All the Musicians Who Have Spoken Out About Having Coronavirus
With confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States rising each day, the rich and famous aren't staying quiet about their diagnoses.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, the rich and famous aren’t staying quiet about their diagnoses. Instead, celebrities are speaking out on social media not only to keep fans informed but, in some cases, to urge followers to stay home in order to help reduce the risk of transmission.
Bold-faced names from professional athletes (Kevin Durant) to politicians (Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez) to big- and small-screen stars (Daniel Dae Kim) and even royals (Prince Albert II) are among those who have opened up about having tested positive for COVID-19. Musicians have been no different, sharing tales of their symptoms and quarantine.
Here are the artists who have opened up about having the coronavirus.
The Colombian artist shared during an Instagram live on July 13 that she had tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago. “I hadn’t said anything because my parents are far away and I didn’t want them to worry about me,” she explained after stories started circulating that she had contracted the coronavirus. “Because my new single [Ay DiOs Mío] was coming out, I didn’t want coronavirus to be the news.”
The rapper revealed in a July 8 interview with Forbes that he contracted the disease back in February. “Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I’m supposed to do to get over it,” West said of the symptoms he experienced. “I remember someone had told me Drake had the coronavirus and my response was Drake can’t be sicker than me!”
The Italian singer revealed in a Facebook post on May 26 that he and a few members of his family battled COVID-19 in March. “Out of respect for those for whom contracting the virus has had more serious consequences, I decided it would be best not to share the news,” said Bocelli, who noted that his case was mild and he has recuperated fully. “I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm my fans and also wished to protect my family’s privacy.”
The OK Go frontman shared his battle with COVID-19 on the band’s website, along with their new song “All Together Now,” which was inspired by the nightly cheering for front-line workers around the world. In an open letter to fans, Kulash shared that he and his wife caught the virus early, when there were only six known cases in California.
“My symptoms lasted forever, but were only genuinely scary for a day and a half. My wife Kristin’s battle was tougher, though. She was only briefly at the hospital, but bedridden with breathing problems for a long stretch,” he shared. “We’re extremely lucky. She made a full recovery, and though the kids did have symptoms, they never got much worse than a nasty cold. My heart aches for those who haven’t had the same luck.”
The icon explained via Instagram that she thought she had come down with “a very bad flu,” but recently tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies. “Thank God we are all healthy and well now,” she wrote.
DJ Jazzy Jeff
The DJ did two interviews on April 14 to discuss his battle against the coronavirus. He first did a video chat with Tamron Hall, explaining that he experienced the symptoms shortly after returning home from his performance at the Black Summit of the National Brotherhood of Skiers in Ketchum, Idaho, in early March. He later called into his former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air costar and musical collaborator Will Smith’s Snapchat show to detail his symptoms: “I had a temperature that reached 103. I had the chills. I lost sense of smell. I lost sense of taste.”
Simpson confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 after exhibiting systems following his tours across western Europe and the southeastern United States. It was a struggle for him to get tested for the coronavirus in spite of his travels and symptoms, but he was eventually tested on March 13 and confirmed he had the virus in early April. “All I know is I first felt symptoms a month ago yet Im still positive and contagious and now on quarantine in the dojo until April 19th and really wishing Id taken my wife’s advice and put a bathroom in the floor plans,” he wrote on Instagram. “live and learn..”
P!nk revealed April 3 via social media that she had tested positive for COVID-19. “Two weeks ago my three-year-old son, Jameson, and I were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Fortunately, our primary care physician had access to tests and I tested positive,” she wrote in a post that went up on both Twitter and Instagram. “My family was already sheltering at home and continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago, we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative.” Pink went on to call testing an “absolute travesty” in our country, adding that it is a “failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible. This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities.” To help the process, the 40-year-old announced that she is making a sizable donation of $1 million to support health care workers on the frontlines. On April 5, she shared more details about her family’s experience with the coronavirus in an Instagram live chat, saying that “Jameson has had the worst of it. I’ve had many nights where I’ve cried and I’ve never prayed more in my life.”
Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds took to Twitter on April 10 to thank fans for their birthday messages and also to reveal that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, along with his family. “I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate another birthday,” he wrote. “I tested positive for the Covid19 virus, as did my family. It’s an incredibly scary thing to go through my friends.” Thankfully, he went on to note that they “have now tested negative and are on our way back to full health.”
Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross revealed on April 3 that he was diagnosed with the coronavirus. The five-time Grammy winner shared the news in a lengthy Facebook post.”I’m sorry to report that I am among the growing number of Americans who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” he wrote. “Although I am fortunate enough to be cared for at home, this is possibly the worst illness I’ve ever had.”
The singer-songwriter and actress revealed in her Instagram Stories on April 2 that she had contracted the coronavirus, but is OK. “I had it, just so you know. I’m fully recovered, just so you know,” she explained in a video of her taking a walk. “I am just thinking about all of the people who are walking through this really tricky time and sending a lot of love and just being really grateful for every easy breath and every day that I get to be walking around.”
YNW Melly has tested positive for the coronavirus while awaiting trial in Florida’s Broward County Jail, the rapper’s Instagram account confirmed on April 2. “He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus,” the post alongside a photo with his family reads. “He hopes for your support and to recover soon #prayformelly send positive energy to him please.”
The 65-year-old guitarist and Grammy-winning producer told on April 2 that his coronavirus experience began with a cough he attributed to pollen. He then had a high fever and soon tested positive for COVID-19. “I’m still trying to assess all this. For the past two weeks, I’ve been struggling to stay alive. It really is that serious,” he said. “That makes you reassess what you’re doing here. I haven’t been able to touch or hold Teresa, or even look at her, this whole time. We’ve been on the phone constantly. It makes me see how valuable our relationship is.”
Runaway June’s Jennifer Wayne
The country songstress revealed that loading up on vitamins helped her recover from the virus. “Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, B complex; chaga mushrooms and ZINC! Lots of Zinc. I also drank more water and Gatorade then I ever have in my life. I wanted to flush that thing out of my system. Those vitamins and staying hydrated and rest were a lifesaver for me.”
“Next up, donating my blood and plasma to help others,” she concluded. “Sorry for the long post, and sending LOTS of love to all of you and hope you are staying healthy and safe!”
John Taylor (of Duran Duran)
The bassist, who says he has recovered, revealed he tested positive on Duran Duran’s social media pages on April 5, writing: “I have decided to share with you that I tested positive with the Corona Virus almost three weeks ago. Perhaps I am a particularly robust 59 year old – I like to think I am – or was blessed with getting only a mild case of Covid 19 – but after a week or so of what I would describe as a ‘Turbo-charged Flu’, I came out of it feeling okay- although I must admit I didn’t mind the quarantine as it gave me the chance to really recover.”
The “Whole Wide World” singer-songwriter wrote a lengthy blog post about his experience with COVID-19, detailing his symptoms — chest and rib pain, cough, low-grade fever, intermittent headaches — and the process of getting tested. “I felt deeply disturbed when I got the news and quite emotional,” he admitted. but said he’s “ok. I’m more concerned about people who haven’t got anybody, people who are going through this alone.”
Brian Stokes Mitchell
The Tony-winning Broadway star announced to fans in a video tweeted on April 1 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The actor said he could feel his “body fighting something unusual,” but is now feeling better. “For the last number of days — probably three or four — every day that has passed has been better than the previous, so I’m pretty sure I’m over the hump,” he said. “Take care of yourselves. Keep your social distancing.”
The country singer shared with fans on March 30 that she had contracted the coronavirus “despite being quarantined,” going out only for groceries. Shorr shared in tweets that “the first few days were absolutely miserable. … My entire body was in pain, and my fever was like riding a wave.” She is now on the mend. “I’m feeling significantly better,” Shorr wrote, “but it’s proof how dangerous and contagious this is. It’s endlessly frustrating to see people not taking this seriously.”
