They have been around the block. On Monday, they took a stroll through their city.
Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block ran the 2014 Boston Marathon. Both finished in less than 4 hours. McIntyre clocked in at 3 hours and 48 minutes. Wood crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 50 minutes.
The jaunt was McIntyre’s sophomore effort. He ran his first Boston Marathon last year and completed the 26.2 mile race in the sub-4 hour mark that time as well. McIntyre runs to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Disease, which his mother suffers from.
Meanwhile McIntyre’s band mate participated in his first ever Boston Marathon this year. Wood, perhaps always the most physically fit of NKOTB, averaged an 8 minute and 47 second mile. His fundraising benefited Remember Betty, a non-profit that helps Breast Cancer patients.
“I did it!” Wood tweeted after the race. “So proud of Joe Mac, he crushed it! And thanks to all the BH’s cheering along the way!”
Those Blockheads used the hashtags #RunDannyRun and #RunJoeyRun to cheer on each singer and help them raise money for their respective charities.
“I’m gonna celebrate this one!!! 3:48:11 – thank u guys!!!” McIntyre wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo he posted after the race, a selfie that included his newly-earned medal.
Other celebrities that ran this year’s Marathon included Olympian Summer Sanders, former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, “Today” host Natalie Morales, and Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie. Mark and Donnie Wahlberg’s brother James also partook in the race.
Joey McIntyre’s Boston Marathon story begins as many others do: a native New Englander returning home to run for a specific cause. The New Kids on The Block singer’s mom suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and he raised over $38,000 for research with his efforts.
McIntyre finished the marathon in 3 hours and 57 minutes. At the 4:09 mark of the race, two explosions by the finish line completely changed how America would forever view the Boston Marathon.
At 2:58 PM, McIntyre tweeted that he was sure the explosion left “so many hurt,” but that he was fine. Dave Brown, NKOTB’s tour manager, confirmed to “The Ralphie Show” later in the afternoon that McIntyre and the group that he was with were OK. Brown said McIntyre ran the marathon on his own, and that no one else from New Kids was with him.
There was an explosion by the finish line about 5 minutes after I finished- I’m ok but I’m sure there are many hurt.
The artist told WBZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Boston, that he was shooting to complete the 26.2 mile trek in less than four hours. Just twelve minutes after he crossed the finish line, the explosions left three dead and over 140 injured. The FBI is investigating the attack.
Later on Monday evening, McIntyre summed up what many were feeling on his Twitter account.
I don’t know what to say. I feel for everybody involved with the Boston Marathon. My family is ok. I am ok. Gonna take a while to process.
“Donnie (Wahlberg) and me had been talking about it for a long time, as far as putting it together,” Stockman told “The Ralphie Show of the summer tour, which features the Philly singers along with New Kids on The Block and 98 Degrees. “Once it was released, I was nervous.”
No one involved with the tour has any reason to be nervous now, unless they’re uncomfortable with big crowds. Dates sold out quickly, and second shows along with new venues were quickly added to an itinerary that has swelled to over 30 performances.
“It’s exciting,” Stockman noted. “I really can’t wait. It’s something that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
“The Package” tour kicks off with three sold out shows this May at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
“The Package Tour” has created quite a buzz throughout the country. New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men join forces for a tour that was originally scheduled for a little over 30 dates this summer. But the demand for tickets has been overwhelming, causing second shows to be added in some cities and brand new venues to be attached to the itinerary.
Naturally – the media has had a little fun with the tour name and its popularity. Such headlines as “New Kids on the Block’s Tour Is Now a Bigger ‘Package’” have been popping up, no pun intended, across the Internet. NKOTB’s Joey McIntyre is cool with that; after all, he thought of the title.
“We were having a conference call, and they were like, ‘Once we put the package together…’ and I said, ‘Let’s call it ‘The Package,’” McIntyre told me in Los Angeles. “It has all the proper rock and roll innuendo so it’s perfect.”
