What Every Member Of New Kids On The Block Is Doing Today

Before BTS, before Backstreet Boys, before NSYNC, there was New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). With the release of their second album, 1988's Hangin' Tough, Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood became instant teen idols with their hit singles "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," and, of course, the title track itself. They scored another hit at the turn of the century with "Step by Step," but despite selling 80 million records worldwide, musical tastes changed, and the band broke up in 1994 after a ten-year run. 

After a 14-year break, the band reunited and released their comeback album, The Block. Since then, the band has been touring non-stop to their legions of fans and show no signs of slowing down. In 2014, New Kids on the Block received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the success they have enjoyed was something they never imagined. "When we started, our concept of being really famous was, like, being known in Boston," Wahlberg explained (via Variety). "That was our goal, to walk down the street and have the local pizza guy say, 'Hey Donnie good work. Hey, have a slice!'"

The New Kids on the Block are all middle-aged now, so they're not hangin' as tough as they used to, but they're still hangin' nonetheless. Here's what every member of one of the most popular boy bands of all time is doing today.

Donnie Wahlberg talks police brutality

Donnie Wahlberg has enjoyed being the member of NKOTB with the highest-profile after their breakup. To selling burgers with his brother Mark Wahlberg, his marriage to Jenny McCarthy in 2014, and his lengthy acting career (remember him in The Sixth Sense?), the former bad boy of the group has never really left the spotlight. However, he might be best known to cable-viewing audiences right now as Detective Daniel "Danny" Fitzgerald Reagan on the hit CBS cop drama, Blue Bloods

Wahlberg has been part of the main cast since its debut in 2010, but in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in response to police brutality and deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Wahlberg admits that the show will need to address this. "One of the good things about Blue Bloods is that when topical stuff comes up, the family always has different points of view, but I do think that, of course, we have to look at everything that's going on in America right now and address it," he told TV Insider. "I think we can certainly be more mindful and do a better job of how we do this."

Wahlberg added that "everybody in this country has to take a closer look at themselves right now," and the show will, as well. "It's a good opportunity for us to really engage in a lot of what's going on, but also maybe help the discussion and be a part of the discussion," he said.

Donnie Wahlberg wants to teach you about serial killers

At the time of this writing, Blue Bloods is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Donnie Wahlberg has shifted to serial killers. Well, talking about them, that is. The host of HLN's Very Scary People, Wahlberg is a true crime fan who delved into why he's torn on whether or not he wanted the series (now in its second season) to run for a long time.

"It is a conundrum. It's a fascinating show. I like crime shows, so it's a genre that I enjoy. I hope, however, that there aren't a lot more scary people coming up; I think there's enough out there that we haven't learned about that we can explore on the show," he told TV Insider. "In terms of its information and quality, I love being a part of it. Hopefully, we can keep it on a historical level."

The subject of serial killers will seemingly always be a topic people will flock to, but Wahlberg doesn't think viewers of Very Scary People identify with the subjects of the show. "I don't think they like the bad guys. It's fascinating to see how investigations can go on so long and then something little [is uncovered] that changes [things]," he said.

Jonathan Knight is now living openly gay

During a 2000 interview with People, Jonathan Knight revealed that he was the first member of NKOTB to "jump ship" in 1994. "We performed in front of 30,000 people every night," he said, "and I had lots of anxiety attacks. Those attacks had a big impact on my determining to leave the entertainment industry." So why wouldn't a hot-blooded dude not want to perform in front of screaming women every night? 

Knight revealed that during his teenage years and the band's popularity, he was struggling with his sexual identity. "If we were then where we are today, I would have been openly gay from day one with the New Kids and it wouldn't have been an issue," Knight told ET in 2016. "Back then there was such a stigma that I couldn't even tell my best friend. These girls I went to prom with were really good friends and today most girls love gay guys and would be like, 'Yeah! Let's go to prom!'" He added, "Being able to be open back then, we would've just had a better time. I know I would have."

Knight has now been happily engaged to his longtime boyfriend, fitness instructor Harley Rodriguez (above left), since 2016. During an appearance on Jenny McCarthy's SiriusXM series, The Jenny McCarthy Show, Knight revealed that he and Rodriguez have "always considered ourselves a married couple."