Juan Pablo Villamil
The Morat band member revealed in a March 26 message from the group that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. The musicians explained that they had been in Spain and Mexico, and upon arriving home in Colombia, they decided to be safe and self-quarantine, noting that they had experienced mild symptoms. “Villa was tested because he had symptoms and was positive for COVID-19. For having been together for 14 days and having some similar symptoms, it’s our responsibility to assume that we all have the virus,” they wrote on their Instagram post. “We have had very mild symptoms. We must be careful not to become contagion agents. We love you and ask you to stay home and listen to what the authorities say.”
Veteran country artist Joe Diffie tested positive for COVID-19. Diffie, who was the first country artist to announce publicly that he has been diagnosed, said in a statement on March 27: “I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment… We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.” On March 29, he died from complications of the virus.
The singer-songwriter revealed that she likely had COVID-19 early on before testing was available. “Well, I got it about a month ago, and at that point there weren’t… In most places there still aren’t tests available, but without a doubt it was coronavirus and not the flu. It was all the same symptoms,” Polachek explained. “And actually I had a couple of symptoms that at the time weren’t being so reported on, like loss of sense of smell and weird stomach issues as well. That’s one of the things that made it so different than the flu was these weird stomach cramps. And at the time those were curveballs, so I was like, I’m not sure if I have this or not.”
The Christian singer and finalist in season six of American Idol revealed he was battling with COVID-19 in early July. Sligh’s condition took a turn for the worse and he revealed he’d contracted pneumonia. “Breathing without pain or coughing is difficult & I didn’t get much sleep last night, but hopefully the antibiotics do their work fast,” he wrote on Instagram. Sligh has impacted the Billboard 200 on three occasions, including a top 10 with 2008’s Empty Me.
The gospel artist to reveal that while he has recovered, fighting COVID-19 wasn’t an easy process. “I’m a man of faith and just raised in and in my mind, I’m just concrete in the subject matter that God is greater than everything,” he said. Yet, and still, it’s so important for us to use common sense. So, being on the other side of it now, I’m just grateful that the word, I just finished my run and through the whole run, I was just saying, God, I thank you. I thank you because it could have been a different outcome for me and my family. So, I’ve learned to be more grateful for life itself. Forget about homes and automobiles and all these things. You can’t take none of that. That means nothing to you when your health is gone.”
On March 29, Prine’s family spoke for him to announce that the singer had been hospitalized, and was in critical condition, due to coronavirus symptoms. On April 7, the Americana legend died due to complications of COVID-19. The two-time Grammy-winning artist was 73.
Scarface revealed his diagnosis March 26 during a live stream with his Geto Boys bandmate Willie D. The rapper explained that he had been sick for weeks, in-and-out of treatment, but officially got his results on March 25. What started out as an “itch” in the throat, led to Scarface heading to the emergency room, where he was given an IV and antibiotics. After he was discharged, he returned to the ER “even sicker,” and noted that “It started off with pneumonia in both of my lungs and three or four days later my kidneys failed. I’ve been to the point where I felt I was gonna die.” In late April, he updated that he was on dialysis due to kidney failure. “That’s my new lifeline,” he said of his dialysis port. “Hanging on that string of death makes you really appreciate life,” Scarface added. “I was inches away from death.”
Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson
The leader of the Texas-based band alerted fans via Facebook on March 31 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus but says he remains optimistic. “Hoping for the best don’t have the usual symptoms but feel tired head ache no fever no cough!!” Benson posted on Facebook. “I’ll be ok sure do miss playin music and seein everyone!”
Sam Smith is convinced they caught the bug, but didn’t get tested. “I know I had it. 100 percent had it. Everything I’ve read completely pointed to that,” Smith told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe. After three weeks in self-isolation, Smith is feeling fine. The Brit dueted with John Legend on “Stand By Me” for the “Together At Home” concert.
On March 24, Slim Thug announced via Instagram that he tested positive for the coronavirus. “Check this out. No games being played. The other day I got tested for the coronavirus, and it came back positive,” Thug revealed. “As careful as I been self-quarantined and staying home — I might have went and got something to eat, stayed in my truck, mask, gloves, everything on — my test came back positive.” The “Like a Boss” MC warned fans to take the virus seriously and cautioned them to stay indoors despite wanting to interact outside.
