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John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and frontman of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983.

Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival 3.jpg
Bon Jovi at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009
Born
John Francis Bongiovi Jr.

(1962-03-02) March 2, 1962 (age 57)
EducationSt. Joseph High School
Sayreville War Memorial High School
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • philanthropist
  • actor
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)
Dorothea Hurley (m. 1989)
Children4
Parent(s)John Francis Bongiovi Sr.
Carol Sharkey
RelativesTony Bongiovi (cousin)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Labels
Associated acts
Websitebonjovi.com

Bon Jovi has released 14 studio albums with his band; to date, the band has sold over 130 million albums worldwide. Bon Jovi has also released two solo albums. In the 1990s, Bon Jovi started an acting career, starring in the films Moonlight and Valentino and U-571 and appearing on television in Sex and the City and Ally McBeal.

As a songwriter, Bon Jovi was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.[1][2] In 2012, Bon Jovi ranked #50 on the list of Billboard Magazine's "Power 100", a ranking of "The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business".[3] In 1996, People Magazine named him one of the "50 Most Beautiful People In The World".[4] In 2000, People awarded him the title "Sexiest Rock Star".[5]

Bon Jovi was a founder and majority owner of the Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul. He is the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, founded in 2006.

Early life

John Francis Bongiovi Jr. was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, a son of two former Marines, barber John Francis Bongiovi Sr. and Playboy Bunny turned florist Carol (Sharkey).[6] He has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew.[7] His father was of Sicilian (from Sciacca, Sicily) and Slovak ancestry and his mother is of German and Russian descent.[8][9] He has stated that he is a blood relative of singer Frank Sinatra.[10] Bon Jovi was raised Catholic.[11] He spent summers in Erie, Pennsylvania, with his grandparents, and sold newspapers.[12] As a child, John attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey, during his freshman and sophomore years.[13] He later transferred to Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey.[14]

Music career

Beginnings

Jon Bon Jovi began playing music in 1975, at the age of 13, playing piano and guitar with his first band, Raze.[15][16] At 16, he met David Bryan and formed a band called Atlantic City Expressway.[15][17] Still in his teens, Bon Jovi played in the band John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones, playing clubs such as the Fast Lane and opening for local acts.[17][18] By 1980, he had formed another band, the Rest, and opened up for New Jersey acts such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.[17][19][20]

When he was seventeen, Bon Jovi was sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi's recording studio, Power Station. In 1980, when Meco was there recording Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, Tony Bongiovi recommended John for the song "R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas", which became his first professional recording (credited as John Bongiovi).[21]

In 1983, Bon Jovi visited a local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" in Lake Success, New York to write and sing the jingles for the station. He spoke with DJ Chip Hobart and to the promotion director, John Lassman, who suggested Jon let WAPP include the song "Runaway" on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent. Jon was reluctant, but eventually gave them the song, which he had rerecorded in 1982 (following a rough early recording in 1981) with local studio musicians whom he designated The All Star Review: Guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and bassist Hugh McDonald.[22]

Bon Jovi

In March 1983, Jon Bon Jovi called David Bryan, who in turn called bassist Alec John Such and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres.[23] Guitarist Richie Sambora later joined the band; Bon Jovi, Sambora, Such, Bryan, and Torres became the founding members of Bon Jovi.[24]

 
Jon Bon Jovi with Jonathan King in 1987

In 1984 and 1985, Bon Jovi released their first two albums and their debut single "Runaway" managed to crack the Top 40. In 1986, the band achieved widespread success and global recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet,[25][26] which had sold 28 million copies worldwide as of 2011.[27] Slippery When Wet included three Top 10 singles, two of which reached No. 1 ("You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer").[28]

As of 2019, Bon Jovi has released 14 studio albums, five compilations and three live albums. They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the bestselling American rock bands.[29][30] Bon Jovi has performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans.[31][32] Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2018.[33]

Solo career

In 1990, Jon Bon Jovi recorded a soundtrack to the movie Young Guns II more commonly known as Blaze of Glory. Having been originally approached by his friend Emilio Estevez to lend "Wanted Dead Or Alive" as the theme song for his upcoming Billy the Kid sequel, Bon Jovi ended up composing an all-new theme song for the film's soundtrack and delivering his first solo album. The album featured guests such as Elton John, Little Richard and Jeff Beck. The title track, "Blaze of Glory", peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1991, "Blaze of Glory" won an award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single at the American Music Awards[34] and awarded a Golden Globe, as well. The song also earned him an Academy Award nomination and a Grammy Award nomination.[citation needed]

