Jon Bon Jovi has both a friend and a fan in Sammy Hagar, who gushed about the rocker’s runaway talent for songwriting at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year event Friday in Los Angeles.
“We were buddies forever, and I don’t ever remember having any kind of Internet argument or anything with Jon,” Hagar joked to Billboard on the red carpet. “We came from the same school, we sing the same kind of way, we’re screamers, we write big choruses that make people want to sing along. He’s just younger and better looking than me.”
“I really appreciate the guy,” he added. “Hardworking guy. People don’t ever think of his work ethic and how much he gives back.”
The Bon Jovi frontman was the guest of honor at MusiCares’ gala, which was hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center just two days ahead of the Grammys. Hagar was one of several musical guests to pay tribute to the “Livin’ on a Prayer” singer throughout the night, performing a cover of “You Give Love a Bad Name” alongside guitarist Orianthi.
When asked if there are any Bon Jovi songs he wishes he could have written instead, the Van Halen alum was upfront. “Yeah, all of ’em,” he said, smiling. “‘Wanted Dead or Alive,’ I really love that song. It’s so cool. But hey, ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ … it’s a damn good song.”
Also in attendance at the Jim Gaffigan-hosted Person of the Year celebration were Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Melissa Etheridge, Jelly Roll, Shania Twain, Train’s Pat Monahan, Jason Isbell and more. Matthew McConaughey, John Mayer, P!nk, Ed Sheeran and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also sent in pre-taped videos singing Bon Jovi’s praises.
And of course, Bon Jovi himself took the stage. “As I look out here at all you tuxedoed executives, I remind you this is a Bon Jovi concert,” he joked to the crowd. “We don’t sit down.”