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New Kid Danny Wood hangs tough in Miami

New Kids on the Block's Danny Wood discusses his life in Miami.

Sorry, but it's just too obvious: Danny Wood has lived in the Miami area for 17 years, so he isn't exactly a new kid on the block.

"The weather and the beaches are great for me and I can live a very normal life," says Wood, who lives in the San Souci Estates neighborhood, near Bal Harbour, with his four children, ages 16 to 23. "I go to Whole Foods and Publix and Target. I'm a single, divorced dad and can do all the things that are necessary."

On June 4, Wood will join his bandmates from New Kids on the Block at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Formed in 1984, the New Kids scored a handful of hit singles (including "Hangin' Tough" in 1988 and "Step by Step" in 1990) and rivaled Michael Jackson and Madonna for sales for about 10 years. They broke up in 1994, only to reunite in 2008.

Wood was 15 when the band began recording and 19 when it began having hits. He's now 46.

"It's not realistic to be like we were and we're well aware of that," he says. "We're not trying to fool anybody, but we're proud of who we are. We're proud of being a boy band taking 15 years off and getting back together."

The show, part of a 30-city tour that began May 1, is called the Main Event and includes TLC and Nelly. The concert is presented on a 360-degree stage.

"We want it to be an event," Wood says. "If you put the three of us in one night, that's a lot of hit records to do."

Noting that the New Kids have only released two albums in the past eight years, Wood says, "We don't aim to be on the radio anymore. We shoot to give the fans new music and be able to perform new music."

Wood says he feels fortunate that the New Kids got a second act.

"The first time, it just moved so fast," he says. "But this run is a lot longer than the first time, and we've created more of a brand."

Meanwhile, Wood recently finished "Look at Me," an album whose proceeds will go to Remember Betty, a foundation he created in honor of his mother, who died of breast cancer in 1999. The foundation has raised $1.5 million, and has helped to cover treatment expenses of New Kids fans with breast cancer.

"Throughout the past seven or eight years, we've had a lot of girls pass away," Wood says. "They take a photo with us and then they're gone. It's a priority for me, and it's also connected my kids to my mother."

Wood says the 17-song album "Look at Me" will be released in September, and consists of singer-songwriter type songs.

The Main Event tour, with New Kids on the Block, Nelly and TLC, will begin 8 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at the BB&T Center, 2555 NW 136th Ave., in Sunrise. Tickets cost $32-$110.75. Go to TheBBTCenter.com.

Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com

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