NKOTB’s Donnie Wahlberg On Michael Jackson’s ‘Chain Of Influence’

'There's no artist today who wasn't impacted by Michael Jackson,' Wahlberg says.

[artist id="1254"]New Kids on the Block[/artist] probably wouldn’t have existed without [artist id="9867"]The Jackson 5[/artist], and that is a statement that New Kid [artist id="1335300"]Donnie Wahlberg[/artist] won’t argue against. The Jackson 5, in many respects, laid the groundwork for bands like New Edition, NKOTB, the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC.

“[artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] was the first musical artist that I looked up to, aspired to be like,” Wahlberg said. “He was the first person to ever really inspire me to dream to what’s bigger than what was in front of me.”

He explained that there’s a clear line drawn from the Jackson 5 to the New Kids on the Block. “There’s an obvious chain of influence there,” he said. “There’s always someone who sets the bar. … Michael Jackson was a child and he was a superstar. Rather than kids across America and across the world looking at adults performing, they were looking at someone like them performing. You could become like Michael Jackson … suddenly the whole playing field changed.”

He continued that “from the Jackson 5′s influence on New Kids on the Block, his personal influence on me to his personal influence on other members on the group” has been substantial. According to Wahlberg, It’s been equally substantial on a number of other artists making music today. “I defy anyone to find an artist today who’s out there making music who’s not somehow influenced by Michael Jackson,” he said. “There’s no artist today who wasn’t impacted by Michael Jackson. It’s his swagger.”

Don’t miss “Michael Jackson: Picking Up the Pieces,” Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on CBS, featuring a special report from MTV News.

For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”

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