New Kids on the Block – called NKOTB or New Kids for short – is a US-based pop group from Boston, Massachusetts, founded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, internationally acclaimed as a pop phenomenon and one of the world’s highest paid entertainers . Called a teen band at the time, they are now considered the prototype of successful boy bands, setting the scene for subsequent 1990s formations such as Take That, Backstreet Boys, * NSYNC, and Boyzone. In 1994, the group split up, since 2008, she is back in the music business active. New Kids on the Block sold more than 80 million records worldwide and is still the record seller of merchandising products with annual sales of $ 1 billion.
Aiming to find five white adolescents who would interpret rhythm and blues and become idols of their age group, New Edition producer Maurice Starr decided to set up a new group in the summer of 1984. His talent searcher Mary Alford first discovered the then 14-year-old Donnie Wahlberg (born August 17, 1969), who stood out by his confident appearance as well as his rap and breakdancing skills of other boys his age. It was also Wahlberg, his brother Mark (born June 5, 1971), his friend Danny Wood (born May 14, 1969) and his former classmates Jonathan (born November 29, 1968) and Jordan Knight (born May 17, 1970) brought into the studio. They all mastered breakdancing and had sung for years in the school and church choir. In addition, they had grown up in Boston’s working-class neighborhoods with a high percentage of African-American adolescents. Starr regarded this as a plus point against the background of his ambition to have black music presented by whites. However, after the first rehearsals, the then 13-year-old Mark decided to quit the project. He was replaced by Donnie Wahlberg’s friend Jamie Kelley.
Under the name Nynuk, the band made their first appearance in May 1985 in front of 400 students at Lee High School in Boston. This was followed by an appearance at the Kite Festival in Franklin Park, where the group had to dance on assembled tables, booed and pelted with stones.
While the other four members spent all their free time in the studio and were committed to the further development of the band, Kelley increasingly neglected his commitment and was excluded from the group in June 1985. His place took the then 12 -year-old Joey McIntyre (* December 31, 1972). With the new addition, the band changed its name to New Kids on the Block, attributed to the title of rapeseed that Wahlberg had produced with Starr.
Their first concert as New Kids on the Block, the group denied in the prison of Deer Island in Boston Harbor in front of several hundred inmates. It was followed by appearances in various clubs, which were visited primarily by blacks.
In 1986, the band received their first record deal at Columbia Records. However, the self-titled debut album New Kids on the Block and the decoupled single Be my girl did not make it into the charts. Media and radio took no notice of them. Notwithstanding the failure, they appeared in 1986 in the opening act of various bands and finally completed a 1987 concert at the Apollo Theater in New York City, where they were frenetically celebrated by the considered difficult audience.
Their breakthrough came in 1988 with the release of the second album Hangin ‘Tough. The single release Please Don’t Go Girl jumped from zero to # 10 on the charts in the US. At the same time they accompanied the then 16 -year-old and very popular among young people singer Tiffany as a supporting act on their tour of the United States. Euphoria broke out and made the opening act become major players. Music channel MTV began broadcasting the follow-up single You Got It (The Right Stuff) in Heavy Rotation, the band was invited to all major TV shows on the US television and filled all the teen magazines.
As part of its role model role for millions of young people, the group campaigned in particular for anti-drug campaigns. Considering this commitment, the then Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, awarded the band the highest honor of the city of Boston, by April 24, 1989 declared the day of the New Kids on the Block. In June 1989, New Kids on the Block toured and played sold-out houses nationwide. Wherever the group showed up, it was besieged by hysterical fans. At the same time reached her single I’ll Be Loving You Forever and a few months later, her album Hangin ‘Tough number one on the charts. The latter scored eight times platinum. Due to the enormous success, their debut album from 1986 was re-released and received triple platinum. Their also released in 1989 third album Merry Merry Christmas and the decoupled double platinum single This one’s for the children was followed by a sold-out Christmas tour through the United States. The proceeds of the single donated the group to the United Cerebral Palsy, which supports people with cerebral palsy.
