The NKOTB singer talks how fatherhood and his musical career go hand in hand for his family

By peoplestaff225
May 31, 2016 03:55 PM

He’s (still) got “The Right Stuff”!

Joey McIntyre might be best known as the youngest member of late-’80s/early-’90s boy band New Kids on the Block — a group that is still selling tickets like hotcakes to this day — but his most important role is definitely as dad to daughter Kira Katherine, 5, and sons Griffin Thomas, 8½, and Rhys Edward, 6.

In a PEOPLE-exclusive sneak peek for the newest season of Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block, McIntyre talks about how great the feeling is that the group’s fans have grown right along with them not only in age, but in big life milestones — like starting a family.

My wife [Barrett] and I started having kids around the same time the New Kids got back together,” McIntyre, 43, says. “So [over] the last eight years, between the tours and the cruises, [things] have been … a little bit hectic, to say the least!”

Courtesy Pop

But that’s just part of the balancing act of life — and in McIntyre’s case, it’s just one more way he can relate to his loyal fans of the past three decades.

“It’s nice, because the fans have grown up with us, and we’ve been together through so many phases of life,” he explains before adding, with a smile, “And now so many fans are parents, just like me.”

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In the background of the video, one of McIntyre’s children asks what their dad plans to do on one of said cruises.

“I’m going to hopefully entertain all the people who came, and we want to give them the time of their life,” he replies, before an adorable “Yay!” can be heard from behind the camera.

McIntyre also shares a sweet clip of his oldest son Griffin onstage at an NKOTB concert. After McIntyre introduces him, a spiked-hairstyle-laden Griffin yells, “What’s up?!” to the crowd and, of course, receives cheers in response — because who wouldn’t cheer for a NKOTB member’s cute kid getting ready to sing to them?

And serenade the crowd he does, with his own rendition of the intro to the group’s 1990 hit “Tonight.”

“I think the fans like seeing me be a dad,” McIntyre shares. “They definitely like seeing my son Griffin get up on stage with us. that’s for sure.

“And Griff loves it up there, too,” McIntyre adds. “I wonder where he gets that from?”

He goes on to call his son “a natural,” which is hard to argue with. Case in point? After asking Griffin whether he has any tips for his dad, the former gives an instantaneous, simple response:

“Have fun!”

Season 2 of Rock This Boat: NKOTB premieres Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. EST on Pop, before moving to its regular 8 p.m. timeslot on June 8.

Jen Juneau