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Bon Jovi drops concert fee for crisis-hit Spain

FILE - In this May 18, 2013, file photo shows singer Jon Bon Jovi performing on stage as part of his "Because we can" tour in Munich, southern Germany. Bon Jovi are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country's severe economic crisis. (AP Photo/dpa, Marc Mueller, file)FILE - In this May 18, 2013, file photo shows singer Jon Bon Jovi performing on stage as part of his "Because we can" tour in Munich, southern Germany. Bon Jovi are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country's severe economic crisis. (AP Photo/dpa, Marc Mueller, file)

MADRID (AP) — U.S. rock star Jon Bon Jovi and his band are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country's severe economic crisis.

El Mundo newspaper and other media outlets said Thursday that tickets for the band's concert cost between 18 euros ($23) and 39 euros, roughly half normal prices for such concerts.

The paper's website quoted the singer as saying they initially planned not to play Spain as part of their tour to promote their latest album "What About Now", fearing poor demand from cash-strapped fans.

FILE - In this June 4, 2010 file photo, Bon Jovi's lead singer Jon Bon Jovi performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Arganda del Rey on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. U.S. rock star Jon Bon Jovi and his band are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country’s severe economic crisis. El Mundo newspaper and other media outlets said Thursday, May 30, 2013 that tickets for the band's sold-out concert June 27 cost between euro 18 ($23) and euro 39, roughly half normal prices for such concerts. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)FILE - In this June 4, 2010 file photo, Bon Jovi's lead singer Jon Bon Jovi performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Arganda del Rey on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. U.S. rock star Jon Bon Jovi and his band are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country’s severe economic crisis. El Mundo newspaper and other media outlets said Thursday, May 30, 2013 that tickets for the band's sold-out concert June 27 cost between euro 18 ($23) and euro 39, roughly half normal prices for such concerts. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)

But he told El Mundo, "I didn't want to let fans down."

"We did a study and we saw that due to the economic situation Spain wasn't going to be on the roadmap. But I didn't want to leave out fans from a country I love that has treated me well for 30 years," he added.

So the band decided to drop their performance fee, meaning the ticket money will only cover the other costs of staging the concert.

The country's Bon Jovi fans could certainly do with some cut-price distraction. Spain has been trapped in a recession for most of the past four years since its property market crashed. Thousands of homes have been repossessed and companies have closed down, causing Spain's unemployment rate to soar to nearly 27 percent — and almost twice that for those aged under 25.

To compound matters, Spain's conservative government has embarked on a harsh program of spending cuts and tax rises, which has further hit the economy and increased the numbers of those out of work.

Tickets for the concert, to be held in a Madrid soccer stadium on Jun. 27, have all sold out.