New Edition, New Kids Square Off in 'Battle of Boston' at 2021 AMAs - Rolling Stone
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New Edition, New Kids on the Block Face Off in ‘Battle of Boston’ at 2021 AMAs

Two Boston-formed groups unite for hits medley including “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and “Candy Girl”

New Edition New Kids on the BlockNew Edition New Kids on the Block

New Edition and New Kids on the Block playfully squared off at the 2021 AMAs, performing in what the show billed as a "Battle of Boston."


New Edition and New Kids on the Block playfully squared off at the 2021 American Music Awards, performing in what the awards show called a “Battle of Boston.”

After a video intro, the two Boston-formed bands — who’d never performed together onstage — took turns in the spotlight, singing teases and hooks of various hits.

New Kids opened with their signature cut “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” nailing all the choreography (including the pendulum swing). New Edition then took over, naturally, with “Candy Girl,” employing their own array of classy dance moves.

It was basically rapid-fire nostalgia, with the non-stop medley touching on New Kids’ “Step By Step” and “Hangin’ Tough,” along with New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” and “Mr. Telephone Man.”

The two groups even tackled a couple tracks together, including the New Edition ballad “Is This the End,” before wrapping this supposed “battle” with celebratory hugs and cheers.

Clearly there’s nothing but love between the two acts. “It’s a brotherhood from Boston,” New Kids’ Donnie Wahlberg told The Boston Globe. “That’s how we see it.”

Olivia Rodrigo leads all 2021 AMA nominees with seven total, followed by the Weekend with six. Bad Bunny, Doja Cat and Giveon all tied with five nominations each.


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