The roots of this lineup date back to the last North American tour that NKOTB performed on with Backstreet Boys. During a stop in Orlando, Boyz II Men joined the bands on stage for a surprise cameo.
“The place went ballistic,” McIntyre recalled. “When you see it and you witness it, you’re like, ‘We gotta do this again.’”
The boys from Boston would then link up with 98 Degrees at the Summer Mix Tape Fest in Hershey, PA this past summer. Added dates to the tour include Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, second dates in Uncasville, CT and Beantown, and Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
The fellas of New Kids on the Block aren’t planning to re-retire anytime soon. In an interview that aired Thursday on “The Ralphie Radio Show,” Jordan Knight divulged the band plans to both release new music and tour next year.
“We are definitely moving forward in the recording studio, making new music,” Knight revealed. “It’s in the infancy stages right now but we’ll definitely have something ready by our tour next year.”
The “Give It To You” singer is prepping for his own tour, as he wraps up the “Live and Unfinished” trek with dates across Canada on October. But first, Knight and company will perform both nights of “Summer Mixtape Fest 2012,” a two-day celebration of pop music inside Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA. The lineup features everyone from Kelly Clarkson and The Fray to DJ Pauly D and Carly Rae Jepsen. Saturday’s roster includes LL Cool J, The Backstreet Boys, and the first concert from 98 Degrees in 10 years.
“I had some behind-the-scenes info. I knew it was going down,” Knight said of the comeback. “That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to, is seeing the reaction to the 98 Degrees reunion.”
When asked to recall what was most difficult about NKOTB’s comeback in 2008, Knight cited the pressure and uncertainty that surrounded the group.
“It’s a lot of pressure getting back in to the spotlight and the biggest thing is, you don’t know what to expect. So it is kind of nerve-wracking,” the singer explained. “When we came back and we performed on ‘The Today Show,’… we didn’t know how many people were going to show up. For us, that was the scariest thing.”
Nick Lachey and his crew may have a chance to experience those exact same feelings, as 98 Degrees will perform on “Today” before Saturday’s set in Hershey.
Before One Direction and The Wanted, before N’Sync, the Backstreet Boys, and 98 Degrees, there was New Kids on the Block. The music between the aforementioned acts spans three decades, and New Kids singer Donnie Wahlberg is happy the genre has exhibited staying power.
“In some ways, [One Direction and The Wanted] validate us,” the NKOTB star told me via telephone. “And I think our reunion has validated us in many ways as well. The fans that grew up with us came back.”
Wahlberg speaks proudly on not just his group’s return, but also the new generation of fans that have new music to grow up with.
“I think there’s a place in society for all different types of music,” he explained. “I’m glad that the young bands are coming out now and doing well because I think it validates what we did 25 years ago.”
Generations will collide August 17 and 18 in Hershey, PA, when New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, The Wanted, Kelly Clarkson, LL Cool J, and more converge on Hersheypark Stadium for the inaugural “Summer Mixtape Fest.” While Wahlberg seemed happy to speak about the state of pop music, he channeled personal experiences when commenting on the groups specifically.
“My opinion or my advice to them is really inconsequential,” Wahlberg stated, before offering his reasoning. “Yunno, the same way when I was 19 and they interviewed everyone from The Monkeys to Donny Osmond to one of The Beatles to whomever to give advice or to ask what they thought of us. When I was 19, I didn’t care what any of those guys thought about me.”
At 42 years old, it is easy for Wahlberg to reminisce on the path his group helped blaze given New Kids’ past success. The trip down memory lane becomes a little sweeter though when you factor in the group’s current run, which has lasted since 2008 and brought the band to new destinations that none of them thought were possible.
“It’s a really humbling experience; it’s been an amazing journey,” Wahlberg, who will turn 43 on the first day of the festival, said. “[The reunion] sort of turned a 19-20 year-old sort of college age experience that I look back on fondly in to a very mature and different experience now.”
The experience continues to play out, as New Kids will tour across five continents in 2012.
Boston born and New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg has a sunny disposition on the Red Sox’s offseason.