In January 1990, New Kids on the Block was twice awarded the American Music Award for Best Pop Group and Best Pop Album. Their stadium tour of the US and Europe with a tripled security team in the spring of 1990 was followed by the release of the album Step by Step, which entered the charts in countries such as the US, UK and Germany at the show and around twenty million worldwide Sold time. The subsequent Magic Summer Tour led her in the summer of 1990 through 63 American stadiums with a total of over two million spectators. The band was one of the most popular in the world at this time, the hysteria of the fans was often compared to the hysteria of the Beatles fans. The fan club received 30,000 letters a day, and the official hotline received over 100,000 calls a week. In addition, the band has been awarded numerous audience awards, including the Bravo Otto in Gold 1990 and 1991 and eleven trophies of the former British youth magazine Smash Hits. Later on, a diverse selection of merchandising items was produced, ranging from clothing and jewelery to everyday items of decoration and utility items to dolls made by toy manufacturer Hasbro. In 1990 alone, the group sold $ 1 billion in merchandising sales. A separate animated series, which thematized the band, ran in September 1990 on the station ABC and in March 1992 on RTL plus. In an interview published in 2001, Jonathan Knight later explained that members were not aware at a young age of what kind of machinery they had triggered with just one signature. In October 1990, No More Games released the fifth album.
The continuing hysteria of the fans, however, also led to strong rejection. As idols worshiped by young girls, the quintet of music magazines beyond the youth press was repeatedly ridiculed. Considering her age, she was referred to as “milk teeth rocker” and her followers as “pubescent virgins” and “braces generation”. In everyday situations, members were also confronted with aggressive behavior and death threats. A New Kids under the Block t-shirt showed a boulder with several bleeding legs. The Knight brothers were threatened in the street with a loaded weapon. The house of Danny Wood was shot.
In January 1991, New Kids on the Block won $ 115 million from Forbes Magazine, making it one of the world’s highest paid entertainers and appearing at the 21st Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida during the halftime show. Special broadcasts were aired, youth magazines around the world and reputable newspapers such as the Newsweek reported on the pop phenomenon for several pages. In May 1991, the group received its own monument in Vienna. Together with artists such as Sting and Peter Gabriel, they appeared in October 1991 in the National Stadium of Santiago de Chile in front of 75,000 spectators as a main group at two organized by Amnesty International concerts to win the interest and support of young people for the human rights organization. Elsewhere, the group has also used its popularity to raise awareness among young people about dangers such as AIDS and drugs. They propagated safe sex and encouraged their fans to complete school education. While mainly parents and youth workers advocated this behavior, opponents criticized it in a negative form as a “clean man image”.
From March 1991, the New Kids toured again through Europe, Japan and Australia. More than 1,000 medical operations per concert were reported regularly, and there were bruises, bruises, fainting spells, broken ribs and even occasional cardiac arrest. As in previous years, tumultuous scenes in halls, hotels and airports accompanied the band’s arrival, presence and departure. The security of the group and also the safety of the fans became more and more a serious problem. For the first time, it was considered whether live performances under such conditions would be acceptable at all. Each year they played an average of two hundred concerts.
When former coworker Greg McPherson started rumors in January 1992 that the group was not singing live, New Kids on the Block canceled their tour of Australia and flew from Sydney to Los Angeles for 14 hours to attend the Arsenio Hall show To comment on allegations. After the interview and their live performance, with which they provided the evidence to the public, they flew back to Sydney to end the tour there. Shortly thereafter, they were the first band in Melbourne after the Beatles with the Golden Key, the highest award of the city. In the same month her new single If You Go Away was released.
On February 17, 1992, during a concert in front of 16,000 spectators in the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea, there was a mass panic. Hundreds of visitors tried to storm the stage and were kicked to the ground. The band, watching the incident from the stage, broke off the concert after the third song and was escorted back to the hotel. Fifty injured had to be hospitalized. At the hotel, the group was informed that she would not leave the country if she did not finish the concert as contracted. South Korean forces then occupied all passages and ranks of the Olympic Park and under military protection, the concert was continued. It was not until the next day that members learned that a 17-year-old boy had died in the hospital due to his injuries. Shocked, the group ended their live activities in April 1992 and retired despite fan demonstrations and teenage-initiated “bailouts.” A few months later appeared in several issues in Germany, the magazine NKOTB Special.
