By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Last year's New Kids on the Block return to the spotlight wasn't necessarily just a flash in the pan reunion: The five boys (now men) from Boston released a new album (The Block), a couple of hit singles ("Summertime" and "Single," the latter featuring Ne-Yo) and, now, are back on their second nationwide tour.
Maybe it helps that they have a new, aged look. Two of the five Kids—Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood—just turned 40; Donnie Wahlberg, meanwhile, is just a few months from that milestone, and the other two, Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight, aren't far behind.
So how did NKOTB bide the time between disbanding in 1994 and last year's reunion? Where do they go when adolescent girls decided they no longer had "The Right Stuff"? The answers, in descending order of desirability:
1. Jonathan Knight fared well as a real-estate developer in Essex, Massachusetts. The Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds lists multiple sales in excess of $1 million in which Knight acted as grantor. In other words, Knight doesn't have to sell bubblegum pop in order to make a mint.
2. Like his brother Mark, Donnie Wahlberg has channeled his talents toward acting. Among his film credits are Ransom, The Sixth Sense and Saw II, III and IV. This experience puts Wahlberg in elbow-brushing proximity to Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and a lot of screaming teenagers—a natural transition from the NKOTB days.
3. In 1999, younger Knight brother Jordan embarked on a solo career, with moderate success. His eponymous debut album garnered decent reviews, strong sales and an MTV Video Music Award nomination. His follow-up albums failed to do as well, however, including the nostalgic, completely un-ironic Jordan Knight Performs New Kids on the Block: The Remix Album.
4. Joey McIntyre has cultivated his theatrical side, playing a witch's love interest in Broadway's Wicked in 2004. One year later, he was the fourth contestant eliminated on Dancing With the Stars. The former boy band dancer was out-hoofed by actor John O'Hurley and model Kelly Monaco, with whom McIntyre was not, ahem, "Hangin' Tough."
5. Danny Wood appeared on the MTV UK series Totally Boyband. The show attempted to create a new band, called Upper Street, out of has-been former boy-band members. But Wood was the biggest celebrity in the lineup. Not surprisingly, Upper Street's first and only single, appropriately titled "The One," tanked dismally in England and never charted in the States.