The Jonas Brothers have worked hard to shed their once-wholesome image. Not only are they back with new music, but they’ve also taken to opening up about their Disney past in interviews now that they’re no longer connected to the conglomerate (indeed, their comeback music is being released through Universal).
On The Late Late Show With James Corden, the brothers, between singing along to some of their biggest hits and deepest cuts, also opened up about their Disney days, when every single move they made was orchestrated by the family-friendly corporation that made them famous. They recalled how, as part of their clean-cut, sugar-coated image, each brother donned a purity ring, which indicates that the wearer is abstaining from sex until marriage.
“I took pride in it, until I watched those interviews back years later and was like, I sound like a robot,” Nick admitted during the episode. “Purity rings were to wait for the right person, when the time was right. And here’s the catch,” Joe explained. “When you’re like 12 and you do that, because we grew up in a church and our dad was a pastor, so it kind of just came natural for everyone we grew up with to go through this, and get one, and say, ‘I’m gonna wait for the right person.’ Some people would say, ‘I’m gonna wait until marriage,'” he went on. “When you’re about 15, 16, and start dating, and you go, ‘Wait a minute. What did I say I was gonna do?'” he joked, as he looked at his left ring finger.
The Jonas Brothers weren’t the only celebrities going through the purity-ring phase a decade ago. Miley Cyrus, Jordin Sparks, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato were all part of the chaste trend.
“The funny thing is, we were never gonna talk about it,” Joe continued. “Of course, you have three young boys wearing rings on their fingers, and everyone is like, are they married already? We were in an interview one day, and the guy asked about them and we said we didn’t wanna talk about them, and he said, ‘Well, I’m just gonna say you’re in a cult,'” he explained. “The next thing you know, it was the Jonas Brothers and their purity rings…we decided at one point, look, this is not who we are…this is annoying, people are making fun of it anyway, we can make fun of it ourselves,” Joe went on, before Kevin admitted to being the first one to take his ring off, before the band broke up in 2013.
But this Carpool Karaoke session was not the first time one of the brothers had opened up about the rings. In 2008, Kevin told The Huffington Post, “My ring represents a promise to myself and to God that I’ll stay pure until marriage.” A few years later, in a tell-all essay for New York magazine, Joe explained his own position on the phase. “Back then, we explained that we had made these promises to ourselves when we were younger. A few months later, it comes out that we’re in some cult and that we’re these little staged Mickey Mouse kids,” he wrote. “People were coming up to us, saying, ‘Thank you so much, I’m waiting because you guys are, too!’ And we just thought, No! That’s not what we’re about,” he continued. Even Nick spoke up about being “an adult in all ways” during an interview with Wendy Williams in 2015.
So, the purity rings eventually came off, and the brothers disbanded, but the band has reunited and it won’t be long before all three of them have an actual wedding ring on their left hand. Everything comes full circle.