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New Kids on the Block Members Then and Now: Catch Up With the Boys Who’ve Got The Right Stuff

They’re still hangin’ tough nearly 40 years after their debut — and they’ve got a new album (and tour) on the way!

If you swore to the New Kids on the Block members that “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” back in the 80s, you’ll get your chance to prove that soon: Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood are “making a toast to never growing up,” as their website puts it, and releasing Still Kids, their first album in 11 years, on May 17.

“I feel like a kid. I have endless amounts of energy,” Wahlberg, 54, promised USA Today late last year, and he and the other New Kids on the Block members are ready to demonstrate to their faithful Blockheads that they’ve still got the right stuff as they support their new music on The Magic Summer 2024 Tour, which kicks off June 14 in Ohio with supporting acts Paula Abdul and D.J. Jazzy Jeff.

New Kids on the Block members performing
New Kids on the Block (2019) Getty

McIntyre, the youngest in the group at a spry 51, cites some iconic rock legends for his and his bandmates’ inspiration. “All I know is the Rolling Stones are 80 and they just released their newest album [2023’s Hackney Diamonds], so hey, we have a long way to go!” he noted, adding he’s eager to reunite with NKOTB’s fan base out on the road. “Us and our fans, we really are family. What happens to them, happens to us, and vice versa.”

“We’re free, and we got nowhere to be / And we’re still just kids from a nobody town / Still just kids that are messing around / Making the most of the things that we found,” the New Kids on the Block members sing on their new album’s first single, “Kids,” and the video features the fab five dancing around and having a great time.

“It says a lot about any band to make a record that has energy and passion and lightness and fun and depth – after almost 40 years together? It’s crazy,” McIntyre marvels of their unique chemistry — and career longevity.

New Kids on the Block members
New Kids on the Block (1989) Getty

The CD, which features appearances from tour mate D.J. Jazzy Jeff as well as a collaboration with fellow 80s/90s star Taylor Dayne, is “the most mature album we’ve ever made, yet it’s the most fun and most comfortable album we’ve ever made,” Wahlberg shared when the New Kids on the Block members recently visited Kelly Clarkson on her daytime talker. “It really has all the feels of all the decades of New Kids. It talks about our journey.… We became so successful at such a young age, and there’s no script. There’s no guidebook. You just kind of figure it out as you go, and you stumble and trip and fall a lot and make a lot of mistakes.”

One mistake the band’s not about to make is missing out on sharing their new music face to face with their Blockheads, who screamed up a storm during their Kelly Clarkson Show visit.

“This is the loudest” it’s been on her show, Clarkson shared during their interview, in which Wahlberg spoke of looking forward to being outside, “under the stars,” with his bandmates — and their fans — this summer.

“The magic now is the relationship that we have with each other and that we have with the fans, and that energy is just so special.… Every opportunity we get to perform together and for our fans is just a blessing…. [When we first started], we didn’t even know if we were going to be together for five years, and it’s, like, 40 years coming up. It’s such a gift.”

As we all wait for the new album to drop and for those summer concert dates to roll around, there’s no better time than now to catch up with the New Kids on the Block members!

Donnie Wahlberg: New Kids on the Block members

Donnie Wahlberg; New Kids on the Block members
1990/2023 Getty

As one of the founding New Kids on the Block members, Donnie Wahlberg was able to channel his passion for performing, which he leaned into after his parents divorced in his early teens. In addition to his contributions to his own group, Donnie was a creative force who helped write and produce the first couple of albums for his younger brother, Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg, of the Funky Bunch.

When the Backstreet Boys simmered down in 1994, Donnie started to focus on acting, landing small parts in feature films such as 1996’s Bullet (starring Mickey Rourke) and 1996’s Ransom (starring Mel Gibson) before stepping up to star as the lead himself in 1998’s Southie, playing a semi autobiographical role as an Irish-American Boston kid returning to his humble roots.

