New Kids on the Block, By the Numbers

NKOTB's debut turns 30.


After getting a taste for the limelight with New Edition in the early ’80s, music entrepreneur Maurice Starr assembled a second Boston boy band—one that would become known to hordes of screaming teen fans as New Kids on the Block. They released their first album in April 1986 to relatively little fanfare, but within three years, they were dominating the airwaves with Hangin’ Tough. While the group’s meteoric rise saw an equally fiery plummet, we now find ourselves living in an era when a reformed NKOTB is still, remarkably, selling out shows. We consider the (not-so) New Kids, 30 years on.


Hangin’ Tough’s ranking on the “Greatest of All Time: ­Billboard 200 Albums.”


Price of the O.F.D. (Originally from Dorchester) burger at Wahlburgers.


The band’s original name.


Phone bill that singer Pink racked up as a young Blockhead calling the NKOTB hotline, 900-909-5KID.

Average Age of Members in Bands Managed by Maurice Starr

Year Founded: 1982
New Edition: 14.2

Ricky Bell: 15
Michael Lamont Bivins: 14
Robert “Bobby” Brown: 13
Ronnie DeVoe: 15
Ralph Tresvant: 14

Year Founded: 1984
New Kids on the Block: 14.4

Jonathan Knight: 16
Jordan Knight: 14
Joey McIntyre: 12
Donnie Wahlberg: 15
Danny Wood: 15

Year Founded: 2015
NK5: 10.0

Finess: 11
Gee Que: 9
Ice: 12
Lil Gee: 10
Lil Redd: 8

An NKOTB Timeline


New Kids on the Block forms in Boston.


The debut album New Kids on the Block is released. U.S. sales: 3 million copies.


The album Hangin’ Tough is released. U.S. sales: 8 million copies.

Original New Kid Mark Wahlberg attacks two Asian men; he seeks pardon
in 2014.


Massachusetts declares April 24 “New Kids on the Block Day.”


The album Step by Step is released. U.S. sales: 3 million copies.


The band files a defamation lawsuit to fight allegations of lip-syncing.


The album Face the Music is released. U.S. sales: 138,000 copies. The group disbands.


MTV unsuccessfully attempts to reunite the group for the VMAs.


The group reunites.


The album The Block is released. U.S. sales: 332,000 copies as of 2013.


The first NKOTB cruise sets sail.


NKOTBSB (the New Kids/Backstreet Boys hybrid) plays Fenway Park.


The album 10 is released, selling 51,000 copies in its first week.


NKOTB gets a Hollywood star.

Wahlburgers first opens its doors, with an accompanying reality show.


Donnie Loves Jenny, a reality show about Donnie Wahlberg’s marriage to Jenny McCarthy, debuts on A&E.


An NKOTB cruise is scheduled to sail from New Orleans to Cozumel in October.