The Year In Music: Jon Bon Jovi did what he could in 2020

In 2020, Jon Bon Jovi became was the embodiment of the song he wrote about the pandemic, in which he sang, “When you can’t do what you do, you do what you can.”

He started 2020 by working with Prince Harry on a charity single in London.  But as the pandemic hit, Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan announced he’d contracted COVID-19, and the band canceled a planned world tour in support of their new album, Bon Jovi 2020. The album’s release was also delayed from May to October.  However, Jon himself soon became one of the most-seen faces during the pandemic. 

In addition to doing a benefit specifically for his home state of New Jersey, Jon wrote the quarantine anthem “Do What You Can,” inspired by a caption on one of his social media posts that showed him washing dishes at his charity restaurant in Red Bank, NJ. 

Initially, Jon invited fans to co-write the song with him online, but he later released an “official” version on Bon Jovi 2020. A duet version of the song and video with Jennifer Nettles was also released. 

For the well-reviewed Bon Jovi 2020, Jon also wrote a few other songs inspired by the events of the past year, including “American Reckoning,” about the murder of George Floyd and racial injustice in general. 

In November, Jon and the band released the quarantine concert film On a Night Like This, during which they played the entire album.  A million fans tuned in to watch.

The star closed out 2020 by releasing a holiday EP with three Christmas songs: Covers of Tom Petty‘s “Christmas All Over Again,” The Pogues‘ “Fairytale of New York” and “If I Get Home on Christmas Day,” which was recorded by Elvis Presley on the 1971 album Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas.

By Andrea Dresdale
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