Hugh McDonald (American musician)

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Hugh McDonald
McDonald performing live with Bon Jovi in 2013
McDonald performing live with Bon Jovi in 2013
Background information
Birth nameHugh John McDonald
Born (1950-12-28) December 28, 1950 (age 73)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
InstrumentsBass guitar, vocals
Years active1969–present
Member ofBon Jovi[1]
Formerly of

Hugh John McDonald (born December 28, 1950) is an American musician who is best known for his session work and for being the current bassist and backup singer of American rock band Bon Jovi, which he joined as an unofficial band member in November 1994, before becoming an official band member in 2016. Before joining Bon Jovi, he was the bass guitarist for the David Bromberg Band, touring extensively worldwide and playing on many Bromberg albums. He has played with many other artists, both live and in the studio, including Willie Nelson, Steve Goodman, Ringo Starr, Lita Ford, Michael Bolton, Cher, Alice Cooper,[4] Ricky Martin, Gavin Whittaker, Michael Bublé, Poison,[5] and did a few dates during Shania Twain's the Woman in Me TV tour.[citation needed]

He has worked with Bon Jovi in the studio since its inception[6] and has been their bass guitarist since original bass guitarist Alec John Such's departure after Cross Road—which was released in 1994—but was still regarded as an 'unofficial' member of Bon Jovi until 2016.[5] At this time, McDonald was left out of most publicity shoots and album covers but did appear in some of the band's promo videos. The band members said they never agreed to officially replace Such. Regardless, his work with the band earned him a 1995 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for "Best Bassist" (tying with White Zombie's Sean Yseult).[7] McDonald was one of the studio musicians that recorded Jon Bon Jovi's original first demo for the song "Runaway".[5] When the song became a local hit, Jon Bon Jovi nevertheless assembled a band without McDonald in order to record a full band album around the hit song. He has also appeared on Jon Bon Jovi's solo album Destination Anywhere and was part of Jon Bon Jovi's backing group, The Big Dogs.

McDonald married his long-term partner, Nancy in 1996 but they divorced some years later.

In 2004, McDonald married Kelli, a horse trainer and jewelry designer.[8] McDonald has two children, one of whom, a stepson, is also a musician.[9][5] In 2018, McDonald was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi.[10]


With Alice Cooper[edit]

Studio albums
Compilation albums

With Bon Jovi[edit]


  1. ^ Clark, Kelly (January 12, 2022). "Hugh McDonald On Becoming One Of The Most Sought-After Bassists In The Music Industry". Dan Clark. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  2. ^ Jordan, Chris. "Bon Jovi in Rock Hall: Bassist Hugh McDonald is going in, too". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  3. ^ "Bon Jovi Always in My Heart - Jon Bon Jovi and the Big Dogs, Destination Anywhere tour 1997 | Facebook". Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  4. ^ "Trash". Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "Bon Jovi bassist Hugh McDonald not living on a prayer — he's living in Utah". Deseret News. March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  6. ^ "3 Famous Bands with A "Silent Partner"". November 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Metal Edge, June 1996
  8. ^ "Bon Jovi Bassist Hugh McDonald Upgrades His WFH, Virtual Concert Tech". CEPRO. April 29, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  9. ^ "Jake from Jake J and the Killjoys is the Owner of the Haunted Smoking Pipe that Belonged to Infamous Serial Killer Ted Bundy". Rock 'N' Load. July 11, 2021. Archived from the original on March 17, 2022.
  10. ^ "Read Bon Jovi's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Speeches". Rolling Stone. April 15, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2022.