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What happened to Bon Jovi?!

Hey guys,

I just happened to see one of Bon Jovi's live performances in Seoul, Korea, and was completely shocked... He was struggling throughout his own song 'Always', struggling to hit the high parts, struggling for breath, and going flat many times.

Here's the link:

Does anyone know why this is happening? This is way different from his past, when his high notes used to sound so sharp and accurate, and he hardly needed to gasp for breath like that... It seems like a 360 degree change!

It can't be that he has a sore throat right? I saw somewhere in the forums that one should still be able to sing through sickness (unless he/she has lost their voice)...


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,559Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I don't know what might be happening with his voice recently. I haven't heard about this previously. I hope this was only a bad night for him. It is sounding as you said. Jet lag?
  • @highmtn Hi Bob, I did some quick research and it seems that he used steroids to keep his voice in shape as he strained/ 'oversang' too much in some tours and had to quickly recover his voice to keep up with the busy schedules. Watching his 1991 live performances up till around 2006 really brings back memories...he used to sing with such power and ease!

    Apparently he also revealed recently that he's been drinking way too much... Really sad story and this was the first time I actually saw one of my favorite singers lose his voice :( (Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sobered up and got his voice back so it was nowhere as bad)
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,559Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Wow. That is sad.

    The thing about using the steroids... That's why Ken says to not become dependent on using things like ibuprofen to reduce swelling in the cords. You can also sing too hard and not realize you may be doing so, due to the numbing effects of anti-inflammatories.


  • ragnarragnar Posts: 410Pro
    I don't know anything about the cause but he's been like this consistently for at least a few years now.
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 352Pro
    edited October 2015
    Yeah, I think Jon has been off his game for quite a while now. It might have a gradual decline, but in my opinion his vocal power peaked around "Slippery When Wet" came out. Always was recorded long before it was released. Jon has said in the past that he deliberately avoids singing the song often because it is taxing on his voice.

    In my opinion, Richie Sambora was always the better singer and musician (and maybe person). Back in the day though, they both sounded excellent on the record. I feel like I should follow up with this: can I do better than that right now? Probably not.

    By the way, as far as I know, a serious flu or cold will weaken your voice regardless of what technique you use. You can definitely sing through it, but I don't know of any way to sound the same all the time, even through illness.
  • TimburTimbur Posts: 452.0 PRO
    Another little dirty secret about Jon Bon Jovi that could be an issue with his voice is that he is a cigarette smoker. Not a good idea for a vocalist! Or anyone for that matter. I can talk I did it for over 20 years. Thankfully I quit years ago.
  • stratmanstratman Posts: 364Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Gosh, this sounds terrible (first song in the 2018 video below) ... but back in 2102 he was still pretty good.
    (second video)

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,559Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Even in 2012 he avoided the Bb4-B4 on the chorus of Livin on a Prayer and let the audience sing every one of them. But clearly in 2018 he sounds much weaker.

    If he's smoking, that's a real issue this late into life, as a vocalist and just as a healthy person.
  • Gaston_JaureguiGaston_Jauregui Posts: 992Moderator, Enrolled, 2.0 PRO
    To me there are a lot of factors for this, the first one is even though he had a great voice, (and i am a huge fan) he never had good technique, if you hear a lot of his tunes, he usually tries to fit everything under the EE vowel, he never kept his vowels open you can hear the "WILL love YOU.." on the song Always also en forever and a DEE instead of "forever a Day" he has always struggled with small vowels, and tries to get everything inside them, but in a very wrong way, very over pronounced, obviously he is one of the artist that has toured the world the most, so Its hard to be tough on him because of that, i don´t think there is another artist that has toured as much as him, for so long during and in so many years.

    plus steroids, not sure if he smokes, but I think the worst factors are in his technique, I like better Axl rose, even though his voice has lost power, he still can sing the songs in the original pitch, and go touring, not losing his voice, I went to see bon jovi about 5 years ago and was a disaster, off pitch, all the songs tuned down, and still not hitting them, it was very sad
    Dont take me wrong I am a huge fan, but he really has to take vocal lessons
    he cant reach any song...
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 352Pro
    I'd say he had some bad teachers that just tore his voice in half. His band is also becoming more country. Not sure if that's intentional or not.
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