The scandal that left New Kids on the Block affected after being accused of being fakes

Music news

Urgently. Without wasting a minute, the New Kids on the Block They were forced to suspend their tour of Australia and fly for 16 hours to Los Angeles. They had to respond to the serious accusations that had been leveled against them. They had to prove that it was false that they did not sing, that only moved their lipswhat were they another fraud similar to that of Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan. On February 5, 1992appeared on a popular ‘talk show’ to deny the alleged fallacy broadcast by its former musical director Gregory McPherson. The plaintiff retracted his claim shortly after, but the damage had already been done.

The master class that Freddie Mercury received from his “adored” Liza Minnelli and from ‘Cabaret’

In early 1992, when the music industry I was still shocked by Milli Vanilli’s deception, Another shocking scandal came to light that directly affected the New Kids on the Block. The North American quintet was then tasting the honeys of success. Was one of the most popular groups in the United States; only his latest album, ‘Step by step’ (1990) sold 20 million copies worldwide. His fans and ticket sales and his vast catalog of merchandising (pillows, dolls, marbles) were also counted in the millions. They even had their own cartoon series.

The boys of New Kids on the Block

The boys of New Kids on the Block / Bettmann

The five twenty-somethings – brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood – directed by producer Maurice Starr They were unstoppable. His dance moves and her vocals had become a freak, especially among girls. but there was someone ready to ruin the party and to ruin all that explosion of popularity. Your name: Greg McPherson. The prestigious music professor, also a composer, arranger or producer, had been employed by the group years ago as musical director. His name, for example, appears in the credits of ‘Step by Step’.

The scuffle broke out on January 24, 1992, whenaccused the ‘boy band’ of only moving their lips over the pre-recorded sound in their performances and was only responsible for a part of the voices from their albums. He could prove it because she had played keyboards on his tour and produced the music for his video. ‘Hangin’ tough Live’. They only sang 20 percent of their songs and the main voices came mainly from Maurice Starr (manager and producer) and his brother, Michael Jonzun. They were the ones who really sang. He asked for 21 million dollars.

McPherson stated in the New York Times: “I had a keyboard, which is a digital sampler with all the vocal tracks on your album. So All I had to do was press a certain key and literally any voice would be played.”. The scandal was served. And the discredit of the Massachusetts quintet too. It had to be stopped. Immediately, The group interrupted their tour of Australia and flew for 16 hours to Los Angeles. In a hurry, they agreed to February 5, 1992 an interview on the popular show ‘Arsenio Hall Show’ and they sang live, without pre-recorded sound, demonstrating that it was really the New Kids who performed the songs. During his talk with Arsenio, They harshly attacked McPherson and they denied the accusations of who had been “their musical director for 4 months.” Donnie Wahlberg acknowledged: “We are not saying that we are great singers, but we are the ones who sing.”

For his part, Starr assured: ““Something like this only shows me that the devil is working 24 hours a day… and he works overtime.”. Everything that happened became the band’s worst nightmare, which in turn filed a counterclaim. Just three months later, McPherson retracted his accusations saying that after all, New Kids on the Block didn’t do playback. Apparently she had negotiated a six number agreement. But the hatchet was buried. In his first interview since appearing on televisionthe singer of the New Kids, Jordan Knight, assured in the Los Angeles Times that They would keep the case in court until his name was cleared. “He lied about us and tried to ruin our reputation. I know it might sound cruel, but We hope this lawsuit damages his credibility the same way he tried to damage ours… he should pay for it.”.

Steven Tyler and New Kids on The Block

Steven Tyler and New Kids on The Block / KMazur

According to Joe McIntyre, “Greg was looking for money. She didn’t surprise us that she did what he did. What surprised us is that people believed him. He shocked us “How the media treated the story”. And he added, “But what really made us angry was that, When the truth finally emerged, it was barely talked about. Nobody printed any big headlines saying ‘The New Kids Really Sing!’ But that’s the way the media works. This is not about telling the truth. It’s controversial”. For this reason, the group suffered a strong emotional impact and was touched. “When something like this happens, It’s like everyone thinks you’re a big imposter.Knight said. “Even when you know you didn’t do what they’re accusing you of, you have to live with the fact that people want to believe the worst. believe me, there is rage inside us”.

New Kids on the Block with its star on the Walk of Fame

New Kids on the Block with its star on the Walk of Fame / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Angrily, they waited for their critics to start treating them more seriously. “What has happened to us is really bad. But maybe something good can come now. “Maybe they’ll finally start judging the New Kids for what we really are: singers.” There wasn’t much time. In 1993, after breaking up with Maurice Starr, the group shortened its name to its initials, NKOTB. In January 1994, after the release of his fourth studio album, ‘Face the Music’, dissolution and silence came…for 14 years.


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.