Despite what it may have looked like on stage, life wasn’t always so harmonious for the Jonas Brothers.
In fact, the pop-rock band have faced hurdles throughout every stage of their career — and the trio opened up about many of them in their new Amazon Prime documentary, Chasing Happiness.
In the freshly-released doc, Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas got unprecedentedly candid about the drama that went on behind the scenes before, during, and after the band’s meteoric rise to fame.
They get real about being bullied at school, the embarrassment they felt from wearing those purity rings, and even the ego-clashing that led to the band’s bitter breakup in 2013.
There’s more tea than any JoBro fan can handle, so we broke down the biggest bombshells from Chasing Happiness (below).
Kevin Was Mercilessly Bullied At School
Before the boys found their voice together, the eldest Jonas brother said his “odd” interests included gymnastics, pole vaulting, and magic — which led to some “cruel” treatment from his peers:
“I became a target. Kids were cruel at that age. They would call me gay. They would call me a f*g. They would call me p*sshead. It would break me down. I remember coming home from school and crying to my parents. But I think what was really hard was I never felt like I could find the place where I fit in. Even though I had things I loved, I just never felt like I connected with anyone, like, truly.”
Eventually, the brothers found their calling when they started making music together. They wrote Please Be Mine, which they released in 2006, in 10 minutes in their basement.
Nick’s Health Issues Made Joe ‘Pass Out’
All was well for a while after the guys started touring — until, that is, Nick started to get “more agitated” for unknown reasons, according to his dad Paul Jonas. At the time, Nick would demand they pull over for food and drinks so he could use the restroom every 15 minutes or so.
Eventually, they realized something was wrong with Nick. Kevin explained:
“One day, me, Joe and Nick were all sharing a room and Nick is changing. I look at him and I could see every single bone in his body.”
“I look in the mirror and I’m like a skeleton. I feel like I’m dying.”
Nick was eventually taken to a doctor, who told the family to take him to the hospital immediately. Joe recalled of seeing his brother in the hospital:
“I passed out in the hospital room because I couldn’t see him, like, all hooked up to all these wires. It was, like, a really life-shifting moment for everybody.”
Nick was later diagnosed with diabetes. The family initially kept it a secret due to fears of being dropped by the label.
The Band Made The Family Broke
After the band initially got signed, the Jonas family had to keep it a secret so they wouldn’t jeopardize Paul’s job as a pastor at a local church.
“We were signed to a secular label and we weren’t making a Christian album. There was this perception that was on us that we were supposed to be these squeaky clean, perfect kids. Dad’s job essentially hinged on it.”
“Singing about girls started to become, like, a bit of an issue… I started to realize that our dream that we were chasing freaked a lot of people out in church. It’s a totally different lifestyle than I think they expected a pastor’s son to be in.”
Eventually, Paul resigned from his post, causing the family to lose their home and move into a two-bedroom house where the boys shared one bedroom.
‘Hannah Montana’ Changed Their Lives
The band’s guest spot on a 2007 episode of Hannah Montana galvanized their rise to fame. It also changed Nick’s life, because he knew what love was after meeting Miley Cyrus!
“I think my brothers and I became the closest when we found a common ground beyond music and family — girls.”
Kevin added of that guest spot:
“That changed girls for Nick forever. When he met Miley, I think that kid’s head exploded.”
“I started writing about love and I actually knew what it felt like. For the first time, I was asking them questions that only a younger brother can ask their older brothers.”
They Really Hated Those Purity Rings
“In the Church, it was encouraged that we go through this program. It was, like, wait for the right person or wait for marriage. All the kids that I grew up with were doing it so I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool.’ Probably by 15 I was like, ‘What?! What is this?’ And that was not who we were, it was just something that we did when we were young kids. But we wore the rings through the first bit of the band starting to explode. At that point, it was already too late because it was in the media.”
“We had all this success and that’s the only thing we could hear or focus on, was things that people were saying about us.”
Explaining how the rings were “embarrassing,” Nick said:
“It was embarrassing to be aware of this joke in real life with people. When I would go to a sporting event, they would put me on the jumbotron, or us, or whatever, they would boo us. As a sports fanatic, I would be so hurt because I was like, ‘I am one of you. I’m just like you.’”
Their 2013 Breakup Was A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’
After Nick started to find solo success by moving to New York and performing on Broadway, he felt like his band with his brothers “was a ticking time bomb,” while Joe was “scared” about Nick’s solo success.
“ said, ‘I feel like I’m fighting against something that’s not working. I’ve given everything I have to this music, but I’m going here, Joe’s going here, Kevin’s over there and I just can’t do it anymore.’”
“It was not, ‘My heart’s not in it and I want to be real with you as band members and brothers, this is where I’m at.’ It was, ‘The band is over. I want to go do stuff without you guys and I’ve made up my mind… I felt betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt angry. Numb.”
But It All Worked Out In The End!
Looking back on what led to their recent reunion, Nick said:
“You spend so much time chasing happiness and the things you think will bring you that joy in life, not realizing it’s been there all along… The time apart was necessary. I was able to pursue different creative avenues and experiment with life in a way I never could before… I was feeling inspired. And it led me to find something even greater than I could ever imagine. Love. And this love has changed my life forever.”
“Letting go of my anger and my sadness, it took time. I’d rather we be brothers and not have our band dictate our relationship… I think my proudest memory would be this past year. Because this is the year that I have grown as a person and I’ve grown with my brothers. It’s been a long road. We’ve been through so much.”
That’s for sure!
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