Jonathan Knight enjoys life on the farm

During an interview with the Boston Herald in 2019, Jonathan Knight revealed that he and Harley Rodriguez have been renovating and maintaining a farm in Essex, Massachusetts. His dream to own his own farm comes from his life on a farm during his childhood. "When (my family and I) lived in Dorchester, we had three-quarters of an acre," he said. "We had sheep, a couple of goats, a pony, two pigs, some pigeons, and roosters. We always had some type of animal coming through there."

The farm boasts a fully restored barn that was built in the 1700s, "a bountiful garden" (Knight wants to be able to donate the produce to a food bank eventually), and "six chickens, three horses, and 11 ducks." The farm even has four operational beehives that Knight doesn't go near. "I'm actually so afraid of the damn things, so I stay away from them," he said. "My mother went and took the beekeeping course with my nephew, so they're the ones that are in charge of all that. They start swarming at me and I start running for my life."

Knight reveals that work on the farm is "never-ending," but luckily, it's a family affair. "It's a lot of work, just even cutting the grass," Knight said. "The good thing is my family seems to migrate up here every weekend. When I'm not looking I'll suddenly see my sister jump on the lawnmower and just start mowing."

Could Jonathan Knight be the next HGTV star?

October 19, 2018, HGTV announced in a press release that Jonathan Knight would star in a new pilot for the channel. "Renovation expert Jonathan Knight, best known as a member of the Grammy-nominated boy band New Kids on the Block, will take fans step-by-step when he restores a centuries-old New England farmhouse in a new HGTV pilot, Farmhouse Fixer," the press release read. "The episode will feature Jonathan—who has renovated more than 200 houses over 20 years—as he preserves the farmhouse's historic charm and adds a modern layout with high-end amenities. The pilot is slated to air in 2019."

Knight added, "Old farmhouses are American treasures. Most have been in the same family for 200 years and have never been renovated. And they're disappearing fast. If we don't save them, they're going to be gone." However, 2019 came and went, and the pilot for Farmhouse Fixer was nowhere to be found. So what's the deal?

In early 2020, Knight gave an update on the show that should give fans of NKOTB and farmhouse renovations reasons to celebrate. "You've all been patiently waiting for my HGTV show...Bad news is you have to wait a bit longer," Knight tweeted. "The pilot didn't air this fall because...THEY GAVE ME AN ENTIRE SERIES. Working hard to get these episodes filmed so I can share it with all of you in 2020."

Jordan Knight in the time of COVID-19

Former boy band stars, they're just like us – living through COVID-19. During an interview with Boston Magazine, Jordan Knight discussed how his life has changed while the novel coronavirus rages through the United States. "These are just bizarre times that we're living in right now," he mused. "I went to Target the other day, and everyone was walking around with gloves and a mask on, myself included, and I was like, 'I feel like we're in a movie.' It's crazy."

Knight, who married Evelyn Melendez in 2004, currently lives in Milton, Massachusetts, with their two children. Knight also went through his daily routine during the quarantine. "After I wake up, I watch the stock market for two hours in the morning, and then I exercise. After, I take a long drive to whichever Starbucks is open. There aren't many that are [operating], so I sometimes drive for half an hour, which is fine by me because there's nothing else to do. On the way, I usually jump on the phone and talk to friends or whoever it may be. I come home, and hang out a little bit, have dinner [with my wife and kids]. Then we'll watch some TV and maybe I'll get on the phone again and talk to somebody, and then we go to sleep."

Knight revealed his wife got him binge-watching Grace and Frankie and that his quarantine comfort food is "cookies and milk."

Jordan Knight had an opinion on Donald Trump

President Donald Trump came under attack after a Rose Garden press briefing in the spring of 2020 when he told CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang to "ask China" about the coronavirus deaths in America. "Why are you saying that to me, specifically?" Jiang, who is of Chinese descent, responded. Trump replied that he would have answered the same to "anybody that asks a nasty question."

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Knight said the media was attempting to "twist, distort and magnify everything into a racist story" and that Trump's comments weren't racist "unless you are viewing everything through a racial lens" (via NKOTB Blog). "To make it more clear folks," he continued, "he would have responded that way to ANY reporter there! He would have said 'Ask China' to a white male reporter in the same tone! How many times has he got into it with Jim Acosta? But nooo the media connects 'ask China' with the Asian reporter and now it's a racist comment."

Nope. He wasn't done. "Give me a break. Whatever you think of him, is fine with me," he continued. "I'm just calling out the blatant BS and narrative and spin of the media in this particular little exchange. And whatever you all think of my tweets about this and whatever you think about me for tweeting it... it's all good. I [love] all of you and we can disagree." That take aged well, huh?

