ET's Nischelle Turner spoke with the rocker via video chat on Friday, where he shared how he and the Duke of Sussex teamed up to record a new rendition of his military-inspired song, "Unbroken," for the Invictus Games. Bon Jovi had originally released the song in 2019 for the documentary To Be of Service, and thought it would be a perfect song for Harry's Invictus Games.
"I was called upon to write that song for a documentary in America, it came out late last year, called To Be of Service," Bon Jovi explained. "And though I had never served, it was going to be a daunting task. I was the narrator, talking about soldiers with PTSD and service dogs. Difficult song to write. But even as I was writing it for this documentary, I thought on a parallel course about the Invictus Games and the British soldiers."
"So I sent it to Prince Harry knowing that they had this choir," he continued. "And after months of getting up and through the changing hymn, he loved the idea."
At one point Bon Jovi thought the idea was going to fall apart after Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced that they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family.
"But I got a call two days later saying, 'Oh, no, no, no, not only is it not falling apart but it's the first thing on his docket when he comes back. We're doing this,'" he recalled. "So I went to England before COVID took over. We went to the famed Abbey Road Studios and with the Invictus choir re-recorded the band's song and released it today with them, for them, as a battle cry for all those men and women who have served."
Since the recording took place, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the world. Earlier this month, Harry announced that the 2021 games have been postponed a year. However, proceeds from "Unbroken" will go to the Invictus Games Foundation.
Meanwhile, news broke this week that Harry and Meghan are now in Los Angeles after living in Canada for a couple months. While Bon Jovi didn't give them any advice on how to live a somewhat normal life in L.A., he did share how great it was to work with the royal.
"It's not for me to give advice to a man like that. They’ve got it figured out," Bon Jovi expressed, adding, "It was a real pleasure to work with him and to get to know him a little bit."
"I’ve met his brother [Prince William] before and I’ve met his dad [Prince Charles] before. I met his grandma [Queen Elizabeth II] before," he noted. "I’ve performed for all of them over the years. So this completed the circle. I wish them both all the very best. He’s a sweetheart."
While the "It's My Life" singer is giving back with his song, his soul kitchen, JBJ Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant, in New Jersey is helping the community affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
"We have three soul kitchens currently, but the model is based on volunteers. We have a chef and we have a sous chef, but all the bussers and the dishwashers and the hostesses, and all of that is reliant on primarily volunteers," he shared. "We can't allow any volunteers in and we can only do take out, and so I've been called upon once again to be the dishwasher."
"We're still serving those in need and we're providing meals for senior buildings or YMCAs where kids are going for their meals," he explained. While restaurants, stores and buildings may be closed during the pandemic and people are staying indoors, Bon Jovi applauds those who are giving back to the community.
"The applause goes to all those people who are working in food banks, food pantries across the country right now to make sure that our in need are finding at least one meal if not more," he stated. "But the soul kitchen is one of the many thousands of providers across the country."
Additionally, he also wrote a new song inspired by the coronavirus pandemic called "Do What You Can" and is asking fans to write a second verse.
As for the message he'd like to send to everyone feeling down and unbroken? "I think the song title says it all. When you can't do it, you do what you can," he said. "So many people are doing just that. They’re finding ways to make a difference in their own home. Maybe it's as little as spending time with their kids, and they hadn’t had the chance to do that. Maybe it's getting to know each other again… This is giving us a chance to slow down and remember what’s important, and that’s each other."
For more on Bon Jovi and Prince Harry's project, watch below.