As the unspoken leader of the Jonas Brothers
attracted legions of young fans with his fizzy, parent-approved pop songs. The Texas-born, New Jersey-raised wunderkind wasn't the group's only frontman -- he shared that role with his older brother Joe
-- but he was certainly its main songwriter, drawing from his experiences as a childhood Broadway actor as well as his love of classic pop music for inspiration. A performer since the age of seven (the age at which he joined the Broadway cast of Annie Get Your Gun), Nick made his songwriting debut in 2002, when a holiday tune he'd co-written with his father found its way onto a Broadway charity album. A contract with Columbia Records
followed two years later. Nick began prepping for his solo debut by writing material with his older brothers, Kevin and Joe
, who eventually climbed aboard as permanent partners. Nick's solo project thus blossomed into a full-fledged band, and the siblings aptly named themselves the Jonas Brothers
It took several years for the Jonas Brothers
to find an adoring audience. It's About Time, the band's 2006 debut, was a commercial flop, and Columbia
dropped the group one year later. Signing with Hollywood Records in 2007, the band began attracting new fans -- most of them young and female -- by establishing a presence in the Disney
world. They appeared on the network's television shows, earned their own series, starred in a made-for-TV movie with Disney
starlet Demi Lovato
, and sold close to two million copies of their self-titled sophomore album. They replicated that feat one year later with A Little Bit Longer, and returned in 2009 with Lines, Vines and Trying Times. All of the albums featured heavy contributions from Nick, who not only led the songwriting process but also played a wide variety of instruments, from drums to keyboard to guitar.
Taking a rare break from the band, Nick began working with several other musicians on a side project. Members from Prince
's New Power Generation were recruited to join the lineup, including Michael Bland and Tommy Barbarella, and the group dubbed itself Nick Jonas & the Administration before making its debut in early 2010 with the album Who I Am. Also in 2010, Nick appeared on stage in a West End production of Les Misérables. A year later, he took to the stage again as Link Larkin in a production of Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2012, he furthered his non-musical pursuits, appearing on an episode of the CBS TV show Hawaii Five-O and co-hosting Miss USA 2013 on NBC.
Despite working on a follow-up to Lines, Vines and Trying Times, Nick and his brothers announced in 2013 that they had parted ways, officially ending the Jonas Brothers
. Several of the tracks the trio recorded for the group's proposed fifth album ended up on a 2013 farewell EP, LiVe. In 2014, Nick joined Demi Lovato
for several dates on her Neon Lights tour (for which he also acted as musical and creative director). His second solo album, the eponymous Nick Jonas, featuring the singles "Chains" and "Jealous," was set for release in the fall of 2014. ~ Andrew Leahey & Matt Collar, Rovi