The musician, 57, opened up about his upcoming musical collaboration with Harry, 35, during an appearance on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky on Wednesday, sharing his excitement in sharing a studio with Harry as he re-records his 2019 single “Unbroken” for this year’s Invictus Games, a Paralympics-style competition for service members.
While Bon Jovi initially wrote the track for the American documentary To Be of Service, which follows veterans living with PTSD and the service animals that help them, he had also sent the song and its lyrics to Harry as “a great gift” to his Invictus Games.
“He said yes and stuck now to it, so we’re doing it,” he said of the project.
The two are scheduled to get together on Friday at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, where Harry will sit in on a recording session. The meeting will be one of the last engagements Harry will attend as a “senior member” of the royal family after his bombshell decision to step back from public duties in January.
“I’m gonna hand him a tambourine and see what he’s got going,” Bon Jovi joked about their forthcoming appointment.
The Grammy winner continued, addressing Harry’s new status moving following his royal exit, “I’ve been asking, ‘What do I do? How do I address him?’ And then I realized I’m gonna call him ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.'”
Bon Jovi’s project for Harry was first announced on Instagram as an imagined text conversation between the two as they chatted about working together for the Invictus Games. In the post, Bon Jovi teased he’ll be bringing “some back up” to their recording session.
When asked about his supporting act on Wednesday, Bon Jovi explained that he had invited the Invictus Games’ choir to sing on the new track.
“My idea and letter to him at the time was, ‘I’d like to give you the single. I would love to give something back to the people you care [about] … but I want them to be the singers,'” he said. “It’s the ‘We Are the World’ for this song. I’ve got 12 veterans. They’ll sing the chorus to the existing track, which I did, and then it’ll be on the new record.”
He added, “We’ll release it as a single here in time for their games and hopefully raise them some money.”
The next Invictus Games are taking place this May in The Hague, The Netherlands. The event holds special significance for Harry and wife Meghan Markle: in 2017, the Toronto Invictus Games was where the couple made their first public appearance together. It was also a focal point of their fall 2018 tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, where they attended the Games in Sydney.
Starting April 1, Harry and Meghan, 38, will no longer hold an office at Buckingham Palace and will instead be represented by their U.K. charity foundation team.
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“The Duke and Duchess will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America,” a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said. “In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a new non-profit organization. The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.
“In general, the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively.”