Jackson Browne revealed March 24 that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. In an interview with , the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said he immediately sought out testing when he developed a cough and started running a fever. He did test positive, but he downplayed the severity of his illness. “My symptoms are really pretty mild, so I don’t require any kind of medication and certainly not hospitalization or anything like that,” Browne said. The 71-year-old rocker is pretty certain he picked up the virus on his recent trip to New York for the Love Rocks NYC benefit, which moved forward on March 12 as planned but, for the first time, live-streamed and with no audience because of early coronavirus cautions. “Now I wish I hadn’t gone to New York and done this benefit,” he admitted.
Adam Schlesinger, the songwriter and bassist known best as a member of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, and for his Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated work in TV and film, died from coronavirus complications on April 1 at age 52. The musician’s longtime attorney Josh Grier told Billboard on March 31 that Schlesinger had “tested positive for the virus, and has been hospitalized on a ventilator.”
The musician, known for co-writing “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (originally for his band the Arrows, though it was later famously recorded and made a hit by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts), died from COVID-19 on March 29, according to a message shared by his daughter Laura, who spoke openly of her father’s death. “How could this be? I was just at his show a couple of weeks ago. I had just photographed his portrait for his new album. Texted with him earlier. He played down the “cold” he thought he had,” she wrote on Facebook. “People are dying. You don’t think It’ll happen to you or your strong family. It has. Stay home if not for you…for others. For my dad. This thing is real. We probably won’t be able to mourn him properly with a funeral. I just lost the greatest love of my life and won’t be able to hug anyone because I’ve been exposed and need to self quarantine for two weeks….alone.”
The singer-songwriter told fans March 18 that she had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. “I am going to be completely fine,” she assured her followers in an Instagram post before urging them to help reduce the number of people infected by self-isolating. “Stay inside. Please. Whether you feel sick or not, stay inside. … Think about someone else getting your loved ones sick because they don’t listen, because they thought they knew better. Because they were selfish. We have the power to slow this down.”
The music producer, who worked on Cardi B’s Grammy-winning album Invasion of Privacy and each of Post Malone’s three albums, shared in a March 17 Instagram post that he was originally diagnosed with the flu when he started feeling sick on March 6 and was told by a doctor that he absolutely didn’t have the coronavirus. Watt explained that he went to the ER and “begged” to be tested and was denied, and it wasn’t until he got a private doctor that he found out he had the virus. “To have the mentality ‘I’m young and this can’t affect me’ is just straight up stupid and so dangerous to everyone around you,” wrote the 29-year-old. “It’s not about you. It’s about everyone together fighting this as a team.”
DJ Webstar, best known for his 2009 hit “Chicken Noodle Soup,” has tested positive for the coronavirus. The producer announced the news March 24 via Instagram. “I started getting a lot of symptoms on about 9-10 days ago, so isolated myself immediately,” he explained. “Fever, headaches, sore throat, shortness of breath, body aches, no appetite. So I thought it was the flu originally. The flu test back came back negative. The COVID test I got back about an hour ago and I tested positive for it.”
David Bryan (of Bon Jovi)
The Bon Jovi keyboardist, who is also a Tony Award-winning composer (Memphis), said in an Instagram update on March 21 that he’s “feeling better each day” after testing positive and remaining quarantined for a week (with another week to follow). He urged followers to not be afraid of the virus, but reminded them to “please help out each other. This will be over soon… with the help of every American!!”
The opera singer announced on social media on March 22 that he had tested positive and is isolating in self-quarantine. “I experienced fever and cough symptoms therefore deciding to get tested and the result came back positive,” he said. “I beg everyone to be extremely careful, follow the basic guidelines by washing your hands frequently, keeping at least a 6 feet distance from others, doing everything you can to stop the virus from spreading and please above all stay home if you can!”
The gospel singer shared on March 17 that she and her husband, Don, had both tested positive and are under quarantine for two weeks. “This is not fake news,” she insisted on Instagram. “If you are not already practicing social distancing and STAYING HOME, DO SO NOW! This is what we can all do. This is how we stop the spread.”
An unidentified member of the Aussie metalcore act has contracted COVID-19. The Melbourne band just completed a round of meet-and-greets in support of their new album Flip Phone Fantasy, the followup to 2017’s The Rhapsody Tapes which peaked at No. 5 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Reps for Ocean Grove’s label UNIFIED say “please keep the Ocean Grove guys (and others affected) in your hearts and minds during this time.”
Multiple ARIA Award-nominated Australian singer Thelma Plum was hospitalized after contracting the novel coronavirus. In a social post, Plum wrote that she’s “doing really good, feeling good,” but warned of the virus’ potential harm, particularly to Australia’s Indigenous communities. “Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak is key,” she wrote.
The Golden Globe-winning actor, who is also a musician (he opened for Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour in Berlin), told fans in a video on March 16 that he has COVID-19. After learning that he was in contact with someone who had tested positive, “I quarantined myself and got tested immediately,” Elba said, emphasizing that he showed no symptoms. “Look, this is serious, you know? Now’s the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands.”
The Crown the Empire guitarist revealed that he thought he had picked up a case of the flu through his travels, and it wasn’t until he went to the ER that he found out it was actually the coronavirus. “I advise everyone to keep yourselves informed, stay isolated, drink lots of water and wash your hands!” he tweeted to his fans on March 16.
The recording artist’s husband, actor Tom Hanks, shared with the world on March 11 that the couple had been diagnosed while in Australia. Per the actor, Wilson had some chills and slight fevers. While in isolation, she reached out to fans on Twitter for suggestions for a quarantine playlist. Hours later, she revealed the 28-song “Quarantunes.”
DJ Black N Mild
New Orleans bounce DJ and radio personality Black N Mild died on March 19 after testing positive for the coronavirus. The Orleans Parish coroner’s office confirmed March 20 that the DJ, born Oliver Stokes Jr., died after contracting COVID-19. He was 44. Stokes reportedly left work with a fever on March 9 and documented the early stages of his sickness on social media, writing his last post — “pneumonia not the flu” — on March 11.
Broadway star Aaron Tveit, age 36, revealed on Monday (March 23) via Instagram that he has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and has been in quarantine since Broadway shows shut down on March 12.
Testament singer Chucky Billy
Testament lead singer Chuck Billy and several members of the long-running hard rock band’s crew have tested positive for COVID-19. The band announced the news on March 22 in a statement, explaining that several group members began feeling unwell after returning from their Bay Strikes back European tour earlier this month.
Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien
On March 23, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien posted on Instagram that he has been home for days with flu-like symptoms and that he “most probably” has the coronavirus, though he hasn’t been tested yet because he thinks the scarce tests should be reserved for the “vulnerable in our community.”
On March 31, Jazz trumpeter and composer Wallace Roney died due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 59 years old. According to , Roney was admitted to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, last Wednesday.
Fred the Godson
On Monday (April 6), Fred the Godson uploaded a photo from the hospital, breathing through a ventilator. “I’m in here with this Covid-19 s—! Please keep me in y’all prayers!!! #GodIsGreat,” he wrote.
The New Orleans jazz patriarch died on April 1 at age 85. He is survived by six sons, four of whom are musicians: Pulitzer and Grammy winner Wynton; Grammy winner Branford; trombonist and producer Delfeayo; percussionist Jason; photographer Ellis III; and Mboya. “Pneumonia was the actual thing that caused his demise,” Ellis III told The Associated Press. “But it was pneumonia brought on by COVID-19.”
John “Bucky” Pizzarelli
The jazz guitarist died at age 94 on April 1. His family told The New York Times that they believe he died from the coronavirus after testing positive. Over the course of the celebrated musician’s decades-long career, he played at the White House multiple times, including for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and also performed with Frank Sinatra. “Jazz guitar wouldn’t be what it is today without Bucky Pizzarelli,” said jazz guitarist Frank Vignola.