Before Disney and Miley Cyrus got their hands on them, the Jonases were a determined upstart trio of God-fearing Garden State sibs. Now they're pop music's latest superstars

Thirteen-year-old Brandi is sick. Tears streak her face, and her chest heaves as she shrieks ”This is insane!” over and over. It’s a textbook case of Obsessive Jonas Disorder — better known as OJD in the tween netherworld where it mutated — and Brandi has made a pilgrimage to Denver’s Wells Fargo Theatre for the only antidote: a preshow meet and greet with the Jonas Brothers Band.

While they may be foreign to you, the Jonas Brothers — a genial fraternal trio consisting of Nick, 15; Joe, 18; and Kevin, 20 — are indebted to a nation of infected fanatics like Brandi for their fortunes over the past year. (Oh, and another teen named Miley Cyrus may have had a little something to do with their success too — but more on that later.) The group’s eponymous record, their second, debuted on the Billboard charts last August at No. 5, and has since moved nearly a million copies of hook-filled anthems and tender ballads. Viewers beyond their normal adolescent fan base — 18.1 million at home and another million in NYC’s Times Square — were introduced to hits ”S.O.S.” and ”Hold On” via the most recent Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Their 140-date worldwide tour with concert-promoting juggernaut Live Nation, which launched last month, is selling out at an impressive rate.

Instant stardom like this could go to your head, but after Brandi leaves (a number of hugs and autographs later), the band relaxes into the ordinary cadence of any group of young brothers joking about the go-kart adventures they had earlier in the day. Moments before showtime, the boys, now dressed in their signature glam-punk gear, join hands with their sprawling team for their customary prayer. The group’s manager blasts his thanks to God before shouting, ”Livin’ the dream! Livin’ the dream!” Indeed.

NEXT PAGE: On the decision to drop the Christian bent, at least musically: ”It’s just where the music led us. I think we can make a bigger impact in the Top 40 world.”