It’s no secret that Jon Bon Jovi is a rock icon. With a career spanning more than 35 years, the frontman for Bon Jovi has had an incredible amount of success. The band has sold over 130 million records worldwide, and Jon himself is worth an estimated $410 million. But lately his unpredictable live vocals have been put under the spotlight.
Editorial Note: Two months after this story ran, we learned of the passing of founding Bon Jovi member Alec John Such. Our thoughts are with his family and former band mates during this difficult time. For more on this story, click here.
The band’s third album, Slippery When Wet, was a commercial success, selling more than 28 million copies worldwide within the last three decades. It included the hit singles “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”. Jon’s voice was at its peak during this time. The album included the hit singles “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer,” which helped to propel the band to international stardom. In the ensuing years, Bon Jovi released a string of successful albums, including New Jersey and Keep the Faith. The band has also embarked on several highly successful world tours, performing to sold-out crowds around the globe.
In addition to his work with Bon Jovi, Jon Bon Jovi has also pursued a solo career, venturing into solo work in 1990. He has also acted in several films and television shows, including Ally McBeal. Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most successful musicians of his generation. He is also a dedicated philanthropist, working with numerous charitable organizations. Jon Bon Jovi also owns a restaurant in New Jersey where he will allow the poor or underprivileged to eat for what they can afford, even for free, as long as they provide volunteer work. It goes without saying, Jon Bon Jovi is a wonderful person and is truly an icon of the rock music world.
However, recently fans have been expressing concern over Jon’s vocal ability. Many people noticed that Jon’s voice has been sounding dramatically different during their 2022 tour – and reviews of his vocals in their live shows have been consistently poor as a result. Many fans and professional critics have said that his recent performances were strained, and he struggled with both phrasing and pitch, at times being almost indecipherable in what he was performing.
Evidence, of these vocal issues, is becoming increasingly difficult to come across as videos of these performances are being removed by YouTube on copyright grounds by UPMG Publishing as quickly as they are uploaded. However, all someone needs to do is search Bon Jovi Voice on TikTok, and various examples exist that have yet to be removed. See below for a lengthy example:
@chrisskinner11Bin Jovi voice is wack can’t keep up !!♬ original sound – Chris Skinner
If it wasn’t for the lyrics and the instrumentation in the song, it would be difficult to recognize which song was being sung. And this isn’t an isolated incident, reviews from several stops in the tour have all mentioned that while Jon’s star power was still on full display, his vocals were shaky at best. A few examples of professional reviews are below:
“[Bon Jovi] struggled throughout the two-plus-hour show. He wasn’t just butchering the older stuff, which the band now plays in a lower key, but the fresh material as well… Quite frankly, it felt like he had forgotten how to sing.” – Pioneer Press
“[Jon‘s] voice’s heft, which carried choruses of songs like ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’ and ‘It’s My Life’ is now reedy. He sounds thin. There’s not a lot of tone in his voice. He can’t quite hit the notes… Luckily for Jon Bon Jovi, he had the help of six additional musicians and their considerable vocal abilities to keep him afloat.” – Omaha World Herald
Fans have equally expressed concern, saying the performances have been a ‘hard watch’. Jon’s voice has been a key factor in the band’s sound and appeal – to see him struggling so visibly is certainly concerning. Jon himself has yet to comment publicly on these concerns, and the band has been relatively tight-lipped as well. Perhaps Jon may be deliberately singing in a lower register in order to preserve his voice. Jon is, after all, 60 years old and has been touring consistently for the past three decades. It’s possible that Jon is simply trying to protect his voice at this point in his career.
It’s also possible that Jon is simply going through a rough patch and his vocals will eventually recover. After all, even the greatest singers go through periods where their voices are not at their best. Whatever the case may be, naturally, we will not be irresponsible and speculate on the cause of the decline.
Jon’s voice is an iconic part of Bon Jovi’s sound, and we can only imagine how much different their songs would sound without it. We hope that Jon is able to recover his voice and continue making the great music that we all know and love.