Jordan Knight

Jordan Knight was a member of '80s teen sensations New Kids on the Block, but he's now creating more mature pop as a solo artist.

Knight was born May 17, 1970, in Worcester, Mass. In 1984 Jordan and his older brother Jonathan were selected by Maurice Starr to be part of the New Kids on the Block (originally called Nynuk), the white suburban counterpart of the producer's urban sensations New Edition.

The Boston-based New Kids also featured schoolmates Joe McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood. In 1996 the group issued its moderately successful eponymous debut LP.

But New Kids on the Block hit it big among the nation's female teens and preteens with Hangin' Tough (1988), which included the funky hit title cut and the ballads "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)" and "Please Don't Go Girl" (RealAudio excerpt).

For the next two years, the New Kids were constant hitmakers. Step by Step (1990) was another multiplatinum effort, but the Kids began to suffer from media backlash and a maturing audience. In 1994 the group shortened its name to NKOTB and tried a more sophisticated R&B sound on the relatively poor-selling Face the Music. Although they were still a global concert draw, the group broke up that year.

Last year, Knight issued his eponymous solo debut, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Robin Thicke. The LP, which is in the musical vein of NKOTB, featured the single "Give It to You" (RealAudio excerpt), and a cover of Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man."

Other birthdays Wednesday: Jesse Winchester, 56; Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis), 51; George Johnson (Brothers Johnson), 47; Audie Desbrow (Great White), 43; Enya, 39; Dave Abbruzzese (ex–Pearl Jam), 36; Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), 35; and Malcolm Hale (Spanky and Our Gang), 1941–1968.