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©AP / Donnie Wahlberg
© AP / Donnie Wahlberg
Donnie Wahlberg: Boy band union is strong for summer tour
By JOHN CARUCCI, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- For Donnie Wahlberg, it's not a matter of "Why now?" but rather "Why not?"

The recording artist turned actor was referring to the news of a major tour with his group, New Kids on the Block, who'll be joined this summer on The Package tour by 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.

"The state of the boy band union is strong," Wahlberg joked Tuesday. "Even though technically we're not really boy bands, but we're OK with that, so we'll accept it."

Bing: Boy bands promising whole 'Package'

The three bands sold millions of records in the 1980s and '90s and helped usher in a wave of vocal groups that continues today.

The Boston-based NKOTB formed in 1984 and amassed 10 Top 20 hits. They broke up in 1994 but got back together after a 14-year hiatus. Wahlberg said he feels the break coincided with the maturation of their fan base.

"They needed time to have families and husbands and children and get jobs and live their life," Wahlberg said.

But now he sees his band's music as a complement to the fans' adult lives.

"We created an outlet for them to feel good about themselves and tap into that youthfulness that had been put to bed for a long time. ... You may be 40, but the euphoria of it makes you feel 14 all over again," Wahlberg said.

The band also announced a new single, "Remix (I Like The)," which will be released Jan. 28, and a new album, "10," which is out April 2.

That music will be a bit more mature than some of the band's previous material, member Joey McIntyre said.

"It is about the decisions that a grown man makes and goes through, as opposed to singing songs like 'Popsicle,'" he said.

Nathan Morris, one of the members of Boyz II Men, known since the early 1990s for such hits as "I'll Make Love to You" and "End of the Road," said the tour is going to be all about performing.

"If the boy band thing is attached, it's wonderful, but for all of us in here, we're ready to get out there and sing and perform," he said. "That's just what we do."

Though 98 Degrees are the youngest group of singers on the bill, they have been apart the longest: 12 years.

"So we're excited to get back together and doing what we do," member Nick Lachey said. "We feel reinvigorated by our bond and by our group, so we're very excited by that."

Wahlberg, who stars as Detective Danny Reagan on the CBS television series "Blue Bloods," about several generations of a family of New York police officers, said the tour, kicking off May 31 in Uncasville, Conn., and continuing into July with more than 30 dates, is going to be "great."

"You have three acts that have lots of records, lots of fans," he said. "Fans that are anxious to sing those records and anxious to sing other bands' records, too."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Jan 23, 2013 4:51PM
For the men complaining--have you ever had 30,000 woman scream for you?  Wait hours in the weather to see you? Or sell out 5 cruises at 3000 each ship for you? Jealously is what you have going for you
Jan 23, 2013 10:03AM
I am a grown Adult and even today as a man I still enjoy listening to New Kids on the Block there Music has been very inspirening and help pave the way for other bands that we in joy the most as well. I Remember when i was about 10 I had a babysitter who brought a type of Music Video's and Me and My Brother Dance and Sang to NKOTB and we would argue which proformer we were I always thought i was jordon and my brother was Donnie and my brother would say no your donnie the bad boy and I'm Jordon and know i not sure what his talk on the group i think it might of changed but me on the other hand will always injoy and love listening to the group and all the others aswell. So I'd like to just finish off buy saying welcome back and hope there is a couple decades of many more hits to come.
Jan 23, 2013 8:59AM
I actually bought a Hangin Tough cd from the store a few weeks ago and have been listening to it every morning. My husband keeps getting pissed at me. I have to laugh because all the boys used to dog on the band when I was younger. Some things never change.
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