He was the tough bully of the successful boy group New Kids on the Block, broke millions of girls’ hearts in the 90s: Donnie Wahlberg. Today he is 48 and makes his money with minced meat burgers, among other things. What happened in between and what happened to his band colleagues? STYLEBOOK knows it!
Stonewashed jeans, oversized shirts, thick sneakers, fat blingers: When New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) conquered the charts in the late 80s and early 90s and revived the boyband era on their own, they represented the fashion trends of their time in retrospect. But as is well known, they change, and in the meantime founding member Donnie shows himself to be a stylish mid-forties. Mats and sideburns are long gone, and instead of XXL his shirts today emphasize the still well-trained body.
Five boys, a mega-success: Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan (from left). Kneeling in front Jordan’s brother JonathanPhoto: Getty Images
The Bad-Boy of the Boyband
With hits like “Tonight” and “Step by Step” the boys filled the halls, posters with their counterfeits adorned almost every youth room. As a bad boy with a tendency towards excess, Donnie repeatedly made headlines. In 1991 he was accused of arson in a hotel, but later the accusation was dropped. Three years later, in 1994, the band broke up: musically, the troupe couldn’t oppose the success of rap, grunge and euro-dance, fashionably, their look seemed outdated and the streetstyle bonds not very authentic. It wasn’t until 14 years later that the boys dared a reunion.
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Donnie and his brother Mark Wahlberg 1989 – fashionable somewhere between urban street look and MC Hammer-Poser-StylePhoto: Getty Images
Thanks to Marky Mark to Hollywood.
Already during his band career Donnie helped his one year younger brother Mark to a record deal as well. As Marky Mark he landed some hits (e.g. “Good Vibrations”, 1991), but only in front of the film camera he revealed his true talent: With “Boogie Nights” Mark Wahlberg (47) established himself, became a blockbuster star and won an Oscar nomination with his role in the scorsese mafia epic “The Departed”. Always by his side: Brother Donnie. His screen career was less spectacular, but with his appearance in the thriller “The Sixth Sense”, for which he starved himself extra 22 kilos, he impressed fans and critics. Other smaller roles followed, and since 2010 he can be seen alongside Tom Selleck in the crime series “Blue Bloods”. His first marriage, with two sons, failed in 2008, and Wahlberg has been married to US actress Jenny McCarthy since 2014.
Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy like to show themselves together on the red carpetPhoto: Getty Images
“Our Family, Our Story, Our Burgers”: The brothers Donnie, Paul and Mark Wahlberg have built an empire together Photo: Getty Images
The Wahlburger Empire
In addition to stage and film set, the Wahlberg brothers also have a business project in common: Together with their third brother Paul, they have been setting up a lucrative burger business since 2011, the slogan: “Wahlburgers. Our Family, Our Story, Our Burgers.” Meanwhile their chain includes more than twenty offshoots spread across the North American continent, and larger ones are planned: With the leap to London and Ireland, the enterprising brothers want to carry “their family concept and the Wahlberg touch” (Mark opposite “The Sunday Business Post”) into the world. In addition, they will be accompanied every step of the way by cameras for the reality format “Wahlburgers”.
Donnie Wahlberg is a true multi-talent: ex-pop star, TV actor, reality TV protagonist, Reunion boyband member and Burger restaurant bossFoto: Getty Images
Good hold, boys! Danny, Jonathan, Donnie, Joey and Jordan with New Kids on the Block 2017 in New York Photo: Getty Images
Comeback with NKOSTBSB
And how were the other band members? The girls’ favourites Jordan Knight (48) and Joey McIntyre (45) tried their hand at a music career for a while, but were not able to continue their old successes. Only Danny Wood (49) and Jonathan Knight (49) have become even quieter: The former is now the father of three children, Jonathan (49) outed himself in 2011 and has been engaged to his partner since 2016. Under the tongue twister NKOTBBSB a super band was formed in 2010 together with the Backstreet Boys, tour included. Since then, the five NKOTBBSB boys have been getting together at irregular intervals for smaller gigs, mini tours or cruise ship engagements, all of which have been drawing on their old fame. Midlife crisis NOT excluded.