The American Song Awards have a tendency be an especially young-skewing affair. Working example: This year’s ceremony, which aired Sunday on ABC, launched a original “Most attention-grabbing Trending Song” category for artists whose music exploded on Tik Tok. (Megan Thee Stallion gained that one.) But curiously, the three-hour telecast’s most hyped moment was as soon as the “War of Boston” — a originate of valid-lifestyles Verzuz — between two ’80s acts: Roxbury’s finest, Novel Edition, and Dorchester’s have faith Novel Children on the Block. 

And even supposing this year’s AMAs host, Cardi B, admitted that she wasn’t even born but when the 2 trailblazing boy bands had been ruling the Billboard charts, she understood the significance of this match — the first time in pop history that Novel Edition and Novel Children had officially confronted off onstage.

It was as soon as unprecedented to imagine that it took goodbye for this collaboration to happen, for the reason that two boy bands’ careers have faith always been intertwined. Both had been produced and stumbled on by Maurice Starr, who assembled NKOTB after he and Novel Edition parted techniques. Years later, Novel Edition guested on NKOTB’s 2008 comeback album, and Novel Edition’s spinoff trio, Bell Biv DeVoe, opened for the Novel Children at Fenway Park earlier this year.

But it all got right here the total system down to this narrative moment, as the Novel bands kicked it frail-college right via a handy book a rough-fireplace medley of their hits — Novel Children’ “You Received It (The Upright Stuff),” “Step By Step,” and “Hangin’ Tricky,” and Novel Edition’s “Sweet Girl, “Mr. Phone Man,” “Can You Stand the Rain,” and “If It Isn’t Cherish,” plus a mashup of the 2 acts’ “Please Don’t Poke Girl” and “Is This the Slay” — while Gen X and Xennial Twitter predictably went wild.

Meanwhile, inner Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater, where Sunday’s AMAs took set up, sport revered sport, as fellow boy-banders love NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, Boyz II Males’s Shawn Stockman, and 98 Levels’ Drew Lachey rocked out in the viewers, as did the evening’s substantial winners, BTS. And that K-pop septet was as soon as supplied with the ceremony’s top honor, Artist of the One year, mere seconds after NKOTB and Novel Edition finished their efficiency, thus proving that boy bands aloof have faith the suitable stuff in spite of the entirety these years.

There was as soon as no consensus over on social media concerning whether or no longer Novel Edition or Novel Children had definitively gained this “fight,” for the reason that efficiency was as soon as extra of a lovefest than one thing else. Even supposing Novel Edition’s Michael Bivins had advised the Boston Herald ahead of the AMAs that there’d “always been a miniature friendly competition between” the 2 acts, NKOTB’s Donnie Wahlberg advised the paper, “That is being promoted as the ‘War of Boston,’ but to us it’s extra of a brotherhood.”

Nonetheless, NKOTB would probably humbly narrate Novel Edition the victors of this supposed showdown. Wahlberg surely advised the Herald, “There’s going to be a ingredient of us that’s rather considerable in apprehension, rooting for Novel Edition. We all know that if it weren’t for these guys, there would be no Novel Children.” And appropriate sooner than the 2 groups hit the Microsoft Theater stage, Wahlberg even made the following mic-plunge declaration: “Right here’s all it be a must to learn about Novel Edition. If there was as soon as no Novel Edition, there would be no Novel Children on the Block, no Boyz II Males, no Backstreet Boys, no NSYNC, no O-Town, no One Route, no LFO, no nothing. Nothing!”

No doubt, though, the relate winners of this fight had been the followers. And these followers will bag one other nostalgia fix by strategy of ABC on Dec. 6, when Novel Children’ Joey McIntyre and Novel Edition’s Bivins and Bobby Brown — alongside with NSYNC’s Fatone, Lance Bass, and Chris Kirkpatrick; Boyz II Males’s Stockman and Wanya Morris; O-Town’s Erik-Michael Estrada; and all of 98 Levels (including, sure, every Lacheys!) — critical person in the seasonal special A Very Boy Band Holiday.

For a plump list of the 2021 American Song Awards winners, click right here.

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