8 Things You Didn’t Know About Donnie Wahlberg
6. Love for Music
When Donnie started elementary school, the Boston school system was in controversy over mandatory busing of children in order to enforce the desegregation of public schools, and while he didn’t know it then, it was this mandatory busing that would change his life. Wahlberg’s bus to school took half an hour each way and it is during this time he found his love for music especially soul and rap music. He quickly came to idolize Michael Jackson and before long Wahlberg and his friend Danny Wood began using their bus time to compose their own rap lyrics, with Wahlberg stating years later, “Being bused to school in Roxbury was the greatest thing that ever happened to us.”
After years of obsessing about music and creating his own lyrics, Donnie Wahlberg got his shot when he auditioned for talent agents Maurice Starr and Mary Alford who were looking to make a white counterpart to the quintet New Edition. Donnie immediately impressed the duo with his rapping and dancing and at 15 became the first member for the new group. He then helped recruit more members which included his friend Danny Wood, brother Mark Wahlberg as well as Jamie Kelly, Jordan Knight, but after Mark left because he didn’t like the direction of the group or music, 12-year-old Joey McIntyre was brought in. Eventually the group was signed to Columbia records under the name Nynuk but the record label demanded a change, so instead they were deemed New Kids on the Block after a rap song that Donnie wrote for their debut album.