During a break from touring, New Kids on the Block singer Donnie Wahlberg decided to stop by a local Waffle House for a late-night meal. And naturally, the restaurant’s star-struck staff were thrilled to be serving such a high-profile customer. But the generous Wahlberg had a surprise in store for the employees that was to make their night even more special.
Given the enormous wealth that can come with fame, it’s sometimes easy to forget that not all celebrities were born into a luxury lifestyle. Donnie Wahlberg is a case in point. Even though the singer is currently worth an estimated $20 million, the star didn’t always have a fortune to his name. In fact, his story is the very epitome of rags to riches.
Raised in Dorchester ‒ a rundown neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts ‒ Wahlberg didn’t live in comfortable surroundings while growing up. You see, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the Boston area, Dorchester afforded Wahlberg and his family very few opportunities. And earning just enough to get by was usually the family’s biggest aspiration.