Appearing on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show last January, Nick Jonas was up for a little kiss and tell.
Submitting to host Nick Grimshaw‘s Heart Monitor game, the singer-actor opened up about inspiring ex Miley Cyrus‘ rage in her 2008 hit “7 Things” (he admitted to being “kind of flattered”) and an embarrassing early sexual encounter when he was a “a naïve young man” (after a paramour requested that he “come to mama” he mistakenly believed her mother was in the house).
Then came, perhaps, his most surprising confession. Asked if he thought he was the hottest one among his siblings, the oft-shirtless star responded simply, “I don’t.”
The eligible women of Hollywood may beg to differ. These days, the 25-year-old multiplatinum artist and Golden Globe nominee is squiring Quantico lead and onetime Miss World Priyanka Chopra, 35, around New York and L.A. and introducing her to his fellow Jonas Brothers at a family wedding in Atlantic City. “They loved her!” a Jonas insider reveals to E! News. But even before he caught the eye of the accomplished triple threat and dedicated philanthropist, he was enjoying the company of a multitude of other successful, worldly, talented stars. (See: Olivia Culpo, Kate Hudson, Selena Gomez.) Even Neil Patrick Harris has copped to a crush, saying the singer was “good-looking even before I was allowed to think he was good-looking.”
While it’s easy to remember the New Jersey-raised star as the curly haired, youngest member of his siblings’ squeaky-clean boy band, sometime in the last decade he slipped off his purity ring, buzzed his boyish mop and learned how to properly charm a woman. (Culpo once told E! News he would serenade her “all the time” during their two-year romance.) Putting on some 15 pounds of muscle for his role as an MMA fighter on DirecTV’s drama Kingdom and subsequently doffing his top for a series of photo shoots didn’t hurt either.
Longtime bestie Demi Lovato would rather not think about his sexual proclivities (for the record, he’s not into getting tied up, but is cool with spanking), but even she concedes his heartthrob status. “He’s a guy in his 20s and he’s famous and he likes to have a lot of fun,” she detailed to Billboard in their joint 2016 cover interview. “Listen, even when he was in a relationship, I was like, ‘Get out of that. You could f–k anybody that you want right now, so have fun and do that.'”
Even at the tender age of 13, Jonas sparked ardor among his contemporaries. Dating first Cyrus (the inspiration for the Jo Bro’s 2013 track “Wedding Bells”), then Gomez in quick succession, led to talk of a love triangle between the trio of teenage pop stars. “We never feuded,” Gomez later insisted to W Magazine. “We both liked the same guy when we were 16. It was just a Hilary Duff–Lindsay Lohan thing: ‘Oh, my God, we like the same boy!'”
They were hardly alone. Jonas’ first truly serious relationship came at age 18, when he romanced then-26-year-old singer Delta Goodrem. The Australian star was the woman he was presumably referencing during his 2016 appearance on The Late Late Show‘s Carpool Karaoke segment, when he explained why he did away with his purity ring. “I had a real relationship with an adult and I fell in love actually,” he noted, “and I decided it was time for me to take it off.”
By early 2012, he had also disengaged from their union, moving on the following year with Miss Universe title holder Culpo. His “most meaningful relationship” to date, the model and accomplished cellist brought out his sweet side (he told E! News in 2015 that he worked to make sure “Valentine’s Day is every day”) and left him at least thinking about eventually popping the question.
A proposal is what Culpo envisioned when he serenaded her at the Miss Universe pageant in 2015. “I went down and sang to her and I go on a knee and approached her. Her face was in full panic, she thought I was going to propose on national TV in front of one billion people,” the “Chains” singer recalled to U.K.’s The Sun newspaper. But he noted he was in no rush: “We’re 22, so there’s plenty of time to do that.”
Instead, after two years and his first solo hit (he told E! News he was inspired to write “Jealous” off his self-titled debut album after “I saw someone looking at her a– when we were out one night,”), they called things off. “It just was time,” he would later share on Hot 97. “We hit that point where we’re either, you know, going to move forward in some way, but we’re both so young.”
