They Did What? – Jonas Brothers

A series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artist. Now, I present to you the Jonas Brothers.

The infamous Kevin, Joe, and Nick. The Jonas Brothers are back together in 2019. If you were to ask anyone a year ago if this band would reunite no one would have guessed it.

Where did the brothers come from?

The Jonas Brothers have had an interesting ride to success and their career is unlike any other musical group to ever exist. Coming from a small town in New Jersey with a family that does not have much money, to signing a record deal, then getting dropped, to get a gig with Disney channel, to prove themselves as artists, to breaking up, to reuniting as a band. It has been a bumpy ride for the band but they could not be in a better state than they are in today. Happiness truly begins with this new era.

Disney Days

Becoming famous from Disney Channel can have its negatives in this day and age. The brothers even admit on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden that they were robots back in the Disney days. They were afraid to be themselves because Disney was a clean-cut “machine,” as Nick says, that was giving them this opportunity to be performers while also controlling their actions in a way. Artists who come from Disney are often viewed as artists who only appeal to younger audiences who don’t have real talent. Because of how fast their life changed from Disney, the boys were scared of it leaving just as quick as it came; they were afraid to be themselves. This was all a part of the Disney management, as they were expected to keep a squeaky clean reputation.

What people may not know is the reason the Jonas Brothers were even considered by Disney was that they were already a band putting out music. In the documentary, which was released on Amazon this past year, Nick says that many people think they were a manufactured group put together by the Disney, but in fact, they were signed to a record company before Disney and started writing and performing songs together at a very young age.

Did you know that the Jonas Brothers write all of their own lyrics?

In the new documentary, it revealed that one of their most famous songs, “Lovebug“, was written by Nick in response to his first real love with co-Disney star Miley Cyrus. Not only can the brothers perform, but they are also all songwriters. Their newest album, Happiness Begins, was all written by the brothers themselves. This album reflects where they are in life showing love and happiness to the world.

The Jonas Brothers worked very hard to be where they are today.

They were dropped from a record label after their first album release.  At the same time, their family was living in a two-bedroom apartment because their dad lost his job at a church. The family began to receive judgment from the church due to the brothers not singing Christian music. This was one of the lowest points for their careers and also their personal life. However, the brothers kept pushing towards their dreams; they had no other choice but to keep trying. Then one day… Disney called and changed their whole life.

Never give up.

Disney may have helped them skyrocket their fame but they are always performers and talented young men. They prevail through the hard times and reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The brothers wrote the majority of their self-titled album in that one apartment basement during the most difficult time of their life.  They never gave up on their dreams. In life, you cannot appreciate the happy times without going through the hardships. One thing that people need to understand is how the brothers represent hard work and dedication and to never give up on what you want in life.

The Jonas Brothers always thank Disney for what they did for them but in the documentary, they all agree that they regret doing the second season of their show, Jonas, because it was not who they were anymore. It felt too young for them and feel like it stunted their growth as a band. They were young adults wanting to continue on with life but were stuck in a show for children playing a 14-year-old at age 23, as Joe says in the Bazaar interview from this year.

The Music

The Jonas Brothers produce catchy music that people jam to all the time. However, what people do not notice is the deeper meaning behind these songs. The brothers are just normal human beings from a small town who happen to write songs and perform. Have you ever stopped and actually listened and processed the lyrics you are so energetically singing? One big hit song they have is called “Hold On” which is about how you have to keep pushing through the hard times life throws at you. It is not the happiest of songs lyrically, but the brothers paired the words to an upbeat tempo that makes for a great anthem to sing when one is feeling down.

“There’s more to life than just to live, ’cause an empty room can be so loud
It’s too many tears to drown them out, One single smile a helping hand
It’s not that hard to be a friend
So don’t give up stand ’til the end.”

Hold On – Jonas Brothers

The brother dynamic and connection that they bring to their songs and performances is undeniable. In their most recent performances since their reunion, their presence oozes happiness. They brought together the band because they missed the magic that was the Jonas Brothers. All they were craving was to be happy together again and playing music.

