WHEN the email landed in our inbox asking if we’d like to interview New Kids On The Block, we must admit we were excited to say the least!
Those handsome boys set our world on fire when they burst onto the pop scene back in the mid-’80s with hits such as Hangin’ Tough, Step By Step and You Got It (The Right Stuff).
Now, almost 30 years on, the sound of handsome frontman Jordan Knight’s voice – this time not on the radio but on the other end of our actual phone – is still setting OK!’s heart aflutter.
‘Hello, how are you?’ he drawls in his sleepy Massachusetts accent. ‘Where are you, London? I’m in Boston.’ In true Jerry Maguire style, our childhood pop heart-throb still has us at hello.
Looking back on a long, successful career, it’s easy to see how it could’ve all ended so differently for the singer.
Now 42 and happily settled with his wife of eight years, Evelyn, and their sons, Dante, 13, and Eric, six, Jordan faced a well-publicised battle with alcoholism, famously saying it was one particularly bad hangover seven years ago that made him realise he had to grow up for the sake of his kids.
And grow up he has. After the band split in 1994, Jordan went off to pursue a successful solo career, before reuniting with NKOTB – brother Jonathan Knight and pals Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood – in 2007.
Now they’re back with their sixth studio album, 10. And boy it’s a corker.
Here, speaking exclusively to OK! from his home in Boston, Jordan offers his advice to Justin Bieber on avoiding the pitfalls of fame, reveals how bandmate Donnie is stopping NKOTB from coming back to the UK and the line of questioning that made the ‘prudish American’ singer choke on his water midway through our interview…
Did you ever think starting out in 1984 that you’d be here, with such a huge fan base, almost 30 years later?
No, actually, I didn’t. I kept things open and I thought, anything is possible, but I didn’t force-feed it. For a couple of years before we reunited, of course I envisioned it, we all did. But 20 years ago I didn’t think we’d still be doing this in our forties. It’s more of a fun, joyful experience now. It’s not as crazy as it was before.
You were 14 when you joined the group – do you have any words of wisdom for Justin Bieber? He’s had a tough time recently…
I think Bieber’s doing the right thing. Don’t take any junk from nobody! [Laughs] No, I think lately Justin’s had a bad time of it. But nobody really sees what the guys are saying to him before he lashes out at them. The paparazzi say really mean, cruel things to you so they get that reaction. He’s young, he doesn’t know like, maybe I shouldn’t take the bait on this one.
Read the full interview at OK.co.uk.