One is the Loneliest Number: 15 Failed Attempts Start Solo Music Careers

One is the Loneliest Number: 15 Failed Attempts To Start Solo Music Careers

Many musicians would love to believe that just because they were in a popular band or group, they will have just as much popularity as a solo artist. More often than not, that is not the case, which can sometimes be tragic when the artist possesses a huge amount of talent. As we’ve seen time and time again, however, you need much more than talent to make it in the music business.

Check out our list of 15 failed attempts to jump-start a solo career by popular band members.

J.C. Chasez


‘N Sync was by far one of the best boy bands because it had more than one talented singer. J.C. had a strong, soulful voice, and his dancing wasn’t anything to sneer at either but maybe he lacked the charisma because his solo career never took off.  His debut album Schizophrenic was only slightly successful and his 2nd album was never released. And what’s worse is that even Justin Timberlake acknowledged his vocal superiority saying, “In my opinion, he had the best voice out of all of us…Out of all the boy bands, call ’em what you will, he was the one that could out-sing all of us.” Too bad talent doesn’t win all– JC would be a shoe-in.

AJ McLean


AJ had, without a doubt, the most distinctive voice and personality of the Backstreet Boys but even BSB fans weren’t all that interested in his solo venture. McLean had performed for years as rock singer “Johnny Noname”  when he wasn’t performing with the rest of the Backstreet Boys, but he took to creating a full fledged solo album in 2008 (Have it All) as himself. The album was only released in Japan.

Nick Carter

Backstreet Boys Perform On ABC's "Good Morning America"

Photo: Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

Nick had two big factors working against his solo career: talent and timing. He doesn’t have the greatest voice to begin with but couple that with bad timing, and his solo album was as good as dead. A wise decision would have been for him to do a solo project during the years when he was the cute, baby-faced centerpiece of the Backstreet Boys–back when the girls loved him most.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Did anyone ever really feel like Michelle was a part of Destiny’s Child? Even years after her introduction to the group she always seemed awkward and out of place. Michelle took a chance to stand on her own over the years by releasing three solo albums. While her initial solo album Heart to Yours was a success, the three albums have failed to make her a viable solo artist. It was her opportunity to show the world who she was but between her two gospel albums and her secular release, it seems like Michelle is still trying to find her voice.


Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger Cosmo Awards Wenn PF

Photo: WENN

Since Nicole was the center of the Pussycat Dolls and did all the singing anyway, you’d think her solo career would have been in the bag, but no such luck. Her debut solo album Killer Love was only released in Europe and only a major success in the UK.

Marques Houston


We’re almost certain Marques Houston had at least one video on BET, but darn it if we can remember even one song he put out.


Lil Fizz

Lil Fizz

Let’s face it, B2K was way past relevance when Fizz dropped a record. No one was really looking for him.

Raz B

Raz b

Photo:  Reggie Collier/ WENN

See previous slide.

Chris Trousdale

Chris Trousdale

Dream Street wasn’t exactly the most popular or successful of the boy bands, heck, they didn’t even appear until the tail end of the last boy band craze (circa 2001). Still, Jesse McCartney was able to carve himself out a nice little solo career. Unfortunately, Chris Trousdale was not able to. You probably had never even heard of him until just now, had you?

Ringo Starr


We’d hate to put one of The Beatles on this list because, well, he’s ONE OF THE BEATLES! That’s epicness in its own right, but this list is about solo careers, and Ringo by far drew the shortest stick out of the four members in that department.

Ashley Parker Angel


Not even an MTV reality show could save…or create Ashley’s music career. Being in the boy band O-Town was his biggest success.

Nick Lachey

35 Nick Lachey picture

The reality show did seem to help Nick Lachey, though. His wedding to, reality show with, and divorce from Jessica Simpson helped to make him relevant outside of 98 Degrees, and helped make his song “What’s Left of Me” a radio hit. Sadly, it was his only hit.

Jordan Knight


It seemed like Jordan almost had a solo career starting when his single “Give It To You” was playing on TRL, ruling the radio, and going platinum while his self-titled debut album was selling over 500,000 copies in 1999, but things are not always what they seem…

Tommy Lee


Tommy has 2 solo albums but it remains that most rock fans are more interested in seeing him as a part of the legendary Motley Crue than anything else.

Nick Jonas


Ok, Nick wasn’t exactly going for a full fledged solo career so much as doing a solo project in the Jonas Brothers’ hiatus, but still, with all the JoBro fandamonium you’d think he would have reached the top of the charts. He had some success with his solo album Who I Am but times like these show you who your true fans are.

  • CriticXtreme

    You have to have talent, the machine behind you and the [mist].
    Sometimes you have to go to another country and start from there.

    • Not true. Britney has no talent and no personality and hardly any looks. She does have a damn good team/handlers who carefully coordinate, orchestrate, and auto-tune the hell out of everything she does.

  • NYC Gal

    Just goes to show some low self-esteem black folks that not because you’re white or light that you will automatically make it in the music industry. These are some examples!!



  • 5th Beatle

    Makes no sense to put one of The Beatles on this list because somebody had to be the least successful solo out of the four of them.

  • matts2

    Ringo has had 16 solo studio albums, 10 live albums, and the first hit post-Beatles song. I think that would be a damn impressive career on its own.

    • Jon

      Completely agree. It’s possible that the author of this article is too young or just not knowledgeable with Ringo’s work. Putting him in this list is ridiculous.

  • maddie

    Saying Nsync was the BEST BOYBAND is a matter of opinion.

StyleBlazer is a fashion and beauty website dedicated to edgy, progressive, chic and globally-minded women. Topics covered on StyleBlazer include street style, trends, expert beauty advice, and industry news.