Born on December 31, 1972, in Needham, MA. Addresses: Record company--Q Records, Mail Code #309, 1365 Enterprise Drive, West Chester, PA 19380, phone: (484) 701-8744, website: http://www.qrecords.cc. Website--Joey McIntyre Official Website: http://www.joeymcintyre.com.
As the youngest member of New Kids on the Block, Joey McIntyre provided the falsetto vocals to some of the Boston-area group's biggest hits--"Please Don't Go Girl," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "I'll be Loving You (Forever)." Often thought of as simply the "cute" one in the teen supergroup, McIntyre has emerged as a viable solo artist since the breakup of New Kids on the Block in 1994.
Raised in an upper middle class neighborhood near Boston, Massachusetts, McIntyre is the youngest of nine children born to a community theater actress. In elementary school, he followed in his mother's footsteps, joining the cast of a local production of Oliver! Shortly thereafter, Maurice Starr, who founded the R&B group New Edition, recruited the then 12-year-old McIntyre to join his new project, New Kids on the Block. Although the act's first album, New Kids on the Block, failed to produce any hits, their label, Columbia Records, saw future success and offered the group the opportunity to record a sophomore effort. That record, Hangin' Tough, and the top ten singles "Hangin' Tough," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "Cover Girl," "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," and "Please Don't Go Girl," pushed New Kids on the Block into the superstar status category during 1988-89.
New Kids on the Block released Step by Step, Face the Music, and Merry, Merry Christmas before disbanding in 1994. According to McIntyre's Q Records biography, the next five years were an adjustment for the singer as he had spent most of his teenage years with New Kids on the Block touring, doing interviews, and making television and personal appearances. When that came to a halt, McIntyre, without management, was not sure where to go next. "The best part of that fame was when it was all about performing, just us and the crowd...," he told Billboard in 1999. "The worst was when we started to lose that, when all of the outside stuff began to affect us. We're only human; there was no way it couldn't impact us at such a young age."
First, McIntyre decided to return to acting. He landed a starring role in the film version of The Fantasticks, working with a cast that included Oscar-winner Joel Grey, in 1995. It seemed to be the perfect project for McIntyre, who had always admired the big band work of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. However, McIntyre found little success with acting. It was fellow New Kid Donnie Wahlberg who persuaded McIntyre to begin writing pop tunes. Wahlberg and McIntyre's former bandmate, Danny Wood, also joined the project.
When McIntyre finished work on his new songs for an album, he approached the New Kids' former label, Columbia, about releasing it. The label turned him down. Because McIntyre did not have a record deal, he offered the songs on his website. The reaction was rabid, so he pressed 2,000 CDs, one of which he gave to his local pop station, KISS-108 (WXKS-FM) in Boston. It included the gospel-tinged ballad "Stay the Same," which became a hit. Other radio stations heard about the tune and requested copies of the CD.
After the project was proven a success, Columbia Records contacted McIntyre and signed him to its affiliate, C2 Records. He took the songs he had and turned them into a full-length album, Stay the Same. It was a musical diversion from his years with New Kids on the Block. Instead of relying heavily on samples and synthesized sounds, he decided to use live musicians as his backup. McIntyre also branched into the genres of blues, rock, and dance on the album.
Stay the Same proved a popular success. The single "Stay the Same" peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in April of 1999, while the album went on to sell more than 500,000 copies. During a subsequent tour, McIntyre stayed away from shows that would pair him with New Kids' siblings such as 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Groups hired as support acts for teen groups are generally limited to just a microphone and recorded background music. Not wanting to venture into that arrangement, McIntyre and his band headed out on a series of small headlining club dates that would add further credibility to his reputation as a serious musician. "My predicament is this," he told Jim Sullivan of the Boston Globe in 2001. "My music is pop, but to me it's much more in depth than the regular pop stuff. I don't want to open for 'N Sync; I'd rather open for Smash Mouth or Sugar Ray. I need exposure to a crowd that normally wouldn't buy my record." McIntyre made frequent appearances on MTV and parlayed those visits into a job hosting the Las Vegas version of the channel's Say What Karaoke.
While New Kids on the Block sang of teen crushes, McIntyre's collection touched on lust but focused on spirituality and the belief in one's self. He told Hip Online in 1999 that his beliefs helped him get through the tough times that followed New Kids on the Block's breakup. "The more you just concentrate and focus on what you want to do and believe in yourself, the more you know it's gonna happen for you. It's all a real crap shoot. I mean, six months ago, I couldn't get arrested, but the human spirit is very powerful. You just gotta hang in there and let the good things start happening."
When McIntyre and C2 parted ways, he inked a deal with the fledgling Q Records, owned and operated by the cable television network QVC. For his sophomore effort, Meet Joe Mac, McIntyre called in heavy hitters as collaborators--Mark Plati, whose credits include work with David Bowie; Walter Afanasieff, who worked with pop diva Mariah Carey; and guest vocalist Fred Schneider of The B-52's, who appears on "National Anthem of Love." Meet Joe Mac, like Stay the Same, features organic instrumentation ranging from acoustic and electric guitars to symphonic strings. The mood on the album is at times much lighter than Stay the Same. McIntyre raps on the funky "NYC Girls" and pokes fun at love on "National Anthem of Love."
The release of Meet Joe Mac was met with critical acclaim. Sarah Rodman of the Boston Herald described McIntyre's voice as "both gritty and velvety, and his delivery, like his songwriting, has become more emotional without veering too often into melodrama. Even his ballads soar without gloppiness, particularly the lovely 'Easier.'" In a review of the single "Rain," Billboard said that "Top 40 programmers have grown testy about revisiting the format's past, so McIntyre might meet resistance, but it's their loss. 'Rain' could mark the dawn of a new day for this entertainer."
A keen sense of humor helps McIntyre push above the pack of child-turned-adult stars who try to ignore their past. "A lot of people refer to me as Joey, which is fine," he told Sullivan. "Most of the time I say Joe but 'Joe McIntyre' sounds like the representative from the third district. The 'y' adds a little flair."
by Christina Fuoco
Joey McIntyre's Career
Member of New Kids on the Block, 1986-94; released solo debut, Stay the Same on C2 Records, 1999; released Meet Joe Mac on Q Records, 2001.
- Selected discography
- Stay the Same (includes "Stay the Same"), C2/Columbia, 1999.
- Meet Joe Mac (includes "Rain"), Q, 2001.
- With New Kids on the Block
- New Kids on the Block , Columbia, 1986.
- Hangin' Tough , Columbia, 1988.
- Step by Step , Columbia, 1990.
- Face the Music , Columbia, 1994.
- Merry, Merry Christmas , Sony, 1995.
- New Kids on the Block Greatest Hits , Sony/Columbia, 1999.
August 9, 2003: McIntyre married Barrett Williams in New York City's Plaza Hotel. Source: People, August 25, 2003, p. 60.
- Graff, Gary, Josh Freedom du Lac and Jim McFarlin, editors, MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press, 1998.
- Billboard, January 23, 1999; February 27, 1999; April 28, 2001.
- Boston Globe, May 29, 2001.
- Boston Herald, September 4, 1999; July 2, 2000; June 10, 2001.
- Entertainment Weekly, March 19, 1999.
- Time, March 29, 1999.
- TV Guide, March 17-23, 2001.
- "Joey McIntyre Biography," Hip Online, http://www.hiponline.com/artist/music/m/mcintyre_joey/index.html (September 17, 2001).
- Additional information was provided by Columbia Records publicity materials, 1999, and Q Records publicity materials, 2001.