I can say from personal experience that the Jonas Brothers are incredible live performers. The feeling they bring to their concerts is something that only brothers can create. Happiness truly begins at the start of their shows.

Break up?

You may or may not know that when the band broke up it was not at all a happy moment for anyone, including Kevin, Joe, and Nick. It was not a mutual break up, as Nick was the one to say that the Jonas Brothers should be no more. In their new documentary, you find out that the brothers did not even talk after they called it quits for the time being. I cannot imagine not talking to your best friends for more than a day. They went through a rough patch as a family but it was much needed for them to come back even stronger. What makes the Jonas brothers so relatable is that they do not hide anything in regards to their journey as a band and family.

Diabetes Turned Positive.

At the beginning of the Jonas Brothers journey, Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. This was a hurdle in his life that he has now found a way to help others who have the same chronic diagnosis. He is the co-founder of Beyond Type 1 which is an organization that uses social media to educate young people on how to live with type 1 diabetes. Nick has been vocal about how he knew no one with diabetes and felt alone when he was diagnosed. He uses his platform to help others not feel the same way he did. Nick even posted on Instagram that it has been 13 years since he was diagnosed and he is now a happy and healthy man.

Click here for the full post

He vocalizes that it can be hard but you can live with this disease as long as you take care of yourself. Out of all that, Nick wrote a song called “A Little Bit Longerback in 2007 that was about his diagnosis. He embraced his sadness and fear in the song and hopes that it can help people living with the same disease. That is what music is all about.

I am so happy the Jonas Brother are back together. When they were younger, the media was so caught up in the purity ring “scandal” that they were not focused on the music. Side note, if you don’t know what the purity ring scandal is, then watch this interview here where the brothers explain it. It was a running joke that every media platform loved to talk about. People began to question the Jonas Brothers for no reason. Nick expresses what it felt like back then.

“The very simple answer is that it was incredibly annoying. And then it became a defining factor of who we were as a band, which was disappointing. I was just trying to navigate love, and romance, and what sex even meant to me, at a sensitive age. The question should have been: Is it appropriate for people to talk about a 16-year-old’s sex life? It’s absolutely not—and it wouldn’t necessarily fly today.”

Nick Jonas – Bazaar, 2019

This Happiness begins album is the start of a new era for them.

The Jonas Brothers stand for those small-town kids who may think they cannot go anywhere in life. Never stray away from your dreams no matter what happens. Keep pushing for what you believe in. In the spirit of the Jonas Brothers, chase the happiness you are so longing for in life. Happiness is what matters in life and the Jonas Brothers have now shared that with the world.

Written By: Adrienne Murdock

They Did What? – Demi Lovato

A series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artist; I present you, Demi Lovato.

Demi Lovato. You may recognize her name from her Disney days, as she was in one of the best selling Disney original movies being Camp Rock, or you know her music, or you have seen tabloids of her overdosing on opiods back in 2018. Whatever it may be, Demi Lovato is one of the most underrated pop stars of today. Not only is her voice undeniable but she as been brutally honest with what she goes through in life. Demi has been open about life with anorexia, bulimia, drug and alcohol addiction, and her bipolar disorder.  I think this, in a way, has made her a role model for others. She has created her own path in this industry and society. 

No one is perfect.

Demi has talked about being an addict, mental illnesses, and her sexuality. She knows she’s not perfect and that’s why she is a role model for others. You may argue that she is not a role model but everyone in their life goes through difficulties. Whether it be as extreme as throwing up your food or saying to yourself you that you don’t like your body. People connect with real stories and real people more so than celebrities who put on a persona for the outside world.

Demi is not perfect and neither is anyone in the world. The media will come out and highlight one thing a celebrity did that maybe wasn’t the best decision and talk about it for weeks. She is a role model because she has overcome addiction and an overdose. What you do with your life after these types of experiences is what matters. Demi has turned her hard times into music that others can relate to and that may even help them through their own hard times. She continues to share her journey of life to help others in their path with life.

“There weren’t a lot of young pop stars…talking about their issues, and I wanted [to be] someone that my little sister could look up to. I wanted to be the role model that I needed growing up.”

