1984 – present (33 years)
New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) is a successful boy band of the late 80s and early 90s, still performing to this day. Assembled in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. in 1984 by producer Maurice Starr, the members consist of brothers Jordan Knight and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. The group went on to sell over 70 million albums worldwide, generated hundreds of million of dollars of concert revenues, and roughly paved the way for acts like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.
NKOTB were awkward and enthusiastic on their 1986 debut, which wasn't surprising considering that the oldest members were barely 16 years old. Music impresario Maurice Starr, struggling for years as a sporadic solo artist, had some success with African-American group New Edition in terms of bringing the sunny pop and smooth rnb vocal group sound of the early 70s (as played by The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, and others) to an 80s audience. He aimed to do the same thing with NKOTB, but this time to a more white audience.
With their next album, 1988's 'Hangin' Tough', the group's image had toughened up and they had the material to support it. From the saccharine ballad "I'll Be Loving You Forever" to the title track's stab at something like white funk, the band had a seemingly endless streak of hits in 1988 and 1989. Their Christmas album even went double platinum. NKOTB mania continued with 1990's 'Step by Step'; even if it sold five million copies less than 'Hangin' Tough', it still sold three million copies. Tracks such as "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "Step by Step" were pop staples on the radio. But that was the end of the road for their short time in the sun— they were the subject of an endless amount of jokes and were getting no respect as they faced a critical backlash.
Besides, their audience was growing up. In 1994, they returned with the Starr-less 'Face the Music', which actually showed a remarkable musical maturity— they were arguably a credible urban rnb outfit by this point— but hardly sold anything, even if they were packing theaters on tour. In June of 1994, the band announced that it had acrimoniously parted ways and all of the members were pursuing solo careers
In 2008, the members regrouped, and they soon recorded and released their first single together as New Kids On The Block titled "Summertime" from a new album titled simply 'The Block'. That album featured artists such as Ne-Yo, Lady Gaga, New Edition, and Akon. Success touring alongside (and generally hanging out) the members of the Backstreet Boys also led to the creation of the NKOTBSB project.
Their latest album was 2013's '10', which showed a sound influenced by dance pop and adult contemporary styles and also involved working with a set of hit producers. They released the bouncy single "Remix (I Like The)". Supported by a deliberately campy music video, that track hit #38 in the U.S. Adult Top 40 chart.
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