Jonathan Knight

Learn about Jon Knight's experience with social anxiety.
Jonathan Knight has suffered with social anxiety. Photo: Getty / Frazer Harrison

Birthdate: November 29, 1968

Full name: Jonathan Rashleigh Knight (goes by Jon)

Jon Knight is a member of the boy band New Kids on the Block, that also includes his brother Jordan, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, and Danny Wood.


Jonathan Knight was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on November 29, 1968, the fifth of sixth children. Jonathan became famous as a member of NKOTB, along with his younger brother Jordan, during the late 1980's.

The group sold more than 80 million albums and played to packed stadiums during worldwide tours.

After leaving the band, Jonathan spent some time out of the limelight working in real estate. In 2008, NKOTB reunited and began another world tour; their first single "Summertime" was generally well received.

In 2011, former girlfriend Tiffany reported in an interview that Jonathan was gay; a fact that he says he was open about twenty years prior. Jon is now married to Harley Rodriguez.

Jon Knight's Experience with Social Anxiety

For Jonathan Knight, feelings of panic and anxiety began as a little boy singing in the church choir. As a member of the teen boy band New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), he dealt with severe panic and social anxiety about performing as well as doing interviews, photo sessions and being in the studio.

After leaving the group in 1994 due to anxiety and spending several years living as a recluse on a farm in Massachusetts, Jonathan realized that he needed medical help to deal with his problem.

In 2013, during a show in New York City on April 4th, Jon walked off the stage before what was supposed to be his solo performance. Thought the crowd chanted for him to return, he never did come back onstage. Fans were understanding given his past struggles with social anxiety.

Quotes from Jonathan Knight

"The whole New Kids thing was crazy. The more it grew, the more I just felt like I was trapped. I just always had this feeling inside me of always being nervous and afraid of situations. The hardest thing for me was doing interviews, doing talk shows, photo sessions, being in the studio, just because you're with so many different people. You're shaky, your heart just starts pounding, and you have a dry mouth. The easiest thing for me was to just avoid situations."

"From 1994 to 1997 I did nothing. I slept, and slept, and slept. If I was awake, I had to deal with things, I had to do things. In order to avoid that I would just stay in bed. You go through the whole thing too, I'm weird or I'm strange, and it just makes your whole self shrink down even more, and I think it just makes it all worse."

Jon Knight continues to work hard despite his struggles with anxiety and is a role model both to a new generation and those who loved NKOTB decades ago. The group continues to support their bandmate to overcome his struggles with anxiety, with Wahlberg offering a joke and an arm around his shoulder during the botched NYC performance.


Internet Movie Database. Jonathan Knight. Accessed February 27, 2016.

Youtube. Jon Knight on Oprah. Accessed February 27, 2016.

US Weekly. Jonathan Knight Apologizes to New Kids on the Block Fans for Walking Off Stage During NYC Concert. Accessed February 27, 2016.

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