‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Wishes Bandmate Jonathan Knight-Rodriguez a Happy Birthday

by Jennifer Shea

Blue Bloods star Donnie Wahlberg is showing some love for his New Kids on the Block bandmate Jonathan Knight-Rodriguez with a happy-birthday Instagram post. The NKOTB musicians have been friends since their teenage years. And now they’re palling around together in their fifties.

“Happy Birthday to my dearest friend, colleague and brother, @jonathanrknight!” the Blue Bloods star captioned an Instagram photo collage of the two of them. “When I look across the stage, and see your face, I know that everything is in its proper alignment. When I look across my life, and see you there, I know too — that everything is in its proper alignment. I thank god for you every day, Jon. I love you.”

New Kids on the Block Rocked the AMAs Last Sunday

Speaking of New Kids, it was the Battle of Boston last Sunday as the Blue Bloods star’s NKOTB battled 1980s boy band New Edition. The boy bands traded dueling hit songs at the American Music Awards. The bands, which both hail from Boston, performed selections from their combined 13 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, per Billboard.

NKOTB kicked the night off with “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” followed by “Step by Step,” “Please Don’t Go Girl” and “Hangin’ Tough.” New Edition followed each NKOTB song with one of their own – “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Is This the End,” “Can You Stand the Rain” and “If It Isn’t Love.”

Ever the collaborator, Wahlberg made a point of crediting New Edition, which came before NKOTB, with a mic drop in the pre-recorded video shown before the bands’ duel.

Between Blue Bloods and NKOTB, Wahlberg Has Been Busy

NKOTB reunited in 2008 and began touring again. They stopped when COVID-19 struck, but as the pandemic has waned, they have hit the road once again for the Mixtape Tour, which will continue in 2022. The band has arranged to have surprise pop-up guests in every city, Wahlberg told WGN News this month, and it promises to be a good time for Blockheads, as NKOTB fans like to call themselves.

When he’s not busy with NKOTB, Wahlberg has been immersed in Season 12 of Blue Bloods. The hit CBS show also stars Tom Selleck, Bridget Moynahan, Marisa Ramirez, Will Estes and Vanessa Ray, among others. That means Wahlberg has to divide his time between New York, where Blue Bloods films, and St. Charles, Illinois, where he’s made his home with wife Jenny McCarthy. (McCarthy also has work commitments in New York.)

“Even if I work Thursday and can’t fly home with her, she’ll book a flight that gives her a couple hours to spend with me on our set on her way to LaGuardia,” Wahlberg told CBS’s Watch magazine in 2019. “We—with our sons—really do everything to be together.”

And as the couple prepare to ring in a new year, Wahlberg is grateful for all the blessings in his life, including friends like Knight-Rodriguez.