The Los Angeles Convention Center glittered with stars on February 2, 2024, as the 33rd annual MusiCares Person of the Year Gala unfolded, bestowing honors upon the legendary Jon Bon Jovi. The Bon Jovi frontman was recognized not only for his extraordinary contributions to the music industry but also for his unwavering commitment to philanthropy.
Hosted by the irreverently humorous Jim Gaffigan, the evening kicked off with an unexpected performance by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, setting an energetic tone for the night. The duo presented a dynamic rendition of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and "The Promised Land," showcasing the enduring camaraderie between these two iconic rock figures.
Despite a recent personal loss, Springsteen's presence added a poignant touch to the evening, demonstrating the depth of his friendship with Bon Jovi. Gaffigan, injecting humor into the proceedings, playfully poked fun at Bon Jovi's '80s fashion and hairstyle choices, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and laughter.
The star-studded lineup of performers paying homage to Bon Jovi included Shania Twain, Melissa Etheridge, Jason Isbell, Brandy Clark, Damiano David of Måneskin, Goo Goo Dolls, and more. Each artist brought their unique flair to the stage, delivering both classic hits and contemporary renditions, highlighting the versatility of Bon Jovi's musical legacy.
Notable personalities, including Paul McCartney, Ted Danson, Kylie Minogue, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, were in attendance to honor Bon Jovi's multifaceted career. Kraft, who presented the award, lauded Bon Jovi's philanthropic endeavors, emphasizing his dedication to social causes.
The evening wasn't just a celebration of musical achievement; it was also a fundraiser for MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Recording Academy. MusiCares, founded in 1989, provides crucial health and human services to professionals in the music industry. The gala's auction featured exclusive items, including a volunteer day and dinner with Bon Jovi at his JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant in New Jersey.
Throughout the night, emerging artists like Jelly Roll, The War and Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and Damiano David delivered electrifying performances. Video messages from Matthew McConaughey, John Mayer, P!nk, Ed Sheeran, and Senator Cory Booker underscored Bon Jovi's far-reaching impact on the industry.
In his heartfelt acceptance speech, Bon Jovi expressed gratitude for the support from his mentor and friend, Bruce Springsteen, despite recent personal challenges. He reflected on the "gift of music" and shared a personal anecdote about reclaiming his first electric guitar, underscoring the profound connection musicians have with their instruments.
Addressing MusiCares' mission, Bon Jovi emphasized the lack of safety nets for musicians once the song ends and commended the organization for providing essential assistance to those in need. The night concluded with Bon Jovi, joined by fellow musicians, delivering a powerful rendition of "Livin' on a Prayer," symbolizing the enduring impact of music and its ability to unite people.
The MusiCares Person of the Year Gala not only celebrated Jon Bon Jovi's musical legacy but also reinforced the critical role of philanthropy in supporting the well-being of musicians and ensuring the continued vibrancy of the music industry.
Full MusiCares Person of the Year setlist:
Jon Bon Jovi - Legendary
Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen - Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “Promised Land
Melissa Etheridge and Larkin Poe - Blaze of Glory
Jelly Roll - Bad Medicine
Lainey Wilson - We Weren’t Born to Follow
Shania Twain - Bed of Roses
Pat Monahan - It’s My Life
jason Isbell - Dead or Alive
Damiano David - Keep the Faith
Goo Goo Dolls - This House Is Not for Sale
The War and Treaty - I’ll Be There for You
Mammoth WVH - Have a Nice Day
Marcus King - Born to Be My Baby
Sammy Hagar and Orianthi - You Give Love a Bad Name
Brandy Clark - (You Want to) Make a Memory
Lainey Wilson, Brandy Clark, Bon Jon Jovi and full cast -Livin’ on a Prayer
Photos : Getty Images for Press use only