It’s hard to imagine that Danny Wood was ever part of a boy band. We’re talking about a guy who’s muscular enough to keep the Hulk in line.
The singer, in fact, has grown up in more ways than one since his days as one of the five members of New Kids on the Block, which scored 13 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 – three of them No. 1s – between 1988 and 1994.
Wood endured a painful but ultimately successful custody battle for his son in the late ’90s, as well as the death of his mother from breast cancer in 1999.
With a number of life lessons learned, he found he had a lot to express. The result is the solo “Second Face,” released July 22 on Damage/Empire/BMG.
“It feels good, man. I’m really happy with the response I’ve been getting, because I worked really hard on it,” Wood says. “I had so much stuff I wanted to talk about, and it just poured out.”
Among the focal topics on the album is the role of family and children in his life. With wife Patricia, there are now four Woods taking root: “There’s my son Daniel, who’s 10; my stepson Anthony, who’s 11; and 4-year-old Vega”-whom he had with Patricia.
Then there’s the fourth child, a special addition to the family, Chance, who was adopted from Russia. “We saw how well our sons got along, who have no blood relationship, and we thought about how nice it would be for our daughter to have the same opportunity,” Wood says.
The couple researched adopting a child from Russia, where many infants develop debilitating diseases early in life because of improper health care.
“We felt there was such a great need for children to have a better chance in other countries, and we got a video of this beautiful little girl. But she looked pretty bad, so we sent a doctor to her town,” Wood says. “He said that she was healthy, but that we should try and get her as soon as possible, because cerebral palsy and swollen head syndrome are rampant there.”
The process was not easy. Applying for and securing the appropriate visas and wrangling through mounds of other procedural paperwork took nearly a year.
“When we brought her home, she was 11 pounds at 11 months. Her original name was Sophia, which we kept as her middle name. She’s the funniest little girl, with blonde hair and blue eyes,” Wood says of the now-5-year-old. “I hope that she will be happy and that we have changed her life for the better.”
One of the songs on “Second Face,” which Wood recorded with producer Pete Masitti (Hootie & the Blowfish), is a lullaby to his family.
“I wrote ‘You’re Not Alone’ so that whenever I’m gone, they can play it and know how I feel about them all the time.”