Ten years ago, the Jonas Brothers were the biggest band in the world, with a No. 1 album, a Disney Channel TV show and high-profile romances with celebrities like Taylor Swift (Joe) and Miley Cyrus (Nick). Today, it’s JoBro déjà vu: They’ve got a No. 1 album with the biggest single-week sales of the year, a surprisingly good Amazon documentary and celebrity marriages to Priyanka Chopra (Nick) and Sophie Turner (Joe). They’re the same boy band you remember: Nick still has a penchant for too-tight suits; Joe remains a lovable goofball.
One thing has changed, though, besides the brothers’ tendency to flat-iron their hair: Kevin Jonas, the eldest, is a major DILF.
Here he was then:
It’s been a long journey for Kevin, now 31 and a father of two. When the Jonas Brothers first got big, guitarist Kevin was cursed with the Isaac Hanson role: aloof and quiet, not as cute as the youngest brother and not as hot as the middle one. After Nick broke up the band in 2013, Kevin retreated back to New Jersey and raised his two girls, Valentina and Alena, with his non-celebrity wife, Danielle, who was a New Jersey hairdresser when she met Kevin in 2007. For six years, while his brothers embarked on solo careers, Kevin quietly crafted an enviable life. He built a few houses as a contractor, honed his dad skills and seriously bulked up (look at those arms!).
The last decade has been more than kind to Kevin’s appearance, weathering his face into something serious, scruffier and more chiseled than ever. I’m not the only one who’s realized it. “Maybe back then we were too focused on Nick’s cute curls and Joe’s funny jokes to notice Kevin’s adorable baby face,” says Astrid, a 20-year-old JoBros fan from Spain. “But now, seeing how extremely both cute and hot Kevin looks with his children… wow. Literally, a dream.”
Kevin’s journey to DILFness wasn’t so smooth. Luckily, he started out strong and snagged an E! reality show, Married to Jonas, immediately after the band broke up. For two seasons, Kevin and Danielle epitomized mundane life in suburban New Jersey. “I had to get to a place where I could say, like, ‘formerly of the Jonas Brothers,’” Kevin says in the documentary (Chasing Happiness) while footage plays of him picking up size-four diapers, making waffle breakfasts and playing pretend guitar with his daughter.
Just as Kevin’s family-man persona solidified, however, his show was canceled after two seasons. He went on to make brief appearances on Real Housewives of New Jersey and competed on Season Seven of The Celebrity Apprentice. (He was the second contestant to go home.) From 2014 to 2017, Kevin spent most days running a now seemingly defunct home construction business and getting stopped by confused fans in store parking lots. “I get asked if I’m Joe or Nick every day. ‘No, I’m Kevin,’” he says in the doc.
But seeing Kevin as a parent — not a boy-band member — turned out to be an unexpected turn-on for longtime Jonas fans. “Any attractive man holding a child is a DILF,” explains Jessica, a 22-year-old New Yorker. Astrid, the fan from Spain, adds, “Kevin could’ve gone and tried to keep [going in] the music world, but he made it clear that he wanted a family and focused on it 100 percent. That’s adorable — he’s literally made it his job to be the best dad for his girls.”
Nick and Joe’s unexpected betrayal put even more fans on Team Kevin. In Chasing Happiness, Kevin reveals that his grade school classmates bullied him for “odd extracurricular activities” like gymnastics and magic.
The same trauma resurfaced in 2013 when Kevin’s brothers ditched him to perform as a duo mere days after the band broke up. “We felt like you were holding us back,” Joe tells Kevin in the doc.
“They sent a message that they didn’t need him for the Jonas Brothers,” says Cat, a 22-year-old from Dallas. She has a newfound empathy for Kevin after hearing his side of the story. “He accepted his role in a dimmed spotlight for so many years. I respect him a lot more now. I understand him more.”
Kevin’s life kicked back into high gear last June when the three brothers met up for a boozy Australian vacation. They had reunited to film their documentary, which sparked a plan to give the Jonas Brothers another shot. They all had their reasons: Joe was ready to go back to his biggest success, and Nick needed to reconnect with his roots.
Kevin wanted to prove he still had it.
At the ripe old age of 31, the eldest Jonas felt washed up. To make it worse, his daughters had never seen him perform. “Being able to see her in that audience see me do what I did best for so long. And she knows me as her dad. She doesn’t know the person that was great,” he says of his youngest one, Alena.
Then there’s Kevin’s honesty and openness about his depression, a major contributor to his DILF appeal. He’s a proud modern-day softboy. “It’s obvious Kevin will be the one to thrive in his old age because he has an old soul,” says Beth, a 19-year-old fashion student in London. “It was OBVIOUS he was the least popular of the trio, but he didn’t seem to care. And that innocence has stayed with him.”
Doesn’t this, though, all kinda make Kevin the fandom equivalent of a pity fuck? The celebrity equivalent of a sad puppy dog? “Some major points there. I can absolutely see you. It just must be a combination of both,” Beth concedes.
But not everyone is into the sensitive-brooding-dad image. “I need to see more of his personality come out. He’s definitely not unattractive, but there’s not much that makes me think he’s different from anyone else,” says Elle, a 22-year-old from Chicago, who calls Kevin “normal AF.”
It doesn’t help that Kevin’s comeback notably has him on the sidelines. He’s always been a guitar player first and singer second. But of the band’s many boisterous talk show performances this year (in which the brothers often discuss their families and wives, “The J Sisters”), Kevin rarely gets a mic stand. Meanwhile, Nick and Joe ping-pong back and forth, singing almost every verse. If not for their shared penchant for autumnal suits and curly hairstyles, Kevin would look like any other member of the band.
Then again, few Jonas Brothers fans ever preferred Kevin’s singing. “Backup vocals have always been his thing,” says Rosie, a 24-year-old OG fan from Chicago. “He doesn’t need to compete. They all bring their own element. Earth, wind [and] fire, baby.” If Joe, with his mile-a-minute self-deprecating jokes, is wind, and Nick, with that buff bod, is fire, then Kevin is earth: solid and supportive, but too often taken for granted.
Luckily for Kevin, we’re in need of a new normcore celebrity DILF. Chris Pratt — a former dad-bod goofball turned ripped leading man — is suddenly a Hillsong Church evangelical and newly married Schwarzenegger while beloved daddy Idris Elba (father to Isan, 17) is ridiculously hot but inaccessible — just not a guy most of us could conceivably get with.
Kevin has the qualifications to become the über-DILF — the hot dad of our time. “He’d be considered hot outside of his comparison to Joe and Nick,” says Greg, a 30-year-old from Nashville. “Great sense of humor, a quietness that brings about an air of mysteriousness, good facial hair (that’s key) and the right amount of muscles.” Anthony, a 22-year-old in Washington, D.C., is more blunt: “I’m a white man’s whore.”
In 2019, it’s time to recognize Kevin for who he truly is: Daddy Jonas.