Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus‘ romance may not have lasted, but the songs it inspired definitely have lived on. Especially “Wedding Bells.”
OK, so technically, Nick performed the song for the first time on October 12, 2012, during The Jonas Brothers‘ reunion concert at Radio City Music Hall. Nick continued to perform it on their world tour through 2013, but the full studio version of the song wasn’t officially released until November 27, 2013, five years ago today.
The heartbreaking tune, of course, was about his ex-girlfriend’s engagement to Liam Hemsworth.
And maybe it was fate that intervened to have the song be released a full year after Nick first performed it, as the 26 year-old is set to marry Priyanka Chopra in a matter of days, while Miley and Liam are engaged and stronger than ever after a two-year break.
But “Wedding Bells” was the end of a seven-year saga for Nick and Miley aka “Niley,” whose young romance dominated headlines and the hearts of many of their respective fans, who seemed to live and breathe on every split, reconciliation and rumor about their favorite couple ever since they met over a decade ago.
And for “Niley,” it was love at first sight when they began when they met back in 2006 at a charity event, when they were just 13.
“We became boyfriend and girlfriend the day we met,” Miley revealed to Seventeen in 2008. “He was on a quest to meet me, and he was like, ‘I think you’re beautiful and I really like you.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I like you so much.'”
Though they never confirmed their romance while they were dating, Miley started spilling the scoop fans were desperate to hear after they split in late 2007, with the then 16-year-old Miley admitted to Seventeen that she “bawled for a month straight” after the breakup.
“Nick and I loved each other,” she told the mag. “We still do, but we were in love with each other. For two years he was basically my 24/7. But it was really hard to keep it from people. We were arguing a lot, and it really wasn’t fun.”
But she did add, “Maybe he’ll be my best friend for the rest of my life or maybe I’ll end up marrying Nick Jonas!”
Now, “Wedding Bells” was far from the first song to come from Niley’s romance, as one of her earliest hits, “7 Things,” is a break-up anthem all about Nick following their love triangle with Selena Gomez, their fellow Disney Channel star. It was basically their generation’s Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie love triangle.) Miley even wore a gift he had given her in the video, which the video’s director Brett Ratner confirmed to MTV News.
“The necklace she’s wearing in the video is the necklace he gave her,” he said. “She’s wearing his diabetes or medical necklace.”
Earlier this year, Nick admitted Miley “never directly” told him the song is about him, but he confirmed he did give her the necklace she’s wearing.
“I was actually flattered, to be honest,” he said of knowing the song is about (probably) him when he was on on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show. “It’s there forever, and I know it’s about me.”
Now, as Nick was dating Selena, Miley went on to date Justin Gaston for nine months, with the Hannah Montana star calling off their romance in early June 2009. Coincidentally, their split came just after Nick and Miley had reunited to film a commercial for Disney’s Friends for Change campaign.
“He’s my best friend, and we still hang out all the time, and we’ve definitely reconnected,” Miley said during a radio interview with 107.5 The River after the shoot. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but right now we’re just kicking it and hanging out as much as we can.”
She continued, “We both just kind of saw each other again and kind of decided this whole thing was stupid and…we all were over the separation. And our families are super happy that we’re hanging out again.”
After Miley and Justin’s split, however, a source told E! News her rekindled friendship with Nick eventually became an issue for her then-beau.
“She obviously has been hanging out with Nick again a lot, and Justin was cool with it at first, as long as it was just a cool, friendly thing,” the insider said. “She didn’t cheat, but I guess Nick was trying to get her back the whole time.”
In 2009, just before Miley would meet her future fiancée Liam Hemsworth on the set of their Nicholas Sparks movie The Last Song, she briefly reunited with her first love. As the two were spotted hanging out in Georgia (where she was filming The Last Song, FYI).
A Nick and Miley break-up duet emerged from that reconciliation called “Before the Storm,” which they wrote together and it ended up on the Jonas Brothers’ Lines, Vines and Trying Times album.
“‘Before the Storm’ is probably one of my favorite songs on the record,” Nick told MTV News at the time. “I think it’s probably one of my favorite songs because it has a great story to it. It’s a duet with Miley, which is great.”
Nick went on to say he was excited to share the song (and the couple’s story) with the fans, adding, “It’s a good thing that happened and it’ll be a good one to play live.”
