American Music Awards

New Edition, NKOTB Face Off in ‘Battle of Boston' at 2021 AMAs

The local '80s and ’90s musical groups took turns performing some of their biggest hits on the Sunday night awards show

New Edition and New Kids on the Block went head-to-head Sunday night in what the 2021 American Music Awards dubbed the “Battle of Boston."

The '80s and ’90s musical groups -- both from Boston -- shared the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The pioneering bands took turns performing teases of their biggest hits as part of the music awards ceremony's focus on artist hometowns.

After a video highlighted each group and their respective Boston roots, New Kids on the Block took the stage first with “You Got It (The Right Stuff)." New Edition fired back with “Candy Girl," from their first album, released in 1983.

The bands continued to show off their hits, including New Kids’ “Step By Step,” “Please Don’t Go Girl” and “Hangin’ Tough,” and New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” and “Mr. Telephone Man."

The "Battle of Boston" ended with the bands coming together to perform "If It Isn't Love," and closed with celebratory hugs and cheers.

“It’s a brotherhood from Boston,” Donnie Wahlberg told the Boston Globe. “That’s how we see it.”

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