In 1991, Jon Bon Jovi started his own label, Jambco Records, and produced Aldo Nova's album Blood on the Bricks and Billy Falcon's album Pretty Blue World.[citation needed]

Bon Jovi's second solo album was 1997's Destination Anywhere. A short movie of the same name was recorded right around the record's release, based entirely on the songs from the record and starring Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Whoopi Goldberg. The film debuted on both MTV and VH1 in 1997.[citation needed]

In 2012, Jon Bon Jovi recorded a soundtrack to the movie Stand Up Guys more commonly known as Not Running Anymore. On December 13, 2012, it was announced that "Not Running Anymore" would be nominated for a Golden Globe Award.[35]

Other ventures

Acting career

Jon Bon Jovi is a credited actor in the movies Moonlight and Valentino, The Leading Man, Destination Anywhere, Homegrown, Little City, No Looking Back, Row Your Boat, Vampires Los Muertos, U-571, Cry Wolf, National Lampoon's Pucked, and New Year's Eve.[citation needed] He also had a supporting role in the movie Pay It Forward, where he played Helen Hunt's abusive ex-husband.[citation needed] His TV series appearances include Sex and the City, 30 Rock, Las Vegas, The West Wing, and an extended stint on Ally McBeal as a plumber who was Ally's boyfriend for a short period of time.[citation needed] He also had a brief, uncredited role in the 1990 film Young Guns II.[36] On January 24, 2011, it was confirmed that Bon Jovi would be cast in the film New Year's Eve, released later that year, as a successful rock star who is connected with Katherine Heigl's character.[37]

Sports franchises

In 2004, Bon Jovi became founder and primary owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. He appeared in several television commercials for the league, typically with John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos (and co-owner of the AFL's Colorado Crush). Bon Jovi is no longer part owner of the Soul.[38] In 2011, Bon Jovi expressed interest in purchasing 15% of the Atlanta Falcons for $150 million.[39]

In 2014, a group of investors including Bon Jovi made it to the final round of bidding to acquire the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League, but the team was sold to Terry Pegula, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League.[40]

Philanthropy

 
Jon Bon Jovi in 2006

During an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, Bon Jovi (the band, not the individual) donated $1 million to the Angel Network foundation.[41]

In July 2007, Jon Bon Jovi announced a project that would rehabilitate a block of 15 homes in north Philadelphia.[42][43]

The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) was founded in 2006. It supports community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.[44] On October 19, 2011, it opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen, a community restaurant where patrons pay what they can afford for their meals, either with money or by volunteering work.[45] On January 21, 2019, the restaurant provided free meals to government workers and family members who had been affected by the federal government shutdown.[46][47]

Jon Bon Jovi is one of 21 artists singing on "Everybody Hurts", a charity single organized by Simon Cowell aiding victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[48]

Political activism

Although Bon Jovi's voter registration indicates that he is unaffiliated,[49] he has supported and toured with many Democratic politicians. He toured extensively on behalf of presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, appearing at and playing acoustic sets (with Richie Sambora) at rallies for the Kerry-Edwards ticket throughout the United States.[50] Bon Jovi also played as a part of the Live Earth concert at the Meadowlands in 2007, and was introduced by former Vice President Al Gore. In 2008, Jon Bon Jovi supported Barack Obama for president, holding an exclusive private dinner at his home, as a fundraiser for his campaign.[51] He also played at a 2009 Manhattan fundraiser for former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to lessen some of her $6.3 million 2008 campaign debt. On Sunday, January 18, 2009, Bon Jovi performed a duet at the Obama Inauguration Concert of the Sam Cooke classic "A Change is Gonna Come" with Bettye LaVette.[52] On June 4, 2009, Bon Jovi performed an acoustic benefit show for Democratic Governor Jon Corzine at the NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey.[53]

On June 24, 2009, Bon Jovi, Sambora and Andy Madadian recorded a musical message of worldwide solidarity with the people of Iran. The handwritten Persian sign in the video translates to "we are one".[54]

On December 15, 2010, Bon Jovi was appointed by Barack Obama to the White House Council for Community Solutions.[55]

In 2017, Bon Jovi raised money for Jim Renacci, conservative Republican representative from Ohio's 16th congressional district and then a candidate for Ohio governor.[56]

In the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Bon Jovi endorsed fellow New Jerseyan Cory Booker for President of the United States.[57]

Personal life

 
Graceland Wedding Chapel, where Jon Bon Jovi married Dorothea Hurley. The chapel has used it as a claim to fame ever since.

