The members of the band were Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, brother Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood, and Joe McIntyre, all from Boston. Assembled by producer Maurice Starr, who wrote all the music for their early albums, their self-titled first album was largely ignored. Their second album, Hangin' Tough, sold eight million copies around the world, with three top ten singles: the title track, the saccharine "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," and "You Got It (The Right Stuff)."
With saturated coverage in teenage fan magazines and even a short-lived animated television series, they became hugely famous and sold millions more of their next two albums, one a recording of Christmas songs and the other Step By Step, with some of the songs co-written by the singers.
Faced with the constant derision of people outside their preteen fan base and the maturation of that base, in the 1990s they split off from Starr and released one album of self-composed R&B, Face The Music, which, despite some half-decent reviews, flopped and the group broke up.
After the group's demise, Wahlberg and Danny Wood formed a record label, and Wahlberg also produced two albums of his brother Mark Wahlberg, who has gone on to become a successful actor. Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight each released successful solo albums. Also, McIntyre has performed in Broadway musicals.