NEW YORK — It's no surprise that the Jonas Brothers' new single, the title track from their forthcoming LP, A Little Bit Longer, rocketed to the top of the iTunes singles chart in just 24 hours. What might be a bit more surprising is that the song is intended to spread awareness about diabetes and offer encouragement to those who — like 15-year-old Nick Jonas — suffer from it.
(You can listen to "A Little Bit Longer" — and the rest of the Jonases' new CD — right now on the Leak.)
Nick explained his motivations for writing the "life song" about his battle with type 1 diabetes at a press conference Wednesday morning (August 6). "I had a day when my sugar was out of range, and I sat down at the piano and wrote it in 20 minutes," he said. "And it was because I had this strong inspiration. A lot of people have told me it's inspiring."
Nick, along with his brothers Kevin and Joe, announced that that they are teaming up with Bayer Diabetes Care to help spread awareness about the disease, in conjunction with the Jonas' Change for the Children Foundation, which supports programs that motivate and inspire children facing adversity. "For me, my vision has always been to be a positive light," Nick said. "A simple win is being able to inspire."
The campaign's goal is to help inspire young people with the disease achieve daily victories when it comes to controlling their disorder, Nick said. "At the end of the day, the things that stick out are when kids say, 'Thank you.' Those are my simple wins."
Nick said that when he learned he had the disease, there was no famous face he could feel connected with, and he hopes he can fulfill that role for fans who find themselves in his shoes. "My advice is that it's OK to rely on other people and be positive, because it will be OK," he said.
The biggest challenge for Nick to overcome is maintaining his glucose levels before he gets onstage to perform, he said. But if he finds himself in a high or low while performing, his brothers are ready to cover for him.
"Just recently at a concert, Nick had a low onstage," Kevin Jonas said. "Nick said, 'I need a few seconds to stall,' so I just kept talking. I kept looking for a sign, and so they ended up making fun of me. It went on for like five minutes. But really, I think it's great that we have that support system onstage."
Despite the seriousness of the disease, Nick and his brothers are still able to about their situation. When it was suggested that Nick team up with Bret Michaels or Halle Berry, both of whom have diabetes, Kevin responded, "A collaboration with Bret Michaels would be different for us." Nick added, "I haven't met Halle Berry yet, but I'm open for a meeting anytime."
The Jonas Brothers will perform at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on September 7.