On those long bus rides, and at Trotter School, Wahlberg developed a deep affection for the soul and rap music popular among his black friends.Wahlberg's musical idol was Michael Jackson, and he taught himself the moonwalk and saved his allowance to buy a red leather jacket like the one Jackson wore in the iconic "Thriller" music video.After watching hundreds of auditions, Starr was amazed by Wahlberg's combination of singing, dancing and rapping talent, and immediately enlisted him to form the centerpiece of the new group.Wahlberg quickly recruited brother Mark and Danny Wood, as well as another friend, Jordan Knight, and Knight's older brother, Jonathan.At first, he landed only bit parts as drug dealers or other tough-guy types in films such as , which—like the group's previous projects—reached No. The band backed the album with a world tour, and though they weren't nearly as popular as they had been two decades before, New Kids on the Block again achieved success by reconnecting with their long-lost diehard fans.In the summer of 2013, Wahlberg performed with rest of NKOTB on the Package Tour to support their new album, 10.
Starr was holding open auditions to create a new boy band of white teenagers to mirror the success of his other band, the all African-American R&B group New Edition.However, unhappy with the band's pop-friendly artistic direction, Mark soon left the group and was replaced by another friend, Jaime Kelly.Starr didn't like Kelly's style, however, and soon replaced him with his own recruit, Joey Mc Intyre, to form the group's definitive lineup.In 1984, he auditioned for music producer Maurice Starr, who immediately enlisted Wahlberg to form the centerpiece of New Kids on the Block. on August 17, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in a predominantly Irish-American neighborhood of the city.He was the eighth of nine children; his younger sibling, Mark Wahlberg, is also a famous entertainer.We thought everyone had all these kids, everyone lived like this." Though the family was extraordinarily close, attending church together every Sunday, arguments among siblings were frequent. "We'd fight over clothes, or who had the prettier girlfriend, which of us was the best athlete, stuff like that," he later recalled.In the 1970s, when Donnie Wahlberg began elementary school, Boston was embroiled in fierce controversy over the mandatory busing of schoolchildren to enforce the desegregation of public schools.But busing put Wahlberg's life on a course toward fame and success.Wahlberg was bused more than half an hour each way to William Monroe Trotter School, a mostly black elementary school in Roxbury.Soon Wahlberg and Danny Wood, a friend also being bused to Roxbury, began spending their afternoons composing rap lyrics instead of their homework."Being bused to school in Roxbury was the greatest thing that ever happened to us," Wahlberg later remembered.