The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins on Jon Bon Jovi’s reported vocal struggles: “The people around him need to tell him to stop”

"[Jovi's] a great singer — he always has been — but this sounds like something is eating away at him from the inside"

The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins has given his verdict on Jon Bon Jovi’s reported recent struggles with his vocals.

The latter’s US tour with his band Bon Jovi last month received regular criticism for the standard of the singer’s vocals, with one reviewer describing his performance as “shockingly poor”.

Jovi has yet to publicly acknowledge the negative reviews, while reps for the band declined to comment to the Asbury Park Press.

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Speaking on his YouTube series Justin Hawkins Rides Again last week, the Darkness musician expressed sympathy for the singer, and observed that Jovi’s vocals sounded “tired” rather than hindered by a vocal cord problem.

“It sounds like he needs some kind of [vocal] therapy,” Hawkins said. “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 would be hitting the notes, and then it would squeak off and it would do something unexpected.

“But that’s not what’s happening here. This sounds like he’s super-tired.”

Hawkins theorised that while Jovi has been singing in a lower key, the singer hasn’t been able to find the “muscle memory” in his voice.

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“It sounds like something he’s gonna need some therapy with — actually talk to somebody and try and coax the performances back out,” Hawkins said. “It doesn’t sound to me like there’s damage in there. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve experienced voice problems before. And to hold a note with it being off key suggests some pitching issues that might be to do with hearing as well.”

Hawkins added: “It’s not fun to watch this, and it isn’t fun to regard one of the greats… He’s a great singer — he always has been — but this sounds like something is eating away at him from the inside.

“I feel like the people around him need to tell him to stop.”

The Darkness’ most recent album, ‘Motorheart’, was released back in November.

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