“In 2003, we lost game seven (of the American League Championship Series)… Grady Little and Pedro Martinez stayed in the game too long. Everyone thought it was the end of the world,” Wahlberg explained last weekend on the red carpet of Mohegan Sun’s 15th anniversary in Uncasville, CT. “We cleaned house, came back, and won the World Series. And that’s what’s going to happen next year.”
The BoSox have parted ways with their Manager and General Manager, amidst all types of reports on the activities of some players in the clubhouse during the Red Sox September slide, a slump which saw the team relinquish playoff contention. Thankfully for Wahlberg, his fall hasn’t been tumultuous whatsoever. NKOTB just announced a European tour, while the actor focuses on his CBS drama, “Blue Bloods” and newly opened restaurant, Wahlburgers, which is located near Boston.
Boston-born singer Michael Africk has been around the block a few times, and by block, I mean world. The former teen superstar opened for N’Sync, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. How in was the singer with these acts? None of them made him sign a confidentiality agreement. Africk also made a huge name for himself in Japan, playing sold out shows and becoming a sushi connoisseur of sorts in the process.
May is usually a big month for Jordan Knight – he celebrates his birthday on the 17. But in addition to turning the big 4-1, the New Kids on the Block singer will also release two albums on consecutive weeks. The NKOTBSB collaboration with the Backstreet Boys hits shelves May 24. Knight revealed on “The Ralphie Radio Show” that his solo project, Unfinished, will be released the following Tuesday.
“I had to push the release date back to May 31,” said Knight, who called in from his Boston home. “It’s very typical in this business to kind of push the dates back, but it’s still in May.”
Yunno, Knight has done this once or twice before. The original date was May 3, and the extra couple of weeks afford the artist more time to organize what will be a hectic spring and summer. In addition to the two albums and 41-date arena tour with BSB, Knight will also be holding autograph signings and performing radio promo events in support of his new album.
“Like you were saying earlier, (saying that I’m) being busy is ‘a gross understatement,’” Knight noted, referencing my introduction to our chat on “The RRS.” “I’ll probably be doing an in-store (signing) or maybe a radio show here, and then have to rush back to the arena to do the actual 2 hour show that we’re doing with the Backstreet Boys.”
The first single from Unfinished is the up-tempo track, “Let’s Go Higher,” written by “What You Got” singer and the Lady GaGa “Just Dance”-featured Colby O’Donnis. The Grammy-nominated O’Donnis had “Let’s Go Higher” in the bank for a minute. He sent it to Knight despite the fact that Jordan was looking for ideas for a track already created for the album.
“That was about a year ago,” Knight said. He flew out to O’Donnis’ house to cut the vocals. “They have an intercom system in the house. His mom would call up – ‘Colby, dinner’s ready!’ and he’d be like, ‘Yo Jordan let’s take a break, dinner’s ready.”
The New Kid spent a couple days at O’Donnis’ crib and had nothing but great things to say about the experience, and the food. Knight felt like a kid again because when his band was first starting out – it was a similar situation. The guys would rehearse in Knight’s basement, break for food upstairs, and return for more recording.
Knight did not talk with the other fellas about promoting his solo project over the summer. He insists that it will not conflict with anything that New Kids or BSB are doing on tour – if anything, the complete opposite.
“With all the people that I’m working on with my solo project, I told them all, ‘(The album) cannot get in the way of the New Kids on the Block,’” said Knight. “I don’t want there to be any kinds of conflict. I only want each thing to enhance the other.”
The New England-native believes that the NKOTB comeback will help his album, but that wasn’t the primary motivating factor in the release of his fifth solo LP.
“The resurgence of the New Kids obviously gives it a lot more exposure,” Knight admitted. “I’m happy about that.”
Above all, it seems that Knight is just happy to be in the mix again – solo or with the guys.
“It’s going to be exciting,” he said of his upcoming summer. “We’re going back on tour and it’s a huge arena tour with another ‘boy band’ and the excitement, the music, the fans… it’s just all so much fun.”