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With so many children to provide for, the Wahlbergs were often strapped for cash.Wahlberg's mother recalled, "When I think about it now, I realize how hard it was, but back then we never even realized it!The tour also featured fellow boy bands 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.It might now seem almost inevitable that the multi-talented Wahlberg, who began rapping from the time he was in elementary school, would eventually become a star.Wahlberg's parents divorced when he was 12 years old, and he and Mark went to live with their mother while the rest of their siblings either moved in with their father or were already out on their own as young adults.
In the summer of 2013, Wahlberg performed with rest of NKOTB on the Package Tour to support their new album, 10.
They kept up rapping, Wahlberg says, "not because we thought we'd be rap or dance stars someday, but just because it was really fun and we loved the girls screaming for us at parties."In 1984, at the age of 15, Donnie Wahlberg's friends persuaded him to audition for well-known music producer Maurice Starr.
Starr was holding open auditions to create a new boy band of white teenagers to mirror the success of his other band, the all African-American R&B group New Edition.
After watching hundreds of auditions, Starr was amazed by Wahlberg's combination of singing, dancing and rapping talent, and immediately enlisted him to form the centerpiece of the new group.
Wahlberg quickly recruited brother Mark and Danny Wood, as well as another friend, Jordan Knight, and Knight's older brother, Jonathan.