The world’s most popular boy band of the ‘00s, the Jonas Brothers broke up formally in 2013, much to our sadness and dismay. But, the JoBros are here to reclaim their former boy-band glory, and they got the band back together this spring.
As they noted in interviews, their decision to come back was, in part, thanks to a revelation after they traveled the world together for an Amazon Prime documentary charting their success. Chasing Happiness dropped last night on the streaming platform, and I was clutching my pearls as they dropped bombshell after bombshell and spilled some serious tea during the hour-and-a-half-long documentary. So, it’s me, resident boy band fangirl here, back again with your fangirling moment of the week.
Here are our favorite moments, things you never knew about the JoBros, from Chasing Happiness.
Started from the bottom.
The brothers Jonas started out with humble beginnings in suburban New Jersey. Dad Kevin Sr. recalls a 3-year-old Nicholas singing around the house, and even correcting his own pitch when he was out of tune. Soon, he and wife Denise swapped lullabies for Stevie Wonder tracks. The boys’ love for music and performing blossomed from there, as Nick and Joe conquered Broadway and off-Broadway shows while eldest Kevin found success with a series of TV commercials. In fact, a young dream for the boys was to be cast members on sketch comedy show All That. How the tables have turned! Fans can get ready for their debut on the reboot later this month.
This doc gives so much appreciation for Mama and Papa Jonas for all they did to help the boys achieve their dreams. Kevin Sr. gave up his career as a pastor — and that community — once the boys got a secular record deal, and Denise drove her boys to Manhattan every night for their Broadway shows even after just giving birth to Frankie, the Bonus Jonas.
Nick never let his undiagnosed diabetes stop the band from performing.
The brothers recall how, post-Sony deal, Nick started to suddenly get moodier and began drinking a ton of Big Gulp sodas and needed to go to the bathroom multiple times while on the road. It was Kevin who first noticed how skinny his younger brother got, so much so that he could see his bones sticking out. That scary moment led to his diabetes diagnosis. However, Nick refused to stay at the hospital because he had to make the JoBros gig.
Nick’s caught the “Lovebug” upon laying eyes on Miley Cyrus.
When the young Disney stars made their first cameo on a Disney Channel show, Hannah Montana, as soon as Nick laid eyes on a young Miley Cyrus, it was game over. Nick experienced the overwhelming feeling of love for the very first time, and he began to write more loved-up songs. Cue the iconic ballad “Lovebug,” which Nick seemingly hints was inspired by his love for Miley.
Camp Rock initially only wanted Joe.
The musical DCOM first offered the role of rocker Shane to lead singer Joe; however, Kevin Sr. called up the freakin’ president of Disney himself to say the boys were a package deal and the rock star should be written as one of a three-piece band. Thanks to one persistent papa, Connect Three could indeed, um, connect.
The tea behind “Year 3000.”
At first, the JoBros had the futuristic “Year 3000” banked under their Sony deal. However, when the band was dropped, they kept the song, spurred their popularity for the Mouse House. I mean, you couldn’t turn on Disney Channel without hearing a diddy about preteens taking a trip to the underwater future; it was even airing in the commercial breaks between every single program.
The merciless teasing of their purity ring era.
Stemming from their family’s relationship with religion, the guys grew up with purity rings on their fingers like many of the young kids in their New Jersey community. The media and celeb comedians relentlessly focused on the boys “saving themselves,” which led to pure embarrassment for the now-teenage guys. Nick recalled being booed at sports games when he was there to enjoy the game just like others were.
The regret of being an “L.A. Baby.”
During an onscreen drinking game when the bros revealed deep embarrassments and regrets (including a questionable story about Joe’s manhood being the subject of a ballerina’s jokes), it was Nick who gave us the biggest revelation about the brothers’ time at the Mouse House. Nick’s biggest regret from the JoBro era was the second season of their sitcom JONAS, more recognized as JONAS L.A. The boys discussed the show’s lack of authenticity, making them look like a joke in real life, and added, “it really stunted our growth.”
No one puts Kev in a corner!
While the band was phasing out, with Joe and Nick going the solo route, Kevin found love with his missus Danielle. Kevin breaks down explaining how the worst moment was hearing that his brothers performed a JoBro concert on a “Jingle Ball” tour without him. Joe admitted they felt like Kev’s pursuit of love and a family was holding them back. In fact, it took Joe meeting now-wife Sophie Turner and Nick meeting his wife Priyanka Chopra Jonas —and both falling in love — to understand. I mean, long live the J Sisters for bringing them back.
Kevin touches on how his former E! reality show with Danielle, Married to Jonas, felt like something that was just his. However, Nick and Joe hated the idea of the show and didn’t like appearing on it out of fear that Kevin would reveal all their issues to the public. (Which, I can confirm, it never did.)
While his brothers pursued solo careers, Kevin embraced normal life and parenthood (including a scene in the film buying diapers for his second daughter, Valentina). He explains how 4-year-old Alena now knows (and will tell people) of her Daddy’s boy band past, and teared up thinking that she would never see her Daddy up onstage. (I’m BAWLING watching this right now.)
It’s the end.
When the band officially broke up in 2013 (after the flop that was their “Pom Poms” follow-up), we as fans were left heartbroken. And now we learn we weren’t the only ones. It turns out Nick was the one who wanted to end the band, much to the sadness of his brothers. Joe even says, “What hurt the most is that it came from Nick because he’s my best friend. I thought that me, Kevin, and Nick were gonna do this forever. It was us against the world.” Yup, more sobs from me.
Once the band broke up, Joe and Nick didn’t speak with Kevin for months … until his firstborn daughter, Alena Rose, was born in 2014. (By now, I’m full-on weeping at this documentary.)
Some special appearances steal the show.
You did it. You made it to the end of this Jonas Brothers documentary with your emotions somewhat intact. And finally, we see the Bonus Jonas in the flesh! Younger bro Frankie (last seen publicly for his minor role in Camp Rock 2) makes his cameo and reveals he is the Jonas Brothers’ No. 1 fan and still knows every lyric. I mean, SAME.
The doc also teases some new songs (“Rollercoaster,” “Jersey,” and “Comeback”) off their new album, Happiness Begins, which is due out on June 7. What bops! I can’t wait to hear the full album.
Top Photo: Peggy Sirota/Republic Records