He also scored a brief but powerful part in 1999’s The Sixth Sense, opposite Bruce Willis, which led to more high-profile roles on TV (2001’s Band of Brothers, 2002’s Boomtown) and movies (2005’s Saw II, 2011’s Zookeeper).

Man and woman filming tv show blue bloods
Marisa Ramirez and Donnie Wahlberg in “Blue Bloods” (2021) Getty

Along the way he wed Jenny McCarthy in 2014, and the couple share three children they have from previous marriages. Donnie even appeared as the clue-giving Cluedle-Doo rooster on his wife’s hit series The Masked Singer in 2021.

Since 2010, he’s also starred opposite Tom Selleck on CBS’s Blue Bloods as Detective Danny Reagan, a role for which he was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor. “The crew is phenomenal, the cast is phenomenal,” Donnie told Kelly Clarkson in February about his love for the hit show, which is in its final season. “It’s one of the things that helps when I’m away from my wife, you know, my family and my kids. I have this other family that I’m surrounded by, not just onscreen but off.”

He added that the cop drama has “just been the greatest blessing. It’s truly been an amazing run,” noting that he’ll miss it terribly when it’s over. “I’m still in denial. I’m very much a present-moment person.… And maybe there’s some way it will still end up surviving and carrying on in a different way.”

Joey McIntyre

Joey McIntyre
; New Kids on the Block members
1990/2022 Getty

The youngest of the New Kids on the Block members was just 12 when he auditioned to join the group, and he’s gone on to have a five-decade career that’s still blowing his mind. “To say I’ve come a long way feels like a crazy understatement,” he told People in 2023, having just performed a 50th birthday concert at New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.

Joey — who has twin boys and a daughter with his wife Barrett Williams — also starred last year in Lifetime’s Dawn, a V.C. Andrews limited series co-starring Donna Mills and Fran Drescher, and it’s one of the latest roles for the star, who first landed a part in 2000’s The Fantasticks (opposite Joel Grey) after NKOTB stopped performing in 1994.

Other movie gigs he’s tackled have been 2011’s New Year’s Eve (co-starring Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert DeNiro and a slew of other celebs) and 2013’s The Heat, starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

Joey McIntyre
Joey McIntyre in “Dawn: Secrets of the Morning” (2023)moviestillsdb.com/VCSecretsProductions

On the stage, he’s wowed audiences on Broadway in Wicked (as Fiyero) and Waitress (as Dr. Pomatter), having earlier played the lead in the Off-Broadway production of Tick, Tick… Boom!, written by Rent’s Jonathan Larson.

Joey’s also had a successful solo musical career, releasing seven full albums and selling more than a million records worldwide. His 1999 effort, Stay the Same, went gold. Before he reunites with his bandmates, he’ll also be doing a run on stage in LA in Drag: The Musical, written by and starring RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars winner Alaska Thunderf–k.

“[I’m] working on a solo album as well and again some fun things [are] in the pipeline,” Joey told Broadway World about his plans after that show and the NKOTB tour wraps up this summer.

Jordan Knight: New Kids on the Block members

Jordan Knight; New Kids on the Block members
1999/2022 Getty

In addition to his creative contributions as one of the New Kids on the Block members, Jordan Knight, now 53, also co-wrote songs for other artists, such as 1989’s “I’ll Be Your Everything” by Tommy Page, who took the tune to No. 1. (Page and NKOTB’s Danny Wood shared co-writing credits on that track.)

When NKOTB stopped peforming together in 1994, Jordan teamed up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (of Janet Jackson fame) to produce his solo efforts, and his debut single “Give It To You” went platinum, while the self-titled album it was on went gold. He released a few other albums, including 2014’s Nick & Night, a collaboration with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter.

