New Kids on the Block Day is celebrated every year on April 24. Today, you may be forgiven for not knowing who the famous boy band is. Born in 1984, it is widely considered the godfather of the modern boy band, N.K.O.T.B. was not an overnight sensation, but its hit album, “Hangin’ Tough,” released in 1988, made it an overnight sensation globally. Members of the group, and their music, had a profound impact on the music industry and paved the way for future groups like The Back Street Boys, NSYNC, and, more recently, Korean boy band B.T.S.
History of New Kids on the Block Day
Before 1984 the idea of a pop group made up entirely of young men didn’t exist in the manner defined by New Kids on the Block, as they were a completely new element in the music industry. Donnie Wahlberg was the first member recruited, accompanied by his high school friends, and for a brief stint even his brother, Mark Wahlberg. The eventual and final lineup consisted of Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood.
In 1986 their manager, Maurice Starr, managed to secure them a record deal with Columbia Records. Starr had the group rehearsing songs and dances and performing after school, on weekends, and during school breaks. However, their first album, “New Kids on the Block,” featured heavily bubblegum pop, enjoyed limited success, and was mostly aired in their hometown of Boston. Their second album, “Hangin’ Tough,” seemed destined to go down the same road, and Columbia Records considered dropping the group. Surprisingly, the album began to gain traction and it wasn’t long before they became the first teenage group to have five top 10 hits from a single album.
At the height of their popularity, they were the highest-grossing touring group in the U.S., even bringing Coca-Cola on board as their tour sponsor. In 1992, the group faced scandals and was accused of lip-syncing their live performances. This effectively altered the trajectory of the group, and although the accusations were false and the accuser recanted their statement, the following year the group split from Starr.
After cutting ties with their producer, they released “Face the Music,” their fourth album, which failed to gain any traction or generate album sales like previous records. The group would later disband in 1995. 13 years later, in 2008, they reunited and enjoyed some success and tours.
New Kids on the Block Day timeline
Maurice Starr discovers the Boston Quintet Group and produces their music which enjoys great popularity in the 1980s.
The first true Gangsta Rap song is released by Weaver, a genre of music that would later dilute interest in N.K.O.T.B.
The group is scheduled to open for Tiffany on a second tour, but after receiving unbelievable support and popularity in album sales, Tiffany ends up opening for N.K.O.T.B. at her concert.
German R&B band Milli Vanilli's lip-syncing scandal rocks the music world in 1989 — their Grammy and music contracts are revoked and places a spotlight on all musicians going forward.
New Kids on the Block Day FAQs
Are the Beatles considered a boy band?
Technically yes, as they were a group of musicians and men, but the term is more closely connected with pop music groups featuring young men.
Are N.K.O.T.B. still together?
Yes, while the group did split for 13 years, from 1995 to 2008, they are now reunited and producing music.
Why didn’t Mark Wahlberg join his brother in N.K.O.T.B.?
Believe it or not, Mark Wahlberg had the chance to join the group, he did for a few months but ended up leaving. He preferred a life of crime, and thankfully he eventually had a change of heart.
New Kids on the Block Day Activities
Listen to New Kids on the Block
Whether it’s your first time, or you a seasoned fan, enjoy one of the world's most beloved pop groups and listen to some of their greatest hits. You will love them!
Have an N.K.O.T.B. themed party
The music is great, and if you want to show off your knowledge of the group, you can play a little Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch too. Get ready for loads of fun.
Take a look at how talented and young they all were
Take the time to go and find a video or two of the group performing in the ‘80s. Their youngest member Joey McIntyre was only 12 when he joined.
5 Interesting Facts About Boy Bands
The Backstreet Boys are the greatest
With over 130 million records sold, the B.S.B. are one of the top 50 bestselling artists of all time and the most successful boy band.
Five individual artists competing on the British reality show, The X-Factor, were dismissed as individual acts and transformed into a group by judge and musical king-maker Simon Cowell, who placed third in the competition overall.
K-Pop breaks into U.S. charts
B.T.S., a global boy band phenomenon like none before, is the only K-Pop group to top the U.S. music charts.
What’s in a name
Originally, New Kids on the Block were named Nynuk, a throwaway name that producer Starr created — Columbia Records made them change it.
The Backstreet Boys were huge
After releasing their first album internationally, their European fans were so fanatical that many European hotels banned the group from staying with them, as they could not control the crazed crowds.
Why We Love New Kids on the Block Day
It's a reason to listen to N.K.O.T.B.
It’s not always everyone's cup of tea, but today, N.K.O.T.B. will have everyone in a good mood. It's what they did and still do.
It’s ‘90s nostalgia
Music from the ‘90s has a certain positivity and hope that music today doesn't always capture. It's amazing to just listen to those tracks again and be transported to a different time.
They’re the original boy band super group
Give credit where it is due! These guys deserve a day of recognition, and people should know that a rag-tag group of Boston teenagers was able to top the charts of America’s music industry.
New Kids on the Block Day dates