And they did just that when they treated lucky fans in Dallas to a duet of the song in June 2009 as Miley made a surprise appearance during the concert, which seemed to confirm the recent reunion rumors about the pair.
But then Miley was spotted filming a kissing scene on the beach with Liam…and the rest, as they say, is history, as rumors that their onscreen romance translated to a real-life love begin to circulate, though they didn’t officially confirm their relationship until they walked the red carpet together at the film’s premiere in March 2010.
And by June 2012, Miley confirmed the happy news herself that she and her Australian beau were engaged.
“I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam,” the bride-to-be said in a statement, with the then 19-year-old saying yes to the 3.5-carat diamond ring from jeweler extraordinaire Neil Lane that Liam presented to her.
Which brings us to “Wedding Bells.”
So Nick first performed the song in October 2012, noting he was the most uncomfortable while performing it.
Here is the most telling part of the song:
Pardon my harsh reaction
You put me on the spot
And if I’m being honest
I’m hoping that I’d get caught
Showing you I’m unhappy
Letting you see my truth
Cause if you recall our anniversary falls
11 nights into June.
Yeah, June 11 is the most indirect direct reference ever, as Miley revealed in her 2009 autobiography, Miles to Go, that she remembered “the exact date, June 11, 2006: It was the day I met my first love.”
And rather than avoid the sort of awkward subject, Miley addressed the song head-on during an interview with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show soon after it was performed for the first time.
“I don’t know who else is getting married,” she told Ryan. “So I feel like that’s pretty blatant, it’s whatever.”
She went on to say she was OK with the reference, given their chosen professions.
“Like I said, everyone has to write songs that are about things that they felt and he even introduced that this isn’t the way that I am,” she said. “So, you can’t ever hate on someone for writing about something you’ve been through. I think that you kind of get a fair warning when you date an artist and someone that’s a writer. When you’re going through things [then] you’re going to end up hearing about it on the radio. I don’t know… wedding bells are in my future.”
By the time the recorded version of the song was officially released, Miley and Liam’s engagement had been called off, with the couple officially parting ways in September 2013.
But before that, Miley had to shut down rumors that she had been hanging with her ex, tweeting, “I literally haven’t seen Nick Jonas in years. Don’t believe everything you read folks.”
Nick also shot down the rumors that the two had grabbed lunch together, telling Ryan Seacrest, “I read it online actually and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. No, I didn’t meet up with her.”
He then added, “”We’re really friendly. We’ve got a good relationship. I’m happy for her and Liam.”
But three years—and a Miley and Liam reconciliation—later, Nick reflected on his romance with Miley in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, admitting that they don’t keep in touch but said he was “proud” of her music evolution.
“I don’t have a relationship with her now really, but that’s not because we have any bad blood—we just sort of run in different circles,” he said. “And you know, she’s always been outspoken and authentic to who she is, so it was only a matter of time before she really owned that, and I’m proud of her…It’s a lot like watching your high school crush do well, just on a bigger scale.”
And now, seeing all of the headlines about each other’s respective engagements and impending nuptials must be the celebrity version of scrolling through your Facebook feed.
After dating for less than a year, Nick and Priyanka, 36, officially announced they were engaged in August 2018. Nick shared a photo of the couple, with Priyanka displaying her engagement ring, and captioned it: “Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love.”
Since then, the couple has shared almost all of the steps of their relationship journey with fans on social media, documenting their respective Bachelor and Bachelorette celebrations and their engagement parties.
So after high-profile romances with Miley, Selena, Kate Hudson and Olivia Culpo, how did the “Jealous” singer know the Quantico star was the one?
“I can go into all of it and get all mushy, but I think the thing that really connected both of us is our love for family and faith and the importance of being connected to those that are always going to be there for you,” Nick told E! News’ Jason Kennedy. “We found that in each other as well, which is a beautiful thing and I’m excited to start our life together.”
And it’s starting very soon, as Nick and Priyanka have already obtained their marriage license, and are set to exchange vows in a historic palace in India later this week.
Nick and Priyanka’s whirlwind romance and rush to the altar is in stark contrast to Miley and Liam’s journey to happily ever after, as the couple has no official wedding plans currently in the works. Still, they are happier than ever, according to an insider.
A source told E! News that “wedding planning has been a continuous conversation over the years but they have not locked in any set plans…both Miley and Liam want to have children and they both want to be married but aren’t trying to rush the process.”