Jordan Knight
Jordan Knight performing (2022)Getty

In addition to his musical pursuits as a solo artist, Jordan also made the TV reality show rounds in the 2000s, serving as a judge on the talent show American Juniors, and competing on VH1’s The Surreal Life. In 2016, he entered the restaurant business, investing in Novara, an Italian eatery in Milton, Massachusetts, despite admitting to not being a “big foodie” himself. “Donnie is a foodie,” he told Boston magazine of his years touring with his NKOTB bandmates. “He usually orders a lot of appetizers and different-tasting food, so I’ll just write ‘same as Donnie,’ because it’ll be awesome, and I can’t go wrong.”

Jordan and his wife Evelyn Melendez, who wed in 2004, have two sons.

Jonathan Knight

Jonathan Knight; New Kids on the Block members
1990/2023 Getty

Jordan’s older brother, Jonathan Knight was also one of the founding New Kids on the Block members, and in the years since they initially split, he’s been open about suffering from generalized anxiety disorder during his time in the band.

He also was dealing with intense pressure due to fact that he was gay. “[A manager] pulled me aside and was like, ‘If anybody finds out, your career is over. The New Kids’ career is over. My career is over,’” Jonathan revealed on the Frosted Tips with Lance Bass podcast. He wasn’t ready to come out at the time anyway, he added to the former *NSYNCer, but the extra stress was suffocating. “I was just living my life … It wasn’t something I was hiding. But then it was like, ‘No you have to make a statement. You have to clear the air.’ And that whole process was horrible.”

Eventually outed by an ex in 2009, Jonathan has been happily paired up with Harley Rodriguez for over 15 years, and they quietly wed during the COVID pandemic. While not celebrating life as a relative newlywed or peforming with NKOTB at various events, the elder Knight is also host of HGTV’s Farmhouse Fixer, having started to flip houses in the Boston area after the band split in 1994. He’d always been the family’s “go-to handyman,” he shares, and he even got his brother involved in a 2022 episode.

Jonathan Knight
Jonathan Knight speaking at panel for HGTV (2019)Getty

“It’s been inspiring to see him step out and go for it,” Jordan told Architectural Digest. “This is something he’s always been passionate about, so any fears about the spotlight haven’t held him back.… He’s in his element.”

Jonathan also serves as a designer on another HGTV series called Rock the Block. “I would have never thought in my 20s that at 54, I’d still be touring with the New Kids, and I would have a hit TV show on HGTV,” Jonathan told Entertainment Tonight in 2022 about living his dream. “It’s such a passion of mine, fixing up houses. I would post on Instagram pictures of projects I did, and fans would always ask me, ‘What is your other job besides the New Kids?’ and I just think it’s so great to be able to showcase what I do, and people can watch.”

Danny Wood: New Kids on the Block members

Danny Wood; New Kids on the Block members
1990/2019 Getty

Danny Wood, one of the founding New Kids on the Block members, is now 54 and he holds the unique distinction of being the group’s only grandfather! One of his three children from his previous marriage gave birth to a daughter in 2019. “She’s so beautiful and I’m a lucky man!” the proud pop-pop bragged on Facebook as he welcomed tiny Rose Elizabeth Wood to the family.

The artist, who was recruited into NKOTB as a teen by his friend Donnie Wahlberg, made productive use of his downtime after the band split. He began to focus on raising funds and awareness for breast cancer, which his mother Betty succumbed to in 1999. He’d already released some solo albums throughout the mid 2000s, and in 2009, he put out Stronger: Remember Betty in his mother’s honor.

Danny wood performing
Danny Wood (2015)Getty

With the support of his bandmates and their fans — who all pitched in on his fundraising endeavors — he was able to launch his own 501c3 organization called the Remember Betty Foundation in 2008. “I feel so lucky because I get to have another outlet and it’s all for such a great cause, helping women who are having hard times financially while going through treatment,” he told People. “Obviously, being in the New Kids is the best job on the planet, but on the side I can also be creative and help people.”

The muscly fitness enthusiast also has a YouTube channel called The Wood Works, on which he’s featured cooking segments that were popular with NKOTB fans, some of whom are hungry for more recipes to be posted more regularly again.


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