The split gave him an album’s worth of material—he’s said much of 2016’s Last Year Was Complicated was inspired by her—and cemented his heartthrob status. He claimed to be somewhat befuddled facing the single’s scene for the first time as an adult. “It was first excitement to have freedom to be whoever I wanted to be, be my own person,” he explained to Complex. “Then the feeling of being disheartened by what’s out there. Then getting into crazy artist mode and throwing it all out, the good, bad and ugly.”
But he quickly proved himself an old hand, romancing the likes of Lily Collins, Kendall Jenner (a pairing he denied) and Kate Hudson—a pairing he cautiously confirmed in his Complex interview.
Asked point blank if he was sleeping with the Golden Globe-winning star (by that point they’d already been spotted at Walt Disney World and NYC club Up & Down), he stopped short of giving details, simply saying, “Kate’s incredible. We had an unbelievable connection as two humans who just admire things about each other, and see something in each other that’s beautiful. Out of my best effort to respect her and her privacy, I’m not going to say if we had sex or not. But we did have a beautiful connection.”
Hudson was more coy, telling CBS This Morning simply, “He’s a great guy.” But a source confirmed to E! News that the pair enjoyed a “casual” fling. “Nick loves how fun and easygoing Kate is,” said the source. “Kate is just enjoying herself now and not taking anything too seriously. She is having a great time and likes hanging with Nick.”
And the dalliance was at least important enough for Jonas to score the approval of Hudson’s famous mom. On a 2017 episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen Goldie Hawn called the pop star “a very nice guy,” noting she would have invited him over for dinner “if it had lasted long enough.”
Since then, the “Levels” singer has been linked to model Georgia Fowler and Aussie Annalisa Azaredo, copped to crushes on Shania Twain, Emilia Clarke, Amy Schumer and “I know they are besties, so I can’t really say this, but Jennifer Lawrence, too.” He’s also revealed a penchant for sliding into DMs. “Slide right in there sometimes,” he admitted to Complex. “And then you’ll text the person and finally meet the person. It’s like online dating.”
These days, though, his Internet flirting has been focused on one woman. A year ago he and Chopra were just friends, platonically pairing up to walk the Met Gala red carpet in their Ralph Lauren designs. “We were in the same table, I mean, we know each other,” the multi-hyphenate explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “So we were just like, ‘Hey, you know what, let’s go together.” Now they’ve fallen hard and haven’t been shy about letting fans in. When Jonas posted a video June 6 of himself and a koala bear at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, the actress commented, “Who is cuter? Lol,” while he complimented her smile in a June 3 snap.
Just weeks in, the couple—first spotted hanging together during a marathon Memorial Day Weekend date—are keeping each other grinning. “They have gotten serious pretty quickly,” a Jonas insider tells E! News. “They’ve known each other for a while and were always friendly so they skipped a lot of the getting to know each other phase.”
Plus, Chopra simply doesn’t do dating. In her native India, she explained to In Style, “You like someone, you court each other, you get into a relationship. You’re answerable to each other. Whereas the non-answerability of dating, my God, I don’t know if I would ever be able to.”
And Jonas is happy to dive right in, says the insider: “He’s crazy about her and is excited about where things are going.” To the singer, continues the insider, the Unicef goodwill ambassador, “is different from anyone else he’s dated. She’s very mature and sophisticated. It’s been a breath of fresh air and he’s very happy with her.”
In other words, expect sightings of the duo to continue popping up throughout the summer. The couple enjoyed a three-hour date at NYC member’s club Ludlow House June 11, followed by a dinner at the Park Avenue Summer restaurant the following evening.
“The relationship picked up steam over the last month and now they are doing everything together and don’t want to be apart,” notes the insider. “They are planning more fun getaways this summer and hope to do more traveling.”
So, basically, it everything Chopra once said she wanted in a relationship. “I don’t like people who are caged within how life should be,” she explained to In Style in 2016. “Life is transient, and it’s a journey, and I want to be with somebody who can see that.”
Having great abs is just a bonus.