The Jonas brothers get a lot of attention for everything they do, but there’s still plenty they manage to keep out of the public eye. And that includes an emergency trip to New York City as their father underwent cancer treatment.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kevin Jonas, the father of Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas, revealed to NBC Charlotte’s Michelle Boudin that he has been battling colon cancer for the past few months.
At the age of 52 Kevin Jonas was diagnosed with colon cancer in March.
“They were shaken,” Kevin Jonas said of when he shared the news with his three sons.
They dropped everything to be by their father’s side.
“Frankie came home from school, Nick came from L.A., Joe flew directly from Japan,” Kevin Jonas said. “They canceled their schedules, moved important things.”
Kevin Jonas was treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City surrounded by his family.
“They stayed with us, last meal before surgery,” Kevin Jonas said. “They walked me into Sloan Kettering, which created a little bit of a stir.”
Kevin Jonas still has to undergo chemotherapy, but says his prognosis is good. He has been quiet about the diagnosis until now.
“There’s also a feeling of responsibility to others,” he said. “I waited two years past that 50 year mark.”
There’s no place like home
Kevin Jonas is grateful to be back in his hometown of Belmont, North Carolina during this health crisis.
“I never thought I’d live in Belmont again, but you settle in with life. It’s been amazing,” Kevin Jonas said.
His wife Denise Jonas said, “This has become our family. We love this town.”
Denise and Kevin Jonas opened Nellie’s Southern Kitchen in Belmont, Kevin’s hometown, almost a year ago.
“People are like, ‘are you related to the Jonas brothers?’” Denise Jonas said with a laugh. “They’re related to me and they’re my children. The first reaction is they don’t believe me.”
Nellie's Southern Kitchen is located on Main Street right across from City Hall with a menu just like Nellie herself: warm and inviting.
Guests will see a portrait of Kevin Jonas' grandmother Nellie in the main dining area, with references to her life inside. For example, spoons hang from her dress, an instrument she was happy to play with friends and family.
Kevin Jonas credits his grandmother with giving the family the foundation to follow their dreams, including his famous sons.
Nellie's Southern Kitchen is open every day and open early on Sunday for brunch.
Running the restaurant is a family affair.
Kevin Jonas’ sister and her kids work at the restaurant. The youngest of the Jonas brothers, Frankie, 16, works in the kitchen.
“It’s a thrill to be back home,” said Kevin Jonas said.
They are content living in North Carolina away from their sons.
“We watched them grow up and I think it’s like all parents, you see your kids grow up and if they become good people you’re proud,” said Kevin Jonas.
A humble beginning
What may be hard to believe is just how humble the Jonas brothers beginnings were. At one point they had barely enough money for the next meal.
“Nick and Frankie shared a bunkbed,” Denise Jonas said.
Kevin and Denise Jonas said they sat the boys down to talk about the future.
“(We) said this is all we have and we’ll bet it on you and they said bet on us,” Kevin Jonas said.
And it was a good bet.
“They really did have a meteoric rise,” Kevin Jonas said. “It was quick and overnight.”
Raising musical stars
The quick rise in fame came with some struggles.
“It was hard to discipline,” Denise Jonas said. “What are you going to do? We can’t ground you. You have a show to do. Go to your nice hotel room.”
Most parents try to teach their kids manners, but being in the public eye makes that difficult.
“Denise used to say, 'You’re going to learn proper manners,'" Kevin Jonas said.
Denise Jonas jokingly told the boys they needed proper manners because they may eventually eat at the White House.
"And they’ve been to the White House nine or 10 times,” Kevin Jonas said.
The family toured together for years until the three brothers split. Kevin got married while Nick and Joe each went on to successful solo careers.
“Joe…a sex tape? “
There have been many rumors over the years involving the Jonas brothers, but one of the most memorable may be the sex taps.
Kevin Jonas remembers an awkward call he had to make to his son Joe Jonas.
“That’s an interesting call,” Kevin Jonas said. “I called Joe said, ‘Hey. So a sex tape? And Joe said, ‘What??”
There was no sex tape.