During a stop in Los Angeles on The New Jersey Syndicate Tour in 1989, Bon Jovi secretly took a trip to Las Vegas, and married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley (born September 29, 1962), on April 29 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. The couple has four children: a daughter, Stephanie Rose (born May 31, 1993), and three sons, Jesse James Louis (born February 19, 1995), Jacob Hurley (born May 7, 2002) and Romeo Jon (born March 29, 2004).[58]

A former resident of Rumson, New Jersey, he established his Sanctuary Sound recording studio in the basement of his home there.[59][60]

Bon Jovi describes himself as a recovering Catholic.[11]

Bon Jovi is a close friend of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. He owns two Super Bowl rings from the Patriots, and Bon Jovi was the first musical act to hold a concert at the Patriots' home field, Gillette Stadium.[61]

Discography

Studio albums

Live albums

  • At the Starland Ballroom Live (2009)

Compilation albums

Filmography

Films

Year Title Role
1990 Young Guns II Pit inmate shot back into pit (uncredited)
1995 Moonlight and Valentino The Painter
1996 The Leading Man Robin Grange
1997 Little City Kevin
1997 Destination Anywhere: The Film Jon
1998 No Looking Back Michael
1998 Homegrown Danny
1998 Row Your Boat Jamey Meadows
2000 U-571 Lieutenant Pete Emmett
2000 Pay It Forward Ricky McKinney
2002 Vampires: Los Muertos Derek Bliss
2005 Cry Wolf Rich Walker
2006 National Lampoon's Pucked Frank Hopper
2011 New Year's Eve Daniel Jensen

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Sex and the City Seth Episode: "Games People Play"
2002 Ally McBeal Victor Morrison 10 episodes
2006 The West Wing Himself Episode: "Welcome to Wherever You Are"
2010 30 Rock Himself Episode: "Anna Howard Shaw Day"

