Bon Jovi, Jennifer Nettles team for ‘Do What You Can’ duet

Single available Sept 18th

Bon Jovi and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles have teamed for a duet version of the band’s new single, “Do What You Can.” The track will be released to digital outlets on Friday, September 18th and will be included on Bon Jovi 2020, due October 2nd via Island Records.

“We have a little secret. Very excited that you were able and willing to sing on a new song with us and the band for our new record,” Jon Bon Jovi says during a one on one Facebook Live chat with Nettles announcing the single. “The crazy thing, and this is a result of why you are there and I’m here and we’re not in the same room, is this COVID crisis caused something crazy to happen. But out of it, came some different ways of thinking and ways to touch people, and songwriting, as you and I both know, is an integral part of touching the people who then relate to those songs, but in this case, who are living this song. So you know, when I wrote it, I knew it was going to touch people’s lives, and in essences, they could be our collaborators.”

Originally set for release on May 15th was a completed album with a breadth and depth of songwriting, titled for a challenging and pivotal election year. Inspired by events that transcribed throughout the first half of the year, frontman Jon Bon Jovi wrote two new songs in his home studio: “American Reckoning,” inspired by George Floyd’s death and the ensuing national movement for racial equality; and “Do What You Can.” The latter, he enlisted fans to co-write to give their views on the COVID pandemic, and shared their stories on social media.

In the midst of the pandemic, the band convened at producer John Shanks’ LA studio to record the new tracks. It was after these recording sessions when Bon Jovi decided to capitalize on the success of their 2005 duet with Nettles, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?,” that earned the band and Nettles a GRAMMY and made history as the first rockers to have a No. 1 country single.

“We recorded [“Do What You Can”] and another new song [“American Reckoning”] for the record. Then, when it was finished, I was thinking of you because I thought back to the days when we did ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home?’ It was fun and it was life changing for us. It was a No. 1 song and, you know, you and I got a Grammy out of the deal. That was the band’s first No. 1 country single which was a big deal. And so I thought with this song, what a way to broaden its appeal would be to have you on it again, and we’re magic the first time,” Bon Jovi shares of the new collaboration.

“It was magic the first time. I think lightning can strike twice. I think this is definitely a testimony to that,” Nettles says with excitement. “It’s so perfect you had this idea to bring in the fans to do this because the writing is so conversational, which, PS, so perfect for country. Country music loves that because it just makes it accessible in a way that is so easy that makes it go right to the heart of the matter. When I heard the song, I was like, ‘This already sounds like a country song.’ I mean, ‘Yes, I would love to sing on it.’ The fact is that all of it is such a beautiful story and when art happens in the right way, it does this. It’s like everything about it is beautiful.”

Both acts began teasing fans about the single late last week after posting lyrics from both songs and sharing pics from the “Do What You Can” video featuring both in face masks.

2020 will be released digitally, on CD and as a limited edition Japanese Super High Material CD and DVD set on October 2nd via Island Records after being delayed due to the pandemic. A 180-gram double gold vinyl edition will be available on December 4th.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: