by Billy Nilles | Thu., Aug. 15, 2019 3:00 AM
When Joe Jonas rang in his 29th birthday last August, his life looked markedly different.
He'd just come off a coaching gig on the Australian version of The Voice. He'd been happily engaged to his girlfriend, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, for nearly a year. His band DNCE had released a surprise EP earlier in the summer that failed to connect in the way their earlier hits "Cake by the Ocean" or "Toothbrush" had. And the beloved Jonas Brothers were five years into a protracted and seemingly indefinite hiatus.
Boy, what a difference a year makes.
While it seemed as though middle bro Joe might never reunite with his brothers—Kevin, the older one, and Nick, the younger one—professionally, given how nasty of a breakup the band had experienced in 2013, let alone personally (they were only tentatively speaking when they commenced filming on the Amazon doc Chasing Happiness, which began as an experiment in whether or not reconnection would even be possible), the band is now back and enjoying greater success than ever before.
The reason? Ms. Turner.
Despite feeling so wounded over the breakup, initiated by younger bro Nick, that he couldn't even "play one of our songs on stage with DNCE...even just to nod to the past," as he explained to Harper's Bazaar in June, it was his now-wife and the healthy relationship she shared with her own family that helped him to work toward repairing his own.
"It encouraged me to see she had such a great relationship with her brothers," he told the publication. "That was really a big thing for me to be able to look at, and say, 'I gotta get my shit together.'"
It wasn't until his brothers headed Down Under to visit Joe during his months spent living in Australia that the reconciliation really began to take shape. While there, the three took part in a joint therapy session-slash-drinking game where they each wrote five questions that had about another during their time apart and put them in a bowl. Answers were rated for honesty on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the words. The least honest you seemed, the longer you had to drink. Pretty quickly, no one was holding much back.
NBC; Shutterstock; Getty Images/ E! Illustration
With talk of an official JoBros reunion underway, Joe remained unsure. He was still committed to DNCE, after all. But by the time the boys traveled to Cuba to shoot their documentary and found themselves in an impromptu jam session, he began to come around. "We were playing 'Lovebug' [from 2008] in this beautiful apartment complex," he told Billboard earlier this year. "I was so happy. I looked at the guys and was like, 'I'm ready. Let's do this, for real.'"
With that, they got to work, finding that the biggest producers in the game (Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, Justin Tranter) were lining up to work with them. By February, they were ready to reveal to the world that the Jonas Brothers were back, dropping their first new single in five years, "Sucker," in the process. And they weren't stopping there.
"When we started to figure out what the sound was going to be like—balancing Nick's sound, DNCE's sound and, to be truthful, Kevin bringing so much heart into this," Joe said during an interview on The Elvis Duran Show the day the song was released. "It's been incredible—his stories, his family and everything that he has going on now, it was really important to be able to blend the three and so, we have probably 30, 40 songs recorded that we can't wait to release."
After earning their first No. 1 on the Billboard with Hot 100 with "Sucker," giving them their biggest hit ever, they released the album Happiness Begins in June. It debuted atop the Billboard 200, marking the biggest debut of the year so far. To support the new album, they've just embarked on the Happiness Begins Tour. Kicking off on August 7, the 90-stop world tour will keep them busy until they hit Paris in February 2020. And this time around, they're doing things a bit differently.
"We're doing this because we want to," Joe told Harper's. "That means we want to do it our way, and not get worked to the bone either."
Instagram / corbingurkin
And while the much-celebrated return to music would be enough cause for celebration as Joe turns the big 3-0 on Thursday, April 15—even though he will be devoting his special day to the band's show in Washington D.C.—it's hardly the only that's made the last year of his 20s such a cool one.
We're talking, of course, about his nuptials with Sophie and their new life as husband and wife.
Coming just a few months after his brother Nick's epic December wedding(s) with Quantico star Priyanka Chopra, Joe and Sophie did things their own way, starting off with a surprise trip to a Las Vegas chapel in May—immediately after performing at the Billboard Music Awards—complete with an Elvis impersonator as the officiant, Ring Pops standing in for the hardware, and Diplo streaming everything for the world to see.
"We had to do a legal marriage before we did a real big one," Joe told Harper's. "It was either the courthouse, or our version, and I preferred our version. Friends, Elvis, and Ring Pops."
By June, with Sophie's time on Game of Thrones officially coming to a close, they were ready to do it for real. On June 29, 2019 they tied the knot in a lavish ceremony at Château du Martinay in Carpentras in southern France. "Joe and Sophie both teared up while reading their vows," an insider told E! News of the ceremony. "Everyone stood and cheered and they had huge smiles as they left as a couple. It was an emotional ceremony." As for the reception, it was one big party. Our source told us the happy couple hardly had time to sit down as they made the rounds to greet all their guests, adding they "looked so happy."
"They both always had a drink in their hands and were having a lot of fun," the source said. "Sophie and Joe wanted their wedding to be a huge party."
With Sophie, as well as Priyanka and Kevin's wife Danielle (and their kids), or the "J Sisters," as they call themselves, flying out to join Joe and his brothers while their on tour, they're sure to make time for one another as they need it. It all goes back to that new ethos of doing things their way. And despite the fact that an exciting new chapter is just getting underway for Joe as a major one has come to a close for his new wife, Joe admits he's looking at it in a bit of a different way.
"We've definitely spoken about that. It's difficult to say goodbye to one," he admitted to the Guardian in June. "But it's amazing timing that we could be starting our life together right now."
While his big day will be spent on stage, a source tells E! News that there will be some celebrating once the JoBros finish giving Washington D.C. the show of their dreams. "They are having a small party for him afterwards at a private venue in D.C. It's going to be the tour crew, their wives and a few friends," the insider added. "Joe's schedule has been very hectic, but he is always down to party and celebrate a birthday. The brothers are excited to have a few drinks after performing, but also are gearing up for a whole leg of the East Coast performances coming up."
All in all, Joe is heading into his 30s with so much to celebrate, even if, as our source revealed, his brothers are giving him a good ribbing over being "old now."
"Joe has such a positive attitude about turning 30 this year," the insider said. "It's been a really exciting year for him with getting married to his soulmate, and reigniting his music career with his brothers. He really is doing it all and is excited about what is to come."
Happiness begins, indeed.
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