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Bursting onto the music scene in the 1980s, New Kids on the Block became one of the first American boy bands as we know them today. Though their debut album was not a success, their second album, Hangin’ Tough, catapulted them to teen-idol status with hit singles like “Please Don’t Go Girl,” “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” and “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).” Their trademark mix of pop, R&B, and hip hop attracted thousands of young fans, and in 1990, they took home the American Music Awards for both Favorite Pop/Rock Band and Favorite Pop/Rock Album. After a decline in popularity, the band broke up in 1995, only to reunite 13 years later. They’ve since released 2 more of their own albums, The Block and 10, the EP Thankful, and a compilation album with fellow boy band the Backstreet Boys. NKOTB has maintained a loyal fan base who flock to get tickets to their live shows as emphatically as they did in the early ‘90s.
Seeing the success of boy band New Edition in the early 1980s, producer Maurice Starr sought to create another group and began holding auditions to find members in 1984. He was immediately impressed by the showmanship of 15-year-old Donnie Wahlberg, who then helped Starr recruit other members. The band initially consisted of Wahlberg, his younger brother Mark, and friends Danny Wood and Jordan and Jonathan Knight. However, Mark quickly left the group and was replaced with Joey McIntyre. NKOTB released their self-titled debut album 2 years later, though it received only minor airplay in their hometown of Boston and failed to achieve nationwide attention. Back in the studio, the group worked to revamp the bubblegum pop sound of the their first record, and in 1988, they released Hangin’ Tough. With top 10 singles like the title track and “Cover Girl,” the album eventually climbed to number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and went platinum in 8 times in the US.
By early 1990, the band had become one of the most popular in the country, and they soon began performing hundreds of concerts a year. However, following lip-sync allegations and the general public’s shift in interest to the genres of gangsta rap and grunge, the group fell into a period of decline. Their fourth studio album, released in 1994, saw minimal success, and by the next year, NKOTB decided to split up. Then, in 2008, after months of speculation, Donnie Wahlberg confirmed the group would reunite and release new music for the first time in 14 years. The Block debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart and number 2 on the Billboard 200. They began touring with the likes of Lady Gaga, Jordin Sparks, Matthew Morrison, Nelly, and 98 Degrees. Having recently wrapped a tour with Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul, as well releasing the EP Thankful, NKOTB is back in the studio working on new music. Keep your eyes peeled for tickets for the next time this iconic group hits the road yet again.Back to top