Demi Lovato in Teen Vogue.

Mental health is important.

There is a stigma around mental health in our society that it is not talked about as much as it should be. In reality everyone has difficult points in life and could use a little extra support from the people around them. Our society does not talk about these topics because they hold negative connotations. I think we are continuing to fuel the fire of with these mental health issues because they are real human things that most people have experienced from one extreme to another. If no one initiates conversations about mental illnesses then people view it as something that is frowned upon or abnormal.

People are often marginalized for having a mental illness which is not helping anyone. Demi Lovato only wants to help others because there was no one she could relate with while going through the ups and downs of life.  We are somehow trained to believe that celebrities have these perfect lives and are perfect people. Some people place so much judgement on celebrities when there is no need for negative energy in this world. In reality, everyone is human and experience human difficulties.

Demi produced a documentary that was released in 2017 about her journey so far in life. She wanted to create a body of work where she could write her own narrative instead of other people writing inaccurate stories. She told Billboard:

“It’s nice to be able to control the narrative because a lot of times you get asked questions in interviews and sometimes, some magazines or reporters are kind of like fighting for bits. I get to lay everything out on the line myself [in the doc], which feels good.” 

Her voice needs to be heard.

Not only has Demi shown the world that it is okay if you aren’t perfect, but her voice is undeniable. Demi has one of the biggest voices in pop music today; her range is insane and she can deliver every note. Everyone knows about Demi’s addiction but do they know how beautiful her voice is. Please listen to her songs “Warrior,” “Sober,” “Stone Cold,” and “Skyscraper” to understand Demi’s true vocal abilities. The media always publishes information about an artist before they say anything about their music which i think is a societal downfall. Demi has even tweeted about the situation which was reported in a Rolling Stone article.

“I love my fans, and hate tabloids. Don’t believe what you read. People will literally make up stuff to sell a story. Sickening,” Lovato tweeted. “If I feel like the world needs to know something, I will tell them MYSELF. Otherwise people stop writing about my recovery, because it’s no one’s business but mine. I am sober and grateful to be alive and taking care of ME.”

Demi Lovato has shown the world that she is a force to be reckoned with and will not give up fighting for herself. In the first interview back since her overdose in July she stated:

“What I see in the mirror [is] someone that’s overcome a lot. I’ve been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter.”

Demi Lovato in Teen Vogue

If you want to see the power behind the womens voice then watch this video linked here. Your jaw will be on the floor, no doubt in my mind.  If you tell me this woman cannot sing after watching this video then you have lost your mind. Demi Lovato deserves to be recognized as one of the best vocalists of this generation. 

She still gives back.

Supporting charities related to mental illnesses is one way Demi has given back to the world. But she also supports charities like WE Movement that aids community development in areas that are at a high risk for child labor, child exploitation, and lack of opportunities for young girls. Demi has been vocal about supporting charities since her Disney days where she was a part of the chime for change movement. She supports charities she truly believes in.

Demi has been through a lot as a child Disney star and has struggled as an adult pop star. But what people need to see is her fight to be better and continuation to show the world that she can be a role model in spite of her imperfections. Her voice is what needs to be spread in the media and what people need to focus on.

I encourage everyone reading this to keep fighting for yourself. Never give up on who you are. If you need help with anything, contact your closest friends or loved ones and receive the help you need. Remember that you will get through a rough patch. If Demi can, so can you. Loving yourself is the most important thing you can do in life. 

Written by: Adrienne Murdock

They Did What? – Harry Styles

A series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artists. I present you, Harry Styles

Where do you even begin? Harry’s story and his name he has curated for himself is unlike anyone else. If you are not aware, Harry Styles is a part of the boy band One Direction that has been on a hiatus since 2015. One Direction was founded by Simon Cowell on the British X Factor back in the 2010 auditions. Harry is one of five members who Simon paired together because he saw potential in them as a group rather than solo. Harry Styles has gone on his own to produce music and develop a name for himself beyond the boy band persona. Whether it be singing with the coveted Fleetwood Mac or becoming the face of Gucci. He has proved to the world that he is here to stay.

