New Edition, New Kids make boy band history with AMAs performance three decades in the making: ‘Totally worth the wait’

The American Music Awards tend to be a very young affair. Case in point: This year’s ceremony, which aired on Sunday on ABC, introduced a new category of “Best Trending Song” for artists whose music blew up on Tik Tok. (Megan Thee Stallion won that one.) But interestingly, the most publicized moment of the three-hour broadcast was the “Battle of Boston,” a kind of real-life Verzuz, between two ’80s acts: Roxbury’s finest, New Edition and Dorchester’s own New Kids on the Block.

And while this year’s AMA host Cardi B admitted she wasn’t even born when the two pioneering boy bands dominated the Billboard charts, she understood the significance of this event – the first time in pop history that New Edition and New Kids had officially met on stage.

It was hard to believe that it took so long for this collaboration to occur, as the careers of the two boy bands have always been intertwined. Both were produced and discovered by Maurice Starr, who assembled NKOTB after he and New Edition parted ways. Years later, New Edition was featured as a guest on NKOTB’s comeback album in 2008, and New Edition spinoff trio Bell Biv DeVoe opened for the New Kids at Fenway Park earlier this year.

But it all came down to this epic moment, when New’s bands gave the old school a kick during a quick mix of their hits: New Kids’ “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”, “Step By Step” and ” Hangin ‘Tough “and” Candy Girl “from the new edition, Mr. Telephone Man”, “Can You Stand the Rain” and “If It Isn’t Love”, plus a combination of the two acts “Please Don’t Go Girl ”and“ Is This the End, ”while Gen X and Unsurprisingly, Xennial Twitter went haywire.

Meanwhile, inside the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where Sunday’s AMAs were held, the game respected the game, as fellow banders such as Joey Fatone of NSYNC, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men’s and Drew Lachey of 98 Degrees they shook through the audience, as did the night. big winners, BTS. And that K-pop septet received the ceremony’s top honor, Artist of the Year, just seconds after NKOTB and New Edition wrapped up their performance, proving that boy bands still have the right stuff after all these years. .

There was no consensus on social media as to whether New Edition or New Kids had definitely won this “battle” as the performance was more of a love party than anything else. Even though New Edition’s Michael Bivins had told the Boston Herald Before the AMAs that “there has always been a little friendly competition between” the two acts, NKOTB’s Donnie Wahlberg told the newspaper, “This is being touted as the ‘Battle of Boston,’ but for us it’s more of a brotherhood. “

However, NKOTB would likely humbly declare New Edition the victors of this alleged showdown. Wahlberg actually told the Herald, “There will be an element of us that will be quite amazed, supporting the New Edition. We know that if it weren’t for those kids, there wouldn’t be New Kids. “And just before the two groups hit the Microsoft Theater stage, Wahlberg even made the following microphone statement:” Here’s everything you need to know about the New Edition If there was no New Edition, there would be no New Kids on the Block, no Boyz II Men, no Backstreet Boys, no NSYNC, no O-Town, no One Direction, no LFO, nothing. Any! “

Truly, however, the real winners of this battle were the amateurs. And those fans will get another dose of nostalgia through ABC on December 6, when New Kids and Bivins’ Joey McIntyre and New Edition’s Bobby Brown, along with NSYNC’s Fatone, Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick; Stockman and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men’s; Erik-Michael Estrada of O-Town; and 98 degrees (including, yeah, both of them Lacheys!) – star in the seasonal special A boy band vacation.

For a complete list of 2021 American Music Awards winners, click here.

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