New Kids on the Block
Donnie! Jordan! Jon! Danny! Joey! Now, read that again, but pretend like each name is being screamed by thousands of adolescent girls, and you'll start to recall the N.K.O.T.B. phenomenon during its heyday in the late 1980s. Just call them Elvis in boy-band form: impresario Maurice Starr had so much success with New Edition that he decided to replicate the model with suburban white boys. Boston auditions for the group produced 15-year-old Donnie Wahlberg, who brought in his younger brother Mark (who eventually quit), best friend Danny Wood, classmate Jordan Knight and Jordan's older brother Jon. Starr recruited the baby-faced 12-year-old Joey McIntyre, and the completed group set out converting a preteen flock via gigs in malls and at school dances. Hangin' Tough cemented their international stardom in 1988, paving the way for boy bands like the Backstreet Boys. A few years later, however, the group's audience was maturing and their popularity was waning, and in 1994, they broke up and began pursuing solo careers. Two subsequent reunion attempts failed, but 2008 found the boys back together, recording new material and once again climbing the charts with new single "Summertime."