"One of my vocal cords was literally atrophied": Jon Bon Jovi addresses the issues with his singing voice

Bon Jovi performs onstage at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year during the 66th GRAMMY Awards on February 02, 2024
Bon Jovi performs onstage at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year Benefit Gala (Image credit: Emma McIntyre via Getty Images)

Jon Bon Jovi had addressed the issues surrounding his singing voice. The frontman made the comments during a question-and-answer session at this week's Pollstar Live! conference, where he picked up an award to celebrate Bon Jovi's 40-year contribution to live music.

"I've had major reconstructive surgery in my vocal cords, and I never had anything like this ever," Jovi told the audience at Pollstar Live! "So it's been a difficult road, but I found a doctor in Philadelphia who did something called a medialization, because one of my cords was literally atrophied. Sometimes people get nodules; that's a pretty common place. Sometimes deviated septums and things that they've done take its toll on the cords. The only thing that's ever been up my nose has been my finger. 

"And so it was very difficult this last decade to have to contend with something that was out of my control, which was … the strong [vocal cord] was literally taking what was left of the weak one. So they put a plastic implant in it for the last almost two years now. I've been in this rehab, getting it back together, but I'm getting very close."

The apparent problems with Bon Jovi's voice came to prominence in 2022 after a series of damning, widely-shared live reviews prompted his local paper, The Asbury Park Press, to publish a story with the headline "Jon Bon Jovi vocal issues: What is going on and how can it be fixed?"

A week ago, Jon Bon Jovi performed at the MusiCares Person Of The Year Benefit Gala, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Jovi was honoured at the event for both his contributions to music and for his philanthropic work, and played a new Bon Jovi song, Legendary, before being joined onstage by Bruce Springsteen to play the band's 2006 hit Who Says You Can’t Go Home and The Boss's own The Promised Land. 

A rumoured reunion with former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora at the event failed to materialise.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.