Donnie Wahlberg acquired fame together a member the the 1980s pop group new Kids ~ above the Block, and also is the brother of actor and also rapper mark Wahlberg.

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Who Is Donnie Wahlberg?

In 1984, Donnie Wahlberg auditioned because that music producer Maurice Starr, who instantly enlisted Wahlberg to type the centerpiece of brand-new Kids on the Block. In 1994 the group parted ways. Wahlberg then determined to try acting. He first gained notice as an actor through his duty in the 1999 movie The 6th Sense. In 2008 new Kids ~ above the Block, now well-known as NKOTB, reunited. The group went on tour with Boyz II Men and also 98 levels in 2013.

Early Life and also Siblings

Donnie Wahlberg was born Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr. On respectable 17, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and also grew up in a predominantly Irish-American neighborhood that the city. He was the eighth of nine children; his younger sibling, mark Wahlberg, is likewise a well known entertainer. Wahlberg's mother, Alma Wahlberg, operated as a nurse's assistant at surrounding St. Margaret Hospital, and also his father, Donald Wahlberg, to be a van driver and active member of the international Brotherhood that Teamsters job union. With so many kids to administer for, the Wahlbergs were regularly strapped because that cash. Wahlberg's mother recalled, "When ns think about it now, i realize how difficult it was, but earlier then we never even realized it! We thought everyone had all this kids, everyone lived like this."


Though the family members was extremely close, attending church with each other every Sunday, arguments amongst siblings to be frequent. Donnie to be looked to as the family peacemaker. "We'd fight over clothes, or who had the prettier girlfriend, i beg your pardon of united state was the best athlete, stuff choose that," he later on recalled.

In the 1970s, when Donnie Wahlberg started elementary school, Boston was embroiled in fierce debate over the causing obligation busing that schoolchildren come enforce the desegregation of public schools. However busing placed Wahlberg's life top top a course towards fame and success. Wahlberg was bused more than half an hour each way to wilhelm Monroe Trotter School, a greatly Black elementary college in Roxbury. Top top those long bus rides, and at Trotter School, Wahlberg occurred a deep affection for the soul and also rap music popular amongst his black friends.


Wahlberg's music idol to be Michael Jackson, and he taught self the moonwalk and also saved his allowance to to buy a red leather jacket favor the one Jackson wore in the above "Thriller" music video. Soon Wahlberg and also Danny Wood, a friend likewise being bused to Roxbury, began spending their afternoons creating rap lyrics rather of your homework. "Being bused to institution in Roxbury to be the biggest thing that ever before happened to us," Wahlberg later on remembered.


Wahlberg's parents divorced once he was 12 years old, and he and also Mark visited live with their mommy while the rest of your siblings either relocated in v their father or were currently out top top their very own as young adults. Donnie and also his friend Danny Wood advanced together to Copley High School, where they created a rap group named the Kool aid Bunch. They maintained up rapping, Wahlberg says, "not since we assumed we'd be rap or run stars someday, but just because it was really fun and we love the girls screaming for united state at parties."

New youngsters on the Block

In 1984, in ~ the period of 15, Donnie's friends persuaded him come audition for well-known music producer Maurice Starr. Starr was holding open auditions to develop a brand-new boy tape of white teenagers to winter the success that his other band, the all African American R&B group brand-new Edition. ~ watching hundreds of auditions, Starr was amazed by Wahlberg's mix of singing, dancing and also rapping talent, and also immediately enlisted that to type the centerpiece the the brand-new group. Wahlberg quickly recruited brothers Mark and also Danny Wood, as well as another friend, Jordan Knight, and Knight's larger brother, Jonathan.

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However, unhappy v the band's pop-friendly creative direction, mark soon left the group and also was changed by another friend, Jaime Kelly. Starr didn't choose Kelly's style, however, and also soon changed him v his own recruit, Joey McIntyre, to kind the group's critical lineup. Lock eventually decided to call themselves brand-new Kids on the Block, a name taken from among Donnie's laboratory lyrics. Brand-new Kids ~ above the Block signed with Columbia Records and released your self-titled debut album in 1986. The group's very first single, "Be mine Girl," received practically no airplay exterior of Boston, and also album sales to be abysmal.