References

  1. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame". Songwritershalloffame.org. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame". Songwritershalloffame.org. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ "U2, Jon Bon Jovi Make Billboard's New Power List". January 30, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "The 50 most beautiful people in the world 1996". People. 45 (18): 61. 1996 – via Ebscohost.
  5. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi. (cover story)". People. 54 (20): 82. 2000 – via Ebscohost.
  6. ^ "CNN.com - Transcripts". Transcripts.cnn.com. August 16, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi biography (1962–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Billen, Andrew (November 15, 2006). "Jon Bon Jovi: How I became a poster boy for marriage". Independent.ie. Retrieved December 20, 2011. His father was of Sicilian-Slovakian stock, his mother a German-Russian Playboy bunny-turned-florist.
  9. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (December 30, 2007). "Jon Bon Jovi: New hair, old roots". The Daily Telegraph. London. His father and mother - a German/Russian Playboy bunny turned florist
  10. ^ SPIN Magazine, May 1998, p. 22
  11. ^ a b Kaplan, James (March 7, 2007). "PARADE.COM EXCLUSIVE Jon Bon Jovi". Parade. New York.
  12. ^ As he said when he came to a sold-out (over 15,000) Veterans Stadium in 1988
  13. ^ Jon Bon Jovi remarks Archived August 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine American Music Awards, November 14, 2004. "In the fall of 1977, I was just another sophomore at St. Joseph's High School in New Jersey."
  14. ^ Bon Jovi pays surprise visit to his old school Archived December 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Sentinel, March 23, 2006. "Students chat with Sayreville class of '80 grad-turned-rock-star."
  15. ^ a b "Bon Jovi – The Early Years". Love It Loud. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Moore, Michelle (April 23, 2007). "Jon Bon Jovi a talent through the years". Room Thirteen. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c "Jon Bon Jovi Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Goldstein, Stan (July 12, 2013). "Asbury Park's Fast Lane, where Springsteen and Bon Jovi played, comes to a dead end". New Jersey On-Line. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "Bon Jovi Bio". rollingstone. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  20. ^ "Southside Johnny, the Veteran Jersey Boy from the Same Shore as Springsteen and Bon Jovi". billboard.
  21. ^ "Jedi Council – Interviews | Meco". TheForce.Net. May 2005. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  22. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "13 Facts You May Not Know About Bon Jovi".
  23. ^ L.M Matin. Jon Bon Jovi: The Sinner and the Saint.: The New Unauthorised Biography. BookBaby, Aug 20, 2013; Chapter 4
  24. ^ Grow, Elias Leight,Kory; Leight, Elias; Grow, Kory (April 15, 2018). "Watch Bon Jovi Reunite With Richie Sambora For Rock Hall Performance".
  25. ^ "Bon Jovi to tour Australia again". PerthNow. June 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "How Bon Jovi Changed the World With 'Slippery When Wet'". August 18, 2016.
  27. ^ Greenburg, Zack O'Malley. "Jon Bon Jovi's Star Wars Secret". Forbes.
  28. ^ Whitewood, Alan (December 24, 2012). "Bon Jovi Keep the Faith". Island Pulse. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012. Their first notable album was Slippery When Wet, a USA No. 1 that stalled at No. 6 here in 1986. In all that album spawned four hit singles in the UK.
  29. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (December 13, 2017). "Bon Jovi Leads 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees: 'It's About Time'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Weiss, Dan (October 24, 2017). "Bon Jovi's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  31. ^ "Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful". Top 40 Charts.com. April 6, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
  32. ^ McCall, Tris (November 20, 2012). "Bon Jovi to play MetLife Stadium in July". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  33. ^ "Bon Jovi to enter UK Hall of Fame". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. October 16, 2006. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
  34. ^ "Rappers dominate music awards". News.google.com. January 28, 1991. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  35. ^ "Congrats to Jon Bon Jovi on his Golden Globe nomination". bonjovi.com. December 13, 2012. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  36. ^ "Young Guns II". August 1, 1990. Retrieved November 19, 2016 – via IMDb.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave (January 24, 2011). "Jon Bon Jovi joins 'New Year's' cast". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  38. ^ http://cbs3.com/local/philadelphia.soul.arena.2.1752486.html Archived June 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Mortensen, Chris (February 8, 2011). "Jon Bon Jovi clarifies Falcons interest". ESPN. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  40. ^ "Report: Jon Bon Jovi axed from group bidding for Buffalo Bills". August 30, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  41. ^ Reardanz, Karen (September 22, 2005). "Bon Jovi Stuns Oprah with Million Donation". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  42. ^ "Bon Jovi to Repair Homes in Philadelphia". Fox News. October 5, 2006. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011.
  43. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (October 6, 2006). "Bon Jovi to Restore Rundown Philly Homes". People. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  44. ^ "About Us". Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. Archived from the original on December 27, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  45. ^ "Bon Jovi fights poverty with new restaurant". TVNZ. October 21, 2011. Archived from the original on November 25, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  46. ^ Melas, Chloe (January 21, 2019). "Jon Bon Jovi offering free meals to federal workers during government shutdown". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  47. ^ Kaufman, Gil (January 21, 2019). "Jon Bon Jovi's Jersey Restaurant Serving Free Meals for Furloughed Govt. Workers on MLK Day". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  48. ^ Smart, Gordon (January 27, 2010). "Bring on the Brits". The Sun. London: News International. p. 7. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  49. ^ "Saber Public Access". Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  50. ^ "DMB, Blige Rock for Kerry". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  51. ^ Kershaw, Tom (June 21, 2012). "The religion and political views of Jon Bon Jovi". Hollowverse. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  52. ^ Bon Jovi to Sing at NYC Hillary Clinton Fundraiser[dead link] Yahoo News, January 3, 2009
  53. ^ "Jon Corzine". Joncorzine09.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  54. ^ "Andy and Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora stand by me". Archived from the original on May 28, 2013.
  55. ^ Sean Michaels (December 16, 2010). "Jon Bon Jovi appointed to White House council".
  56. ^ "Bon Jovi to help Jim Renacci raise money". Cleveland. March 8, 2017.
  57. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi: Booker would 'do an amazing job' as president". The Hill. September 16, 2019.
  58. ^ "Dorothea Hurley - Singer Jon Bon Jovi's Wife (Bio, Wiki)". May 31, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  59. ^ Intindola, Brendan. "Rich and famous mourn Wall Street's John Mulheren", Forbes, December 19, 2003, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 2, 2004. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Mr. Bon Jovi, a fellow resident of Rumson and lead singer of the rock band Bon Jovi, was among the long line of mourners who stood outside waiting to enter the gray, shingled church."
  60. ^ The Bon Jovi Library, Island Records, backed up by the Internet Archive as of August 30, 2006. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Sanctuary Sound was originally built in the basement of Jon Bon Jovi's Rumson ranch home."
  61. ^ "How Jon Bon Jovi Became a Patriots Superfan". SI.com. Retrieved October 13, 2018.

External links