How the Jonas Brothers Get Cool on Happiness Begins

The Jonas Brothers arent the first boy band to make a comeback play. New Kids on the Block broke up for 13 years but have been back together touring for the past decade; meanwhile, the U.K.s Take That is still one of the most popular acts across the pond, despite member shake-ups over the years. The Backstreet Boys put out a No. 1 album in January and just wrapped a Las Vegas residency. Even the Spice Girls, arguably the biggest girl group of the 90s, are in the midst of a reunion tour, sans Posh Spice. But all these groups have one thing in common: theyre trading on nostalgia, filling set lists with e

arly hits and pandering to fandoms that first fell for them in their heyday. Nostalgia might be gratifying, but that doesnt make it cool. The Jonas Brothers secret weapon is that the first time they were pop superstars, they werent all that cool. When they launched in 2005, the three teenage brothersNick, Joe and Kevinwere pastors kids from Wyckoff, N.J., who made guitar pop that earne

d them a spot in the Disney fold, starring in original movies like Camp Rock and, eventually, their own Disney Channel series, Jonas. Their four albums were beloved by kids and tweens, but less so by the mainstream pop establishment; the band never had a No. 1 single. After they split, Nick found success as a solo artist with steamy RB tunes like Jealous; Joe fronted the pop-rock outfit DNCE, notching a monster hit with the song Cake by the Ocean; and Kevin started a family with his wife Danielle and began working in real estate. The boys grew up. So did their fans. Related Stories    


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   Entertainment   Demi Lovato Debuted a Raw New Song In Her Grammys Return    Growing up is a hard thing for pop stars to do, especially those who emerge from the big machine of childrens-entertainment behemoths like Disney and Nickelodeon. The Jonas Brothers contemporaries, like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, have navigated tricky territory as they matured in the spotlight, trying to earn musical bona fides while shedding their family-friendly public personae. By pursuing solo enterprises, Nick, Joe and Kevin each managed to find a groove independently, even if they drew attention for their personal lives as much as their projects: Nick tied the knot with actor Priyanka Chopra last year, and Joe wed Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner this spring. They became celebrities in their own right, trading purity rings for wedding rings.  Which might be why their first single together in over a decade, Sucker, released in March, ended up marking a high-water point in their career, both in terms of its casual swagger and its commercial success: it was the bands first No. 1 single. Produced by OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder, whos helmed hits for everyone from Taylor Swift to Beyonc, the song sounds more like an earworm Maroon 5 might r

elease than something youd hear on Radio Disney. Its adult, confident, even sexy. (So is the music video, which starred all three brothers wives; its up to over 146 million views on YouTube.) For their new album, Happiness Begins, out June 7, they tapped more pop hitmakers, including Max Martin and Greg Kurstin; its a bid for the Top 40 jugular more than a nostalgic cash-in. They seem, authentically, to be having fun. Coming back together wasn

t because they needed it, says their longtime manager Phil McIntyre. They came back together because they missed doing it together. Its an impressive feat for a band that

might have seemed doomed to go the way of Hanson, but its also a testament to the public appetite for something that feels at once new and familiar that the Jonas Brothers have managed to pivot so effectively into a grownup pop group. Sucker is just the beginning. They quickly followed it up with a song calledwhat else?Cool. This appears in the June 17, 2019 issue of TIME. Write to Raisa Bruner at