Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch
b. Mark Wahlberg, 5 June 1971, Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA. The younger brother of New Kids On The Block’s Donnie Wahlberg, Marky Mark was once proclaimed as the ‘thinking rapper’s Madonna’ upon his entrance into the music industry in the early 90s. Also employed as an underwear model for Calvin Klein, his two albums did little to dispel his image as a clothes horse for white rap, even though all of his Funky Bunch (who included DJ Terry Yancey and five mixed gender dancers) were black. Mark enjoyed almost instant success when ‘Good Vibrations’, featuring a sample of Loleatta Holloway’s disco hit ‘Love Sensation’, topped the US charts in July 1991 and broke into the UK Top 20. It was followed by the Top 10 single ‘Wildside’, a revision of Lou Reed’s urban mantra, ‘Walk On The Wild Side’. The attendant debut album, Music For The People, achieved platinum sales in 1991. He was subsequently widely attacked in the UK by gay activists for what they described as a conspiratorial silence during Shabba Ranks’ homophobic outbursts on the Channel 4 series, The Word. His second album failed to provide significant sales and like New Kids On The Block, Marky Mark’s association with the Billboard charts had ended by the mid-90s. After appearing in 1994’s Renaissance Man, alongside Danny DeVito and Wesley Snipes, Wahlberg established a new career as a talented actor. He received excellent reviews for his starring role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed Boogie Nights, a 1997 homage to the 70s porn industry, and alongside George Clooney and Ice Cube in the Gulf War movie Three Kings.
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