Jon Bon Jovi, was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. On March 2, 1962, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to parents John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. and Carol Sharkey.
Family: Jon’s mother, Carol Sharkey, was a former model and one of the first Playboy Bunnies. She met Bon Jovi’s father after she enlisted in the United States Marines. John was already in the Marines when they met.
Bon Jovi is also a blood relative to the late great singer Frank Sinatra, who was Bon Jovi’s great uncle on his father’s side, according to a May 1988 issue of Spin Magazine (page 22).
Bon Jovi has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew. Bon Jovi has four children, and is married to Dorothea Hurley (1989-present).
Known best as a singer-songwriter, in 1983 he was the founder and frontman of a band that bears his name. Bon Jovi is also known as a record producer, actor and philanthropist.
Music Career: Bon Jovi’s music career started in June of 1982 after he was turned down by several record labels, including Atlantic Records and Mercury (Polygram) for the song “Runaway” which he recorded with a studio band named “The Allstars.”
After being turned down he visited New York City’s major market rock station WAPP, also known as “The Apple” at 103.5FM. WAPP included the song on a compilation of local talent and it became in instant hit.
In 1983 he signed with Mercury Records to promote “Runaway” and had to form a new band. Jon Bon Jovi became David Bryan, Alec John Such, bassist, Tico Torres, drummer, and his neighbor, Dave Sabo at lead guitar. Sabo played only a few local shows before he left to form the group Skid Row with Rachel Bolan. Sabo was soon replaced with Richie Sambora.
After “Runaway” became a worldwide hit, Bon Jovi wanted a name for the band. He wanted to call themselves Johnny Electric. But Richard Fischer, employed then by Doc McGhee, suggested that Bon Jovi follow the norm where many bands were naming their groups by the lead or frontman’ name, such as, Van Halen, Dokken, Bryan Adams, Alice Cooper (70’s), so Bon Jovi became the name of the band.
The band’s breakout album, “Slippery When Wet,” was their third studio album released in 1986. It became the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 28 million worldwide, according to a Jan. 29, 2008 issue of the Daily Telegraph.
Bon Jovi’s next album, “New Jersey,” not only shared the same success as “Slippery When Wet,” the album had five top-10 hits on Billboard’s Hot-100. No other album or artist ever produced as many top-10 hits, and as of this writing (September 4, 2016) this record still stands. And two of the top-10 hits, “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You” topped the charts at number one, according to Bon Jovi’s Biography on the Billboard website.
The band then went on an 18-month international tour, and when they finished, the band went on a hiatus.
Hiatus and Young Guns II: During the hiatus, Bon Jovi was hired to write the soundtrack for the movie “Young Guns II.” During this time actor Emilio Estevez approached Bon Jovi and asked if he could use “Wanted, Dead or Alive” as the title song for the movie.
Bon Jovi balked at the idea, saying he didn’t think that song was the proper song, so he quickly wrote “Blaze of Glory.”
As the story goes, Kiefer Sutherland in an interview for UNCUT magazine said; “When Jon (Bon Jovi) joined the team for Young Guns II, we were all eating hamburgers in a diner and Jon was scribbling on this napkin for, say, six minutes. He declared he’d written ‘Blaze of Glory’, which of course then went through the roof in the States. He later gave Emilio Estevez the napkin. We were munching burgers while he wrote a No. 1 song… Made us feel stupid.”
Afterwards, Bon Jovi played the song in a New Mexico desert for Estevez and John Fusco. This was the first time Bon Jovi played the song and heard by anyone. When the co-producers heard the song in a trailer, it was a no-brainer. It became the theme song for “Young Guns II.”
“Young Guns II,” which was released in 1990 named which Bon Jovi made into his next album “Blaze of Glory.” This was Bon Jovi’s first solo album as the other band members were off doing other things during the hiatus.
The movie’s budget was $20 million and went on to earn $44 million. Two hits came from this album, “Blaze of Glory” and Miracle.” Bon Jovi earned several Grammy and Oscar nominations.
While he wrote a song or two for a couple of shows before this, this was his first and only project where he wrote every song for a movie’s soundtrack. He did go on to write songs for other movies, and many of the group’s songs were used in a variety of TV series.
Back Together (Kind Of): During the years from their first hit “Runaway” in 1982, the group has released 12 studio albums and Bon Jovi recorded two solo albums and a number of singles. Worldwide, his band has sold more than 130 albums, ranking them among the top of the best sellers.
But the band isn’t sitting around and resting. In 2015 there were rumors of a planned new album to be released sometime in 2016.
Rumors used to spread like wildfires, but today, the Internet allows them to travel at the speed of light. Talk about a new album for 2016 was confirmed by a consultant, and another world tour would follow.
On September 30, 2015, Bon Jovi said during a press conference confirming the new album, its title will be “This House Is Not For Sale.” He further said that the album is about the group’s integrity.
“Integrity matters and we’re at a place in our career where we don’t have anything left to prove,” Bon Jovi said.
However, the new album is the first one without creative input from Richie Sambora, who left the group in 2013.
On Bon Jovi’s Facebook page, a post announced that the new album, “This House Is Not For Sale” was released on August 27, 2016
Acting Career: He started acting in the 1990’s starring in minor roles in movies such as “U-571,” and “Moonlight and Valentino,” and as Helen Hunt’s husband in the movie “Pay It Forward” starring Kevin Spacey. He also appeared on several TV shows such as “Sex and the City” and “Ally McBeal.”
Accolades: In 2009, Bon Jovi was inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Bon Jovi has also made appearances on some prestigious lists: In 1996, he was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People In The World” By People Magazine.In 2000, the same magazine named him the “Sexiest Rock Star.”Also in 2000 VH1 placed him on its “100 Sexiest Artists.”In 2012 was ranked 50th in Billboard’s magazine’s “Power 100,” a ranking of “The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business.”-In 2012, Hit Parader ranked Bon Jovi 31st in the “Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists.”
Philanthropy: In addition, Bon Jovi was the one of the founders and majority owners of the Arena Football League team Philadelphia Soul. He is the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation which was founded in 2006 and exists to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. He also campaigned for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential election, John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, and Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. In 2010, President Barack Obama named Bon Jovi to the White House Council for Community Solutions. He was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University in 2001.