Back in the late 90s/early 00s, boy bands had a chokehold on pop culture. More specifically, they had a chokehold on me and my entire identity. Even though it’s been more than two decades (!!) since the boy band era, I often go back to those songs because they’re great to have on while I make dinner.
One thing I realized is that there are so many boy band songs that would be so much better if they were sung by a queer woman.The more I thought about it, the more I realized there are a lot of songs that could use that touch. Here are 14 of the most obviously sapphic boy band songs.
“Steal My Girl” One Direction
This is one of the first songs that gave me the idea for this list. I don’t know what it is about “Steal My Girl,” but it just screams sapphic! Maybe it’s the opening line: “She was my queen since we were 16, we want the same things, we dream the same dreams.” Or maybe it’s the “na na na” chorus. Either way, it would be so much better if it were sung by a group of women.
“Invisible Man” 98 Degrees
Title notwithstanding, this song is sapphic af. It’s all about being the person on the sidelines. The one who is looking longingly at the beautiful woman that doesn’t even know you exist. “I wish you’d look at me that way, your beautiful eyes looking deep into mine. Telling me more than any words could say… but you don’t even know I’m alive.”
If that isn’t the definition of sapphic yearning, I don’t know what is.
“Every Minute, Every Hour” 2GE+HER
A lot of people don’t realize that the spoof boy band actually came out with an actual album, but they did! “Every Minute, Every Hour” is a beautiful ballad that would only be made better if it were sapphic. It’s about that woman you just can’t forget about, even though it’s over. Come on, who doesn’t have that one person? That’s why queer women are always getting back with their exes.
“My Beautiful Woman” Backstreet Boys
This is a deep cut from Backstreet Boys’ Never Gone album. And honestly? It would be one million percent better if it was sung by a woman. It literally extols the virtue of a super hottie and how you just can’t handle being around her. “And I know I’m so in love with you, I’m finding it harder and harder to breathe…” I think I’ve made my point.
“End of the Road” Boyz II Men
One of my all time favorite 90s boy band ballads. The pain and the yearning in this song is just so deep and prevalent in every line, it just really gives me wlw vibes. No matter what, you belong to each other, even if you never get back together.
“All About You” McFly
This song is about 100% pure devotion, and devotion is a theme that is inherently sapphic. It’s all about (haha) being with your person. The person who you want to dance around the kitchen with while you make dinner. It’s really sweet, and we know the sapphics can be incredibly saccharine when they want to be.
“Single” New Kids on the Block ft. Neyo
There’s something about the lyric “I’ll be your boyfriend when the song goes off” that reeks of sapphic-ness. You spot that girl across the bar looking forlorn and you just know that you can make her less sad, even if it’s only for three minutes.
“Can I Get Your Number (A Girl Like You)” No Authority
Okay, this song is so utterly ridiculous and very much the early 00s boy band vibe. But that’s probably why I think it should be sapphic. The whole song reads like a pickup line — and we can be incredibly cheesy and a little bit cringey!
“She Looks So Perfect” 5 Seconds of Summer
“If I showed up with a plane ticket, and a shiny diamond ring with your name on it. Would you wanna run away too? ‘Cause all I really want is you…” I’m sorry, those are incredibly sapphic lyrics. 10/10, no notes.
“It Makes Me Ill” *NSYNC
Look, no one does jealousy quite like a woman. And maybe that’s why “It Makes Me Ill” hits all the right notes on my sapphic scale. Ariana Grande interpolated the bridge of this song for her song “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” and that song also gives me big sapphic vibes. But it’s not even the bridge of the *NSYNC song that does it, it’s really the chorus. “You can’t imagine how it makes me feel, to see you, with him” is the most sapphic thing I’ve ever heard.
“When You’re Looking Like That” Westlife
Again, this is one of those songs that should be sapphic purely because it just gushes about how gorgeous this woman is. “How am I supposed to leave you now — when you’re looking like that?” It’s kind of a breakup song, but I feel like that’s just a minor detail because that’s not the point I’m trying to make honestly.
It’s just an ode to how hot, amazing and just *heart eye emoji* women are. Of course it is, they literally say girl every third or fourth word in the song. Like, don’t ever try to do “Girl” shots, or you will die.
“Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy” SoulDecision
Another ‘00s deep cut! This song is about someone who keeps leading you on, and yet you can’t stay away from them. Isn’t that the sapphic curse?
“Until the Time is Through” Five
Yearning and unrequited love is one of the defining characteristics of being sapphic. This song is full of yearning, which means it has to be sapphic. It’s a general rule.
Professing your eternal love to someone who has literally never expressed romantic interest? Must be sapphic.