Due to contractual obligations with the record company, which demanded the production of another album, New Kids on the Block came back in the summer of 1993 again to the studio. Her song Keep On Smiling for the movie Free Willy appeared on the same named soundtrack. Meanwhile separated from Maurice Starr, they released their latest album Face the Music in January 1994 as well as the singles Dirty Dawg and Never Let You Go. Meanwhile grown up, they tried to strip her to date clean teenage image, but the comeback could not build on the old successes by the popular at that time in the US and Germany music style grunge. In southern countries such as Spain, on the other hand, they gained more popularity. The group eventually split in 1994, not least against the background that Jonathan Knight had already decided to leave the band for health reasons.
On January 27, 2008, the People magazine’s online edition reported that the band was apparently planning a comeback with the official NKOTB website back in use. As a result, the site recorded one million hits within a week. On April 2, 2008, NKOTB.com finally confirmed the reunion and announced the release of a new album and a tour.
On May 13, 2008, the band released in the US with Summertime their first joint single in 14 years. Three days later, they first presented the song live on the US television show Today Show. In Germany, the release of the single CD was scheduled for August 29, 2008, the real was at this time the title but only for purchase by download. The CD single finally appeared at the same time with the album The Block on September 12, 2008. The album climbed to # 21 on the German album charts, the single Summertime made it to number 55 in the media control single charts. Particularly successful was the album, which included collaborations with Ne-Yo, the Pussycat Dolls and Lady Gaga, in the US and Canada. In the US, it reached number two on the Billboard 200 and number one in the pop album charts. In Canada, the album came in first place and was awarded gold.
As part of the filming of Til Schweiger’s medieval comedy 1½ Knights – In Search of the Enchanting Heartbinder New Kids on the Block were in Germany in July 2008 to complete their guest appearance. The song Dirty Dancing sung there appeared on December 19, 2008 as a second single release of the album on CD. Previously, the song was able to place in the German single charts through pure online sales. Entitled All together again on one stage, the band toured the US and Canada in autumn 2008, with an average audience of 20,000 per night. The opening concerts in Toronto, New York and Boston were sold out within minutes. In January and February 2009, she led her tour to Europe, which in turn joined another one by the US, this time with a new stage show called Full Service. As part of their 2010 tour CasiNO they performed, inter alia, on three consecutive nights in the Radio City Music Hall in New York, as guests appeared, among others, the Backstreet Boys.
Due to the public response developed from this appearance, the consideration of a joint musical project. As part of the American Music Awards 2010, both groups presented themselves as NKOTBSB for the first time with a choreographed show, in which a part of their respective hits had been interwoven. On the occasion of the traditional New Year’s Eve celebration followed by a second appearance in front of about a million people in New York’s Times Square. In December 2010, NKOTBSB released Do not Turn Out the Lights, their first single that scored 14th on the Billboard Hot 100.  In May 2011, the release of a compilation followed, each containing five hits of the two bands as well as two new titles and a mashup. The album rose to seventh place on the Billboard 200, in Canada it reached position six. The two groups were on a world tour from June 2011 to May 2012 under the title One night – One in a lifetime. They also performed in historic Fenway Park in Boston. On April 29, 2012, one of their concerts from the O₂Arena in London was broadcast live in 400 cinemas in Europe as well as worldwide.
After the end of the tour, New Kids on the Block held their South America & Mexico Tour with 10 concerts in August and September of the same year.
In 2010, the DVD Coming Home was released, which among other things shows concert and interview recordings since reunification began.
Just five years after The Block NKOTB published in January 2013, the single remix (I Like The), followed in April 2013 her studio album 10th It rose to number six on the Billboard 200.
Under the title The Package, NKOTB tours North America since May 2013, with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees acting as opening acts. On May 30, 2013, New Kids on the Block appeared with Aerosmith and other musicians at the benefit concert Boston Strong in the TD Garden, which was held for the victims and survivors of the attack on the Boston Marathon. Joey McIntyre himself had participated in the marathon as a runner and reached the finish just minutes before the bombing.
In 2019 New Kids on the Block is having a tour all across the USA and Canada where they are going to present their old hits and best songs.