Once Harry released his solo project in 2017 he came to the forefront of pop music as his own. People who don’t even know One Direction know his solo music without the ties of the band. Harry Styles has in no doubt cultivated a name for himself apart from being in one of the biggest boy bands ever. 

Becoming famous from a boy band can still carry a stigma around someone.

There is an image that we, as a society, connect with a boy band member. Usually, the media says that boy bands create “cookie-cutter” pop music to market towards young girls. Cookie-cutter meaning basic beats and melodies with lyrics that are only surface-level content. You may hear that all pop music sounds the same, which is part of the cookie-cutter brand. 

I think One Direction created a few cookie-cutter songs because of the environment they were thrown into. However, if you listen beyond their hit songs there is some magic found within their work. Not everyone listens to this type of music because they believe that it is only for young girls, which is a wrong notion we have learned over the years that needs to be broken. A weird stereotype happens when someone is a part of a boy band where people perceive them as less credible than other artists. Somehow if screaming girls are the majority of an artist’s fan base then they are viewed as less talented than an artist with a different fan base.

Harry himself said it best in a Rolling Stone article from 2017 regarding his fans.

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.” 

What I love about Harry Styles is he has never tried to prove himself as being more than a boy band member. Harry has always been himself even in One Direction. Who he is and his music speaks for itself. There is no need for anything or anyone else to prove his credibility as an artist. The Harry that is shown to the world proves he has never been worried about how people view him but rather just being himself.

Harry is taking the music world by storm being the man he is.

If people like Stevie Nicks love his music and admire him then I think he is doing okay. Harry had the honor of welcoming Stevie Nicks into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her second time. Stevie has made comments that Harry is her “lovechild” and “the son she never had.” They both value each other’s talent and it’s an unexpected friendship that is worth the follow. Stevie even posted photos of her and Harry on her Instagram page. Now if a legend like Stevie Nicks posts pictures of you, then you have made it. See the posts below.

Stevie and Harry performing together at a Gucci event.
Harry inducting Stevie into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame. Click here for the full post.

It is a rare occasion in today’s world where a celebrity does not get caught up in the glitz and glam that fame brings. It is even rarer that an artist uses their platform to wholeheartedly spread positive energy to the world. In 2017 Harry started selling merchandise with the phrase Treat people with Kindness written on it. He even sold this merch at his concerts which proves he is not all about promoting his music or tour.

Kindness goes a long way.

Harry wants to focus on what is important for humanity to remember, kindness goes a long way. When people leave his shows with a shirt or hoodie with the phrase “treat people with kindness”, they will always be reminded to spread kindness to everyone beyond the concert. That is what Harry stands for. Kindness to everyone no matter their identity, race, sexual orientation, etc. Everyone deserves a little kindness in their lives and TPWK (Treat People with Kindness) has become Harry’s trademark.

Harry has not been the celebrity to share every ounce of his personal life with the world. The media is constantly pushing towards content that they can twist the words said by celebrities to receive more clicks or money. Harry stays away from that dark hole of media. There are a countless number of interviews where Harry is being asked about topics he would rather not talk about but he somehow diplomatically answers and it works. 

Harry answers an interview question in an Independent UK article regarding a line from one of his songs.

“I’ve never felt the need to explain myself in terms of my personal life. I very much feel like writing is the way you get to say what you want to say and be like, “That’s all I have to say on it.” With that one, I think it’s up to everyone’s interpretation, which is obviously an incredibly diplomatic answer. The line in particular, in context of the verse, paints the picture of the feeling that I was going at. It’s much more powerful when not taken simply as what it is. Was that an all right answer for that question? I think it was all right! I think we danced around that OK.”

What the media doesn’t understand is that Harry gains attention from the world for a reason, which is that he doesn’t share his whole life story to everyone. He has a name for himself because of the music he produces. But not only has his music defined him but how he carries himself. If you watch his journey on X Factor at age 15 he is still the same person he is today. That is what makes Harry special. 

