The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins Suggests Jon Bon Jovi Needs Therapy to Help His Voice
Jon Bon Jovi has been criticized a lot as of late over his recent vocal performances, even though he is now 60 years old. Now, The Darkness vocalist Justin Hawkins suggests that the mega star could benefit from therapy in order to help his voice.
During clips from Bon Jovi's 2022 performances, it's evident that the band has lowered the key of many of their songs to match the vocalist's now lower register. Though fans have commented praising his physical energy onstage, many have pointed out that he seems to be struggling to reach notes that he's known for belting out.
See some videos of the performances below.
In a video titled "What's Wrong With His Voice?!" on Hawkins' YouTube Channel Justin Hawkins Rides Again, the Darkness singer dissected some of these videos and pinpointed the differences in how he sings now as compared to the studio versions of their massive hits, including "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Livin' on a Prayer." He also explained what he thinks the problem may be, and that Bon Jovi should stop touring for now so that the frontman can work on it.
"Bon Jovi has been on tour this year but unfortunately fans and critics have noticed that his performances are… lacking?" Hawkins wrote in the description of the video. "I have the utmost respect for Jon Bon Jovi and everything I'm saying here is just speculation — I wish him nothing but love."
Early in the video, Hawkins pointed out that plastic surgery can inhibit the ability to wail at a certain range because the face can't stretch properly to do so, though he doesn't say whether or not he thinks Bon Jovi had any procedures done on his face.
"He's got a lovely face. But he's not as young as he used to be, he's been doing this for what — 40 years or something like that? It's a long time," Hawkins elaborated.
The singer then added clips of a recent performance of Bon Jovi performing "Wanted Dead or Alive," and showed on his guitar how much they down-tuned it from the original register heard on the studio rendition of the track. He also suggested that some vocalists modify their delivery of a song when they've been playing it for decades and decades.
"This sounds like he's really tired, and he's sort of half-going for [it]," Hawkins continued, singing the melody of the chorus and emulating the way Bon Jovi performed it in the video. "It's sad. It's not much fun to watch really, especially as a singer."
Hawkins went on to note some comments that people left on the Bon Jovi videos, one of which said, "Jon… go to your massive mansion and enjoy life. We respect you and you should, too."
"That's actually quite a good sentiment," Hawkins reacted. "My career is not as long as Bon Jovi's, and not as big as well, even at the level that we've experienced. If you're in a situation like that and you can't deliver the goods and you can't give the audience what they deserve, that's horrible. It's a horrible feeling and you don't enjoy touring in that condition. You just want to go home, and I expect he's feeling the same way. But there must be a huge machine around Bon Jovi that stops him from being able to pull the plug on it, which is what needs to happen I think."
"I'm not talking pull the plug forever. It sounds like he needs some kind of therapy… It doesn't sound like it's a polyp or some sort of lump on his vocal cords, because that would be more unpredictable — he'd be hitting the notes and then it would squeak off and it would do something unexpected," he continued. "That's not what's happening here. It sounds like he's super tired and everything has gone down."
While it initially sounded like Hawkins was referring to vocal therapy or lessons, he actually stated he thinks Bon Jovi is suffering psychologically, and that talking to someone might help "coax his performances back out, because it doesn't sound to me like there's damage in there." Additionally, he mentioned that struggling with pitch while singing can be a result of hearing issues.
Hawkins himself has dealt with vocal issues prior, telling Loudwire in a 2021 interview, "The very lowest point of my singing career was just before I had a procedure on my vocal cords and I had a polyp on there, a big one, which was scary. I found it at the beginning of the tour and I had to go through this whole six week tour knowing there was a lump on my voice box."
The singer stated that after having his procedure, everything is now comfortable again, as he knows how to prepare for shows and warm down as well.
Watch the full video below.