late eighties Teen Pop took over the airwaves. New Edition was the first on the scene, followed by the ever compared tandem of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Other top 80s teen pop acts included New Kids on the Block and The Jets.
New Edition is commonly known as the starter of the "Boy Band" trend that continued with bands like New Kids, Backstreet Boys, 'Nsync, etc.. They were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978. Producer Maurice Starr brought together Bobby Brown, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, and Ralph Tresvant. Ronnie DeVoe joined the group in 1980. The group released their first album, Candy Girl, in 1983. The album was a huge success with the title track going all the way to number one on the American R&B singles chart. They would continue this success through the 80s with top 20 hits such as Cool it Now, Mr Telephone Man, and If It Isn't Love.
Not content with just one big 80s Teen Pop success, producer Maurice Starr decided to give it another shot after parting ways with New Edition in 1984. He found five more Boston boys and formed New Kids on the Block with Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood, and Joey McIntyre. They exceeded the success of New Edition, putting out multiple top 20 hits including three number ones in I'll Be Loving You (Forever), Hangin' Tough, and Step by Step.
The Jets were a family band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were composed of the Wolfgramm brothers LeRoy, Eddie, Eugene, Heinrich, and Rudolph along with their sisters Kathi, Elizabeth, and Moana. The band had six top 20 hits in the mid to late eighties, including top 5 hit Crush on You and the Elizabeth sung ballads You Got it All and Make it Real which made their way up to #1 on the adult contemporary chart.
Tiffany Renee Darwish started out singing country music as the age of 10. In 1985, she appeared on Ed McMahon's Star Search program, where she came in second place for the year. This gave her the chance to get her own album recorded which was released in 1987. To support the album she went on a tour of shopping malls across the United States. The tour was a huge success. The remake singles I Think We're Alone Now (#1) and I Saw Him Standing There (#7) were both top ten hits. She also had a #1 hit with the ballad "Could've Been". Her second album produced only one top twenty hit with All This Time.
In 1987, at the age of 16, Debbie Gibson released her debut album Out of the Blue. Three of the singles would make it into the top 5: Only in My Dreams, Shake Your Love, and Out of the Blue. The ballad Foolish Beat made it all the way to number one, making Debbie the youngest artist ever to write, produce and perform a Billboard #1 single. The Out of the Blue album would eventually be certified triple platinum (over 3 million copies sold).
Her follow up album, Electric Youth, was another huge success. It produced three top 20 singles, including the #1 hit ballad Lost in Your Eyes. Her later releases were not as popular as the music scene moved away from Teen Pop and more towards rap and grunge in the early 90s.