“I like to separate my personal life and work. It helps, I think, for me to compartmentalize. It’s not about trying to make my career longer, like I’m trying to be this ‘mysterious character,’ because I’m not. When I go home, I feel like the same person I was at school. You can’t expect to keep that if you show everything. There’s the work and the personal stuff, and going between the two is my favorite. It’s amazing to me.”

Harry Styles, Rolling Stone 2017

Harry has created timeless music that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Your Dad, Grandma, little sister, etc. can all enjoy the music Harry Styles has shared. If you have yet to hear his beautiful voice on his solo project, click here to listen to his full album. Be on the lookout for new music as Harry just announced his new album Fine Line will be released on December 13th.

Harry Styles is a special artist who everyone can be a fan of. Give him a chance and you will fall in love. One thing that Harry has given to this world is his kind soul. In the spirit of what Harry would do, remember to always treat people with kindness. An act of kindness can go a long way to impact others for the better. Channel your inner Harry Styles and help make this world a little bit better by spreading kindness today.

Written By: Adrienne Murdock

They Did What? – Miley Cyrus

They Did What? is a series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artists. I present to you, Miley Cyrus.

“Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.” If you do not know where this quote is from then you have come to the right place. Who could have possibly said this? Well, it is Hannah Montana, a childhood icon from this generation, who happened to be played by Miley Cyrus herself.

If you do not know, Miley Cyrus was a childhood star who starred in her own Disney show, Hannah Montana, that started in 2006 when she was only 13 years old. The show revolved around a girl who was living a double life of being a famous pop star and living a regular life of going to school. This quote is one of her songs from the show called “Nobody’s Perfect.” If you listen to this song, the lyrics are actually a great lesson to teach everyone. Hannah Montana was obviously directed towards young children but this is a lesson that I think many people need to learn today. This song to me mirrors the life Miley has lived, yet it came out years ago before her career flourished. One lesson I took is that you learn from everything in life, even your mistakes and you can see that with Miley’s life.

Nobody’s Perfect.

Many people know Miley from her Disney days, her rebellious days, or know her for being in a long term relationship with Liam Hemsworth that recently ended. These are the things the media focuses on but there is more to Miley than what people may think. 

You may remember a time where Miley was twerking on stage at the 2013 VMAs and making lots of music about partying. People change and go through phases. Miley says, in “Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden, that who she was in the 2013 VMAs made her who she is today. It made her realize that if that many people will talk about her then she needs to bring good to the world so people will talk about that. Miley said that the VMA experience led her to become an activist. She does not think she would have even started her own foundation, which I will explain later on. She has learned to embrace her past because it is a part of her instead of running from her past like she was trying to do with this performance.

“I think when you are a teenager, young adult, you’re trying so hard to be cool or to prove something or to be something away from who you’ve been as a kid. And I guess as I’ve gotten older — even though it’s not who I am now, I’m not afraid of who I used to be.”

Miley Cyrus

The following year after her infamous 2013 VMA performance, Miley did something that touched the hearts of many. Instead of taking in all the praise and basking in the spotlight, Miley allowed for a formerly homeless man to accept the award she won for her song “Wrecking Ball.” The speech put into perspective how much money the music industry makes, yet there are so many homeless people right down the street, especially youth and young adults. Miley was making a statement to the world that we need to help those around us. Miley not accepting her own award shows her unselfish character and how big her heart is for others.

Being a Disney star comes with certain expectations and if someone acts “out of the ordinary” it will receive the attention that would not have happened if they weren’t a Disney star. In order to prove yourself, you have to step out of that box. Being Hannah Montana was the only way people knew Miley. Being this clean-cut teenage girl next door character. The minute she broke that stereotype, the world blew up. How can one expect someone to be the same their whole life or career? People change, people grow up just some people do it differently. Miley had to break the boundary of being just a Disney girl to being a singer, an artist who can make it in the industry.

There is more to Miley than the Disney star.

Miley Cyrus has a giving heart and truly cares for others. If you are not aware there were deadly fires in California this past year that took Miley’s house and many others Miley donated $500,000 to help other wildfire victims and asked for her fans and friends to donate to the Red Cross to help others. Miley could have put all her money into building or buying a new multi-million dollar home for herself. Instead, she was more concerned with helping others first. She knew that she had the money to buy a new home but some of these other people lost everything they had and may not be able to live in a real home for a while.

