Youth Culture Window
A new trio of handsome young faces is taking radio, TV, and the Internet by storm. Nick, Kevin, and Joe are stealing the spotlight from big name acts en route to stardom, and the hearts of millions of teenage girls along the way. But, who are they...really?
I’m talking about The Jonas Brothers, or as Miley Cyrus and the rest of the female world refers to them, “the cute sensitive one” (Nick, 15), “the cute funny one” (Joe, 18), and “the cute romantic one” (Kevin, 20).
Not only are these guys one of the hottest acts going, but like their friend Hannah Montana, they have kept the slate pretty clean so far. How are these guys managing to pull that off?
A Family of Faith
The boys seem to be influenced by the fairly strong faith of their parents. Their father, Kevin Sr., is a pastor in their home state of New Jersey, which by the way, is where all three boys attended Eastern Christian High School. And unlike Jessica Simpson’s dad, Rev. Jonas is staying in the ministry and leaving the band’s management to the professionals. (Thank God!)
Humility seems to run in their family. The Jonas brothers actually number four, counting the youngest, Frank. He quietly goes by the nickname “Bonus Jonas,” while expressing zero interest in making the trio a quartet.
They all wear purity rings, “so we stay pure until marriage,” explains Joe (although, somebody needs to break it to him that it takes more than a ring to stay pure these days, especially since his younger brother Nick was mugged on the “Christian” playground by a mob of girls).
Although they emerged as a “group” in 2005, the two older boys owe a large portion of their superstar status to their little brother Nick, who was performing on Broadway at age 7. The two faith-based singles, that he co-wrote with his dad, Joy To The World (A Christmas Prayer) and Dear God that got a significant amount of Christian radio play, didn’t hurt either. So the first time Colombia Records execs heard them jam, they were signed.
These guys are turning lots of heads, and not just for their good looks. Even though they’re young, and have only been together for 2 years, their list of achievements is as long as Snoop Dogg’s arrest record. The music from their first two albums It’s About Time (2005) and Jonas Brothers (2007) has launched them onto fairly aggressive tour schedules.
2007 proved to be a banner year for the boys. They toured with Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) on The Best of Both Worlds Tour before starting their own, The Look Me in the Eyes Tour, based on their hit single, When You Look Me in the Eyes. They even headlined at the Z100 Jingle Ball, which boasted other talent including American Idol’s Jordin Sparks, Alicia Keys, Timbaland, Avril Lavigne, and Fall Out Boy! Heard of them?
They capped off the year in good fashion, opening up Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show in Time Square. Although the predominantly twenty-something crowd applauded after their set, most faces were wearing the unmistakable “who-are-those-kids?” look.
2008 would quickly answer that question.
The Present Jonas
Year 3000, another of their hits, broke into the Top 40 in February, and When You Look Me In The Eyes was ranked #1 on TRL during much of March. The trio then took “Favorite Music Group” at the Kid’s Choice Awards. By the way, these guys write most of their own stuff.
TJB’s path to superstardom is being paved by one of the greatest in the business: Disney. Cameos on Hannah Montana, multiple Top 10 songs on Disney Radio, and the current filming of “Jonas Brothers – Living the Dream,” (a behind-the-scenes look at the guys on tour) to be released this Spring, shows these guys are much more than just a band.
No wonder they have almost 640,000 friends on MySpace!
And they show no signs of slowing, either. The Burning Up Tour starts July 4th and will promote their third album AND their Disney Channel feature film Camp Rock (to air on June 20th with an encore on ABC, June 21st).
Those of us at www.TheSource4YM.com who monitor (and sometimes combat) youth culture, appreciate it when “clean and innocent” entertainment is available to our students. Let’s hope that their new hometown of Hollywood doesn’t tarnish these preacher’s kids’ reps.
David R. Smith
is a 15-year youth ministry veteran who helps youth
workers and parents through his writing, training, and speaking. David specializes in sharing the
gospel, and equipping others do the same. He co-authored his first book this year,
Ministry By Teenagers
. David provides free
resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org
David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.
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