‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Gets Emotional With NKOTB Celebrating Man That Started It All

by Josh Lanier
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Donnie Wahlberg believes it was meant to be. The Blue Bloods star recently returned to the rehearsal studio with his band NKOTB. Joining them was another 1980s and 90s boy band sensation, New Edition. The first day of rehearsals just happened to be the birthday of Maurice Starr, the man who created both groups and the modern boy band phenomenon.

Donnie Wahlberg shared a video on Instagram that looks like it came from a photoshoot for Tiger Beat in 1992. It features some of the biggest heartthrobs for elder Millenials. They also put their million-dollar voices to work and sang happy birthday to Starr in what is technically their first-ever collaboration.

“Hard to believe that God didn’t have this all planned,” Wahlberg wrote. “The very first day that @nkotb and @newedition set foot in a rehearsal studio together, in the history of our bands, was also the birthday of the man who helped bring both respective bands together over 30 years ago. The man who discovered both bands. The man who changed every one of our lives. The love and respect that @nkotb and @newedition share with each other could never be possible without Maurice Starr. … The chance to say “thank you” together, was clearly God’s work.”

New Edition and NKOTB performed last night at the American Music Awards in the “Battle of Boston.” Both bands are from Beantown. They shared the stage and performed a medley of hits from both groups. That included “Step By Step” and “Hangin’ Tough,” from NKOTB and New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”

Wahlberg said the rivalry was more a marketing gimmick than a reality.

“It’s a brotherhood from Boston,” he told the Boston Globe. “That’s how we see it.”

Donnie Wahlberg Talks About Life in the Spotlight

Starr formed NKOTB in 1984. Donnie Wahlberg was the first person he picked to join the band. That decision catapulted Wahlberg into the spotlight, something he says looking back, he wasn’t ready for.

“I would read criticism in the local papers where I grew up,” the Blue Bloods star told CBS in 2012. “I wanted to be in those newspapers. And now I am for all the wrong reasons. All I was doing was making pop records and I’m splashed on the pages for this. And all these wrong deeds.”

After the band stopped performing in the 1990s, Wahlberg focused on acting and was a major success there as well. But he still struggled with fame. It wasn’t until he joined social media that he realized how to better handle it.

“Twitter helped me as an adult because I realize if I shine a light on the one negative comment and don’t pay attention to the three million positive ones that come in, I’m bringing attention to the negativity,” he said. “I’ve learned to ignore the bad stuff and focus on the good stuff and I have the power to eliminate the negative stuff if I choose to, and that’s what I choose to do.”

Outsider.com