In 2014 she started her own foundation named Happy Hippie that is dedicated to helping the homeless youth of our country. She is dedicated to helping the homeless because her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, was homeless before he had his big break in the music. According to the website, The Happy Hippie foundation has a mission to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.

“It is essential to our lives to do good for others! The only way we can truly be happy is if we are making others happy! That is this Hippie’s goal!”

Miley Cyrus

According to Happy Hippie, “1.6 million youth are homeless each year.” Furthermore, “40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and family rejection is the most common reason LGBTQ youth experience homelessness.” To make matters worse, about one in every three homeless LBGTQ face rejection at homeless shelters solely because of their orientation. Miley wants acceptance in this world. Being apart of the LGBTQ community herself this is an important issue that Miley wants to fight. Miley has been criticized for being a part of the LGBTQ community. She likes to think of herself as pansexual, which means you are simply attracted to people no matter who they identify as. You like someone because of who they are not their identity.

People will hate you for being different but what you make of that hate is up to you. Miley has pushed past that and embraces who she is. As human beings, we like to put things in a box and give order to everything because that is how we make sense of our world. It is hard for us to understand that there needs to be no labels. Labels come with implications that you may not fit into. There are people in the world who are not just one thing but multiple. In reality, we may all fit into multiple boxes. The acceptance in this world of the LGBTQ world is something Miley is trying to normalize.

Miley explains that her perspective on life has grown since her young adult days. In her cover interview for Elle magazine this year Miley said,

“After the fire, I thought about how we helped more than 120 families who lost their homes. We’ve served nearly 1,300 homeless kids in Hollywood every year since 2014. And last year, we helped 270 kids find housing and provided 32,000 meals. That won’t burn down. That helped me become much more disconnected from things.”

Not only has Miley helped the world around her but she never forgets to advocate to be true to who you are.

Miley has made it a point that she does not care what people think of her but when someone comes after her character she will speak out. As you can see on her Instagram post below. People accused Miley of cheating on Liam when they do not even know what is going on with their lives or know anything of that matter. When there has been a couple like Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus that America has fallen in love with for almost a decade, it is hard for people to wrap their heads around on why anything like this would happen. Especially because not long after they got married is when they decided to split. People are so invested in the lives of celebrities but not in who they are as a person. How can you accuse someone of something if you don’t know who they are? The media is what prompted Miley to even have to write something to the world in the first place. There were false rumors being broadcasted that needed to be set straight.

Click here for Miley’s Instagram

While being in the spotlight Miley turns her hate into positive messages which I think is hard to do. Miley knows people have criticized her for her actions but she doesn’t really care much about herself. She uses that negativity to preach to the world that people need to put this negative energy into something good instead of criticizing her for things that don’t matter. In an NPR interview, Miley says,

“I’m doing what I need to do. I’m working in my community. I’m changing the way people view sexuality. I’m working with suicide prevention programs. I’m feeding people that don’t have food to eat. I’m doing my part as a human. You better go do your part if you’re gonna even have one little opinion about what I do. You better be doing some great things for your community.”

People only talk negatively about Miley because she is different than your mainstream artist. She is not afraid to show her true self to the world.  You have to remember that Miley grew up in the spotlight. Imagine all of the pressure that puts on a little girl. As you grow you are going to make mistakes but that is part of growing up. The whole world knew what Miley was doing and that is what is different from you to her.

Everyone needs to learn something from Miley. Being yourself is the most important thing you can do. If people put hate on you it’s only because they have insecurities about themselves. Do not let people tell you who you are or what to do. That is your own decision. If people are more accepting of others and their differences, our world could truly become a better place. Change is a good thing in which no one can be the same person their whole lives. Remember that “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.” No one is perfect and what you do with what you learn in life is up to you. If you spread positivity to the world as Miley has, you can help change this world for the better.

Written By: Adrienne Murdock