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The 'New Kids' Aren't Kids Anymore

WHAT grown woman can't look back and giggle at the celebrity crush that filled her teenage daydreams?

Forty years ago, the face plastered all over her walls might have been Elvis. But for many girls of the 1980s-era, it was the five darlings of the pop music group "New Kids on the Block."

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Producer Maurice Starr, who also created teenage-phenom group New Edition, put together the Boston-grown boys - Donnie Wahlberg, Joe McIntyre, Danny Wood, and brothers Jordan and Jon Knight - in the mid-1980s.

Their blend of hip-hop, rap, and fresh-faced good looks sent teenage girls to record stores and concerts in droves. They sold more than 50 million albums, had nine top-10 singles and made more money than Michael Jackson in 1991 with hit songs like "Hangin' Tough."

Girls swooned and money was made. Then

it was over. After recording their last album, "Face the Music," the group broke up in 1994. A spokeswoman from Columbia Records, the group's recording label, says, "Their time just passed."

So where are the original "Kids" now?

Only three of the group have stayed in show business. Donnie Wahlberg is pursuing a career in acting. He appeared in 1996's "Ransom" with Mel Gibson and is in a coming film, "Southie."

Jordan Knight and Joe McIntyre are both working on solo albums says Mr. Knight's manager Miguel Melendez. Besides working on his music, Knight has been "living life and being normal," says Mr. Melendez. "But his goal is to have his own recording label."

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Danny Wood and Jonathan Knight gave up showbiz's bright lights. Mr. Knight is in real estate and Mr. Wood owns some clothing stores - one store, "Culture Shock," is in Boston. None of the Kids went to college, says Melendez.

If you wonder "Whatever Happened to..." write us at: One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115; or e-mail to:

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