Danny Wood claims his mother's death affected his divorce

Five years after NKOTB disbanded, Danny Wood's beloved mother, Betty Wood, passed away from breast cancer at the age of 55. "So, she had a rough two years of treatment," Wood told ET in 2018. "My mom really suffered and it was a hard decision for her to make, but she couldn't do any more chemo in the end." Wood was present at her bedside when she died in 1999, and the overwhelming grief that followed was a factor in his 2006 divorce from Patty Alfaro, Wood admits.

"She was so influential in my life that I just didn't accept it. Between me and my ex-wife, it was that for me and other issues for her, ending our marriage," Wood explained. "But there was always this underlying pain there that I hadn't really addressed because I was just trying to get through life," He then found a way to channel his grief and to honor his mother's memory by creating Remember Betty, a foundation to help cover the financial burdens of NKOTB fans fighting breast cancer.

"Throughout the past seven or eight years, we've had a lot of girls pass away," Wood told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2015. "They take a photo with us and then they're gone. It's a priority for me, and it's also connected my kids to my mother." As of 2015, the foundation had raised $1.5 million.

Danny Wood is now a grandfather living the single life

Feel old yet? Danny Wood is a grandfather. "On August 14th I was blessed with another gift in my life, Rose Elizabeth Wood, my #granddaughter," he wrote on Instagram in 2019, accompanied by a photo of himself holding his new bundle of joy. "She's so beautiful and I'm a lucky man!" If it seems like Wood is tight with his family, that's because he is.

During a 2015 interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, we learned that Wood has been living in Miami since 1998 with his four children. And he's living the dream. "The weather and the beaches are great for me and I can live a very normal life," says Wood, "I go to Whole Foods and Publix and Target. I'm a single, divorced dad and can do all the things that are necessary."

Wood was 46 at the time of the interview and had no illusions about being middle-aged and still part of a boy band. "It's not realistic to be like we were and we're well aware of that," he said. "We're not trying to fool anybody, but we're proud of who we are. We're proud of being a boy band taking 15 years off and getting back together."

Joey McIntyre's television show helped his marriage

Joey McIntyre was 12 when he joined NKOTB, but the "baby" of the group has done pretty well for himself since the band's glory days. He's had a Billboard Hot 100 solo hit with "Stay The Same" in 1999, a modest acting career with appearances on Fuller House, Psych, CSI: NY, and a seventeen-episode run on the legal drama, Boston Public.

But in 2017, McIntyre found himself the star of his own show, the comedy series Return Of The Mac, where he played a fictionalized version of himself. The show only lasted eight episodes, but the experience brought him closer to Barrett Williams, his wife since 2003. "It was fun to share the experience with her, and I think couples can relate — they both have jobs, they come home after a long day, and it's all about the kids, then you barely have time to talk about your lives," he told ET in 2017. "To not have to go through that and know that we were sharing the same experience and on the same journey was very cool for us."

Barrett "loved" the experience and found putting a fictionalized version of their lives onscreen took a bit getting used to. "It was definitely a learning curve — in the beginning it was like, 'Oh, I have to know where the camera is!' But it was fun and I just tried to keep it simple and enjoy it," she said.

Joey McIntyre: Broadway star

Six years after NKOTB disbanded in 1994, Joey McIntyre found another way to perform on stage – he headed to Broadway. In 2001, the former heartthrob made his professional theater debut in the off-Broadway production of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! alongside another '80s teen idol, Molly Ringwald. He made his Broadway debut in 2004 by assuming the role of Fiyero in the smash hit, Wicked.

From 2006 to 2019, McIntyre starred in productions of Happy Days!, The KidA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Waitress, Twelfth Night, and The WandererMcIntyre's theater career is going so well, he packed up his family and moved to New York City in 2018 after 15 years in Los Angeles. "I put that out in the universe, so it's not a coincidence I'm doing a musical before I head back. I want to be in that world again. I've driven down Beverly Boulevard [in Los Angeles] enough," he told Billboard.

"Theater has been so important to me and my family over the years. Mom performed in church and at the Footlight. Dad came up in Boston politics and that can be a song and dance show. I love sports but I grew up in the theater, starting at age six. I learned about music by being on stage. I was in shows like Oliver! and The Music Man," he told Billboard. "There's nothing but joy in the theater. There's an openness to everything."