Joe Jonas and his brothers, Nick and Kevin, grow up doing sing-alongs around the family piano. Eventually, the talented siblings, who play the guitar, keyboard and drums, perform in commercials for Burger King, Clorox and Lego. "We kind of always grew up into music and making music with my dad," Jonas tells the Houston Chronicle in 2008. "He was part of record labels and things like that. My mom's an amazing singer. We kind of grew into it."
Younger brother Nick – who released a solo album in 2004 – asks Joe and Kevin to rehearse with him at home. The resulting sound prompts the boys' decision to form a trio. After performing their song "Please Be Mine" for Columbia Records exec Steve Greenberg (who discovered Hanson), they sign with the label. "I liked the idea of putting together this little garage-rock band," Greenberg tells Billboard. They go on to open for the likes of Kelly Clarkson and the Cheetah Girls.
Columbia releases the Jonas Brothers' first album, It's About Time, consisting of tracks that Kevin, 18, Joe, 16, and Nick, 13, co-wrote with professional songwriters. However, the album receives little marketing and only sells 62,000 copies. Soon afterward, the band is dropped from the record label.
Disney-owned Hollywood Records signs the Jonas Brothers to a recording contract, with Radio Disney and the Disney Channel serving to expand the band's musical exposure. "Boys identify with them, and girls love them because they're cute," Radio Disney executive Jill Casagrande tells the AP. That August, they release their self-titled album offering songs mostly written by themselves, including hits like "S.O.S." and "Hold On." The album debuts at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart, and eventually goes platinum.
The Jonas Brothers perform as guest stars on the record-setting episode of Hannah Montana that immediately follows the debut of High School Musical 2 on the Disney Channel . The trio later opens for Miley Cyrus on her "Best of Both Worlds" concert tour, which grosses a staggering $36 million and launches the Jonas Brothers even higher into the pop stratosphere.
At the American Music Awards, Joe, 18, trips and falls on broken glass while performing the group's hit "S.O.S." – but keeps on singing even as he bleeds. Backstage, the singer shrugs it off: "Just a little blood, but, whatever, rock and roll." Days later on their MySpace page, the brothers write, "Beyoncé stopped us on our way back to our dressing room to let us know she thought we did great. Akon spoke to us on our way out. He said he would love to work together. How amazing!"
Joe, 18, Kevin, 20, and Nick, 15, become the youngest-ever act to sign with concert presenter Live Nation, nabbing a two-year, multimillion-dollar contract for a headlining tour. Live Nation's Bruce Kapp tells Newsweek, "This band creates pandemonium wherever they go."
The Jonas Brothers appear in a special edition of PEOPLE. "There are times when it gets crazy," Nick tells PEOPLE of their heartthrob status. "Girls jumping, police holding them back. It's amazing." The brothers also reveal their special pre-performance ritual: "We say, 'Living the dream, living the dream,'" says Joe. "And then we clap all the way to the stage."
The Jonas Brothers' Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, featuring newcomer Demi Lovato, premieres with 8.9 million viewers tuning in, making it the most-watched cable program of the year. In the TV movie, Joe takes center stage as a pop star sent to a rock camp, where he flips over Lovato's poor-girl-with-a-big-voice character.
With their third album, A Little Bit Longer set to debut, the Jonas Brothers appear on their first Rolling Stone cover. The magazine says the brothers may share DNA, but are completely different, dubbing Kevin "the extrovert," Nick the "Jonas Brothers' boss", and Joe "the quieter Jonas, with a wild alter ego revealed onstage." Upon its release, the album sells more than 525,000 copies to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy of The Jonas Brothers; Gary Gershoff/WireImage; amazon.com; amazon.com; Everett Collection; Ethan Miller/Getty; John Shearer/WireImage; John Medland/Disney