Donnie Wahlberg Opens Up About New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Tour

He plans on covering Bon Jovi with Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean—in addition to other surprises

January 14, 2011 12:40 PM ET
Donnie Wahlberg Opens Up About New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Tour
Amy Graves/WireImage

Donnie Wahlberg is a busy man. He's deep in the midst of the meticulous planning for the massive New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys summer tour, but he's also got a full-time job portraying Detective Daniel Reagan on the CBS police drama Blue Bloods. "We just filmed a dinner scene and I ate about four pounds of that veal thing, osso bucco," he says. "I feel a little sick."

It's a 24/7 schedule few people would welcome, but Wahlberg says he thrives on it. "I don't sleep very much," he says. "I really like to work though. I feel like a kid in a candy store."

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Things will get even crazier in April when he goes into production rehearsal with his fellow New Kids and the Backstreet Boys for their tour. In a tough economic climate, the tour has been a gigantic success: Sixteen shows were just added to the itinerary, bringing the grand total to 41. "There were naysayers when the New Kids first re-formed in 2008 and there were naysayers for this," Wahlberg says. "It's sort of vindicating after years of people thinking we were sort of a flash in the pan."

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The idea of the two boy bands teaming up was first floated a year ago when somebody suggested that the Backstreet Boys might open up some New Kids shows. "I just thought that was ridiculous," says Wahlberg. "I didn't want to even insult them with that offer. That's a co-headlining show."

Last summer, the Backstreet Boys were the surprise guest at the New Kids' Radio City Music Hall show when they came onstage to sing "I Want It That Way." "It caused such a stir and we really got along with those guys," says Wahlberg. "We said 'hey, let's look into a co-headlining show.'"

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At preview performances during the American Music Awards and New Year's Rocking Eve the two groups performed their hits together, but Wahlberg says that won't always be the case during the tour. "Backstreet Boys fans don't want to hear the New Kids singing all of their hits," he says. "Just like our fans don't want to hear the Backstreet Boys singing all of our hits. I think we'll pick our spots when we want to work together onstage. We'll do some big numbers together, and a few surprises."

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