Back in the late 1980s, a group of five boys came together and went on to be known collectively as New Kids on the Block. On Sept. 29, VH1 aired the premiere of “Behind the Music,” the story of members Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joe McIntyre, Jonathan and Jordan Knight. According to VH1, the Boston natives came together with the help of Maurice Starr, who had introduced boy band New Edition.After revealing their stories from beginning days to breaking up, the story continued into first talks of a NKOTB reunion.
According to VH1, plans to start up a new boy band began as the result of Wahlberg and Starr meeting for the first time. Wahlberg told VH1 reporters that he had his friend, Wood in mind as another member for the future band.
The Knight brothers followed, and McIntyre was added for his ability to sing like Michael Jackson as a young boy, according to VH1 reports.
The band started out with the name NYNUK as VH1 reported; the name changed to what we know as New Kids on the Block. Early audiences of NKOTB, according to VH1, consisted of both male and female African Americans in their teen years.
The VH1 premiere revealed that NKOTB slowly struggled towards success with the first album, however one song finally hit it big. The song, “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” came from their second album titled, “Hangin’ Tough.”
During the VH1 premiere, Starr said that the band began to attract fans from an unexpected audience, teenage girls. From the perspective of a viewer and early NKOTB fan, it seems that was where they officially joined the popularity ranks of past boy bands.
Just as with previous widely popular boy bands, it seems like every teenage girl had a favorite member of NKOTB.
Not only that, NKOTB’s fame brought on a level of merchandise featuring both the band and individual members.
There were t-shirts, hats, jackets, banners, school supplies and buttons.
As an early NKOTB fan, the amount of fan gear in stores and owned by friends and cousins at the time was witnessed first hand.
Despite the popularity of the band, NKOTB’s time in the spotlight did not last through the rest of the 1990s.
According to VH1, the band’s break up happened not long after Jonathan Knight began to feel that it was enough.
Knight revealed to VH1 reporters that he had suffered from some long-time anxiety problems throughout his life, something that many can relate to.
After so many years, it was interesting to find out what happened to the boy band of the early 90’s generation of fans. During the height of their fame back then, it seemed like NKOTB were unstoppable; that they were in the spotlight to stay.
Now, with a new album and its first hit, “Summertime,” it looks like new fans are coming aboard and early fans’ memories are brought back.
The popularity gained by NKOTB in their early days made them a household name like The Beatles, The Monkees, The Jackson Five and many others. Now, with a comeback and a multi-generation fan base, NKOTB gains more respect among big names in boy band music history.
In the ’90s, boy bands such as The Backstreet Boys and N’Sync followed in their musical predecessors’ footsteps.
VH1 transitioned from the premiere of NKOTB’s “Behind the Music” story to a concert aired live from Boston.
Once on stage, the members of NKOTB started the show off with a new song called “I’ll Be Your Boyfriend.”
As the Boston crowd cheered, NKOTB followed up with old favorites such as “My Favorite Girl” and “You Got It (The Right Stuff).”
The concert continued for those in person, of course, while the credits began to roll for those watching via satellite at home.
NKOTB has two upcoming concert dates in the tri-state area, first on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center.
The next tour date is set for Friday, Nov. 7 at the Borgata in the New Jersey shore point destination of Atlantic City.
Singer Natasha Bedingfield is to join NKOTB on tour, just as 80’s songstress Tiffany did in NKOTB’s early days. So as the News Kids say, just keep “hangin’ tough,” as those concert dates will be here before anyone knows it.
Carol Dwyer is a fourth-year student majoring in English and communication studies. She can be reached at CD660170@wcupa.edu.