“We could get very weepy right now and sappy because we absolutely have the greatest fans in the world.” Joey McEntire (during an interview after performing on the “Today” show)
Popular 1980s and 1990s boy band New Kids on the Block (aka “NKOTB”), whose members are brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood, was shot toward stardom thanks to such smash hits as "Please Don't Go Girl" (1988), "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" (1988), "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" (1989), "Hangin' Tough" (1989), "Cover Girl" (1989), "Step by Step" (1990), and "Tonight" (1990).
The two-time American Music Award winning band who disbanded in 1994 was reunited in 2008 by releasing a new album, "The Block," which spun off the singles "Summertime," "Single," and "Dirty Dancing." They also embarked on a reunion tour, "New Kids on the Block: Live," which began on September 18, 2008.
Childhood and Family:
Formed in 1984 by Maurice Starr, the former creator of a Boston R&B/Pop quintet (later sextet) called “New Edition,” “New Kids on the Block,” commonly known as "NKOTB," consists of Boston-area singers Donnie Wahlberg (born August 17, 1969), Danny Wood (born May 14, 1969), Joe McIntyre (born December 31, 1972), and brothers Jordan Knight (born Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight on May 17, 1970) and Jonathan Knight (born November 29, 1968). They were originally called “Nynuk,” but quickly changed their name before the group's first release in 1986. Donnie Wahlberg's younger brother, Mark Wahlberg, was an original member of the group, but jumped ship due to the direction the band was taking.
Their fans were often known as "Blockettes" or "Blockheads."
After securing a recording contract with Columbia Records, New Kids on the Block released their self-titled debut album in the spring of 1986. The album spawned the singles "Be My Girl" and "Stop It Girl" but failed to garner attention.
Two years after their failed debut, the boys released their second album, "Hangin' Tough," which marked their breakout work. Released on September 6, 1988, the album had become #1 album in America by the end of 1989, went 8 times platinum in the U.S., and ended up selling 12 million copies worldwide. It spun off five Top 10 hits: "Please Don't Go Girl" (#10), "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" (#3), "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" (#1), "Hangin' Tough" (#1), and "Cover Girl" (#2). The album won two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group in January 1990.
New Kids on the Block released a holiday album, "Merry, Merry Christmas," on September 19, 1989. It went double platinum and spawned the #7 hit single "This One's for the Children." The also released their fourth studio album, "Step by Step," on June 5, 1990, to an overwhelming commercial reception. It debuted at #1 on both the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and the U.K. Albums Chart and received three times platinum certification. Singles off the album included "Step by Step," the band's biggest selling single and one of the biggest selling singles of 1990, "Valentine Girl," which rose to #1 in Japan, "Tonight," a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic (#7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the U.K. Singles Chart), and "Let's Try It Again.”
By this time, New Kids on the Block had become one of the most popular acts in the world. They performed an estimated two hundred concerts a year, with an extravagant worldwide concert tour called "The Magic Summer Tour," which was sponsored by Coke. Their official fan club had a membership of over 200,000 members and was one of the largest fan clubs in the world. The group, whose licensed merchandise including lunch boxes, buttons, T-shirts, comic books, and dolls, topped Forbes list of “Highest Paid Entertainers in 1991,” beating out such artists as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and Bill Cosby.
That same year, they went overseas and continued to tour throughout Europe and Asia. During this time, they also released a remix compilation album on February 12, 1991, titled "No More Games/The Remix Album," which peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and the hit compilation "H.I.T.S." on December 9, 1991. It produced the single "If You Go Away" that peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.
After about two years out of the limelight, the band, who had a strong backlash and allegations of lip-synching, released a more mature album on January 24, 1994, "Face the Music," which failed to live up to commercial expectation despite some positive critical reviews. It delivered the singles "Dirty Dawg" (featuring a rap cameo by Nice & Smooth), which peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Never Let You Go," which failed to chart in the U.S., but did reach #42 on the U.K. Singles Chart and #18 in the Canadian charts. To support the album, the band embarked on a tour. Jonathan Knight left the band because of increased panic attacks and anxiety and the remaining four members decided to cancel the rest of the tour. They eventually decided to officially disband the group and most of the group members started families and began to venture into other avenues.
After several failed attempts to reunite the band, New Kids on the Block eventually were reunited in 2008 by releasing an album titled "The Block." It yielded the singles "Summertime," which peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becomes their first Top 40 hit since 1992's "If You Go Away," "Single," which is a duet with Ne-Yo, and "Dirty Dancing," which debuted at #92 on the German Singles Chart and on the Canadian Hot 100.
On September 18, 2008, the band began their first tour in 14 years, "New Kids on the Block: Live," which is scheduled to end on February 5, 2009.
American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Album, "Hangin' Tough," 1990
American Music Awards: Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group, 1990