Jon Bon Jovi

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Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi at Madison Square Garden (33868597862).jpg
Bon Jovi performing in 2017
John Francis Bongiovi Jr.

(1962-03-02) March 2, 1962 (age 59)
Education St. Joseph High School
Sayreville War Memorial High School
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • philanthropist
  • actor
Years active1975–present
Dorothea Hurley
(m. 1989)
Relatives Tony Bongiovi (cousin)
Robert Hegyes (cousin)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts

John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. He is best known as the founder and frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983. He has released 15 studio albums with his band as well as 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 , Ally McBeal and The West Wing .

As a songwriter, Bon Jovi was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. [1] [2] In 2012, he ranked number 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 former 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 Italian (the name Bongiovi comes 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]

Musical career

Bon Jovi (right) with Jonathan King in 1987 Jonathan King with Jon Bon Jovi.jpg
Bon Jovi (right) with Jonathan King in 1987


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, performing in 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 17, 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

Lost Highway Tour, 2007 Jon Bon Jovi.jpg
Lost Highway Tour, 2007

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]

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 number one: "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

Bon Jovi performing in 2013 Jonbj2013.jpg
Bon Jovi performing in 2013

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, 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]

In 2020, Bon Jovi released a Christmas single called A Jon Bon Jovi Christmas, with three new holiday songs. [36]

Other ventures

Acting career

Bon Jovi is a credited actor in the films 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 . [37] 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 . [38] 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. [39]

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. [40] In 2011, Bon Jovi expressed interest in purchasing 15% of the Atlanta Falcons for $150 million. [41]

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. [42]


Bon Jovi in 2009 Jon Bon Jovi at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival 3.jpg
Bon Jovi in 2009

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. [43]

In July 2007, Jon Bon Jovi announced a project that would rehabilitate a block of 15 homes in north Philadelphia. [44] [45]

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. [46] 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. [47] On January 21, 2019, the restaurant provided free meals to government workers and family members who had been affected by the federal government shutdown. [48] [49]

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.[ citation needed ]

Political activism

Although Bon Jovi's voter registration indicates that he is unaffiliated, [50] 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. [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]

On October 24, 2020, Bon Jovi performed at a drive-in event for Joe Biden at Dallas High School in Dallas, PA. [58] [59]

Personal life

Graceland Wedding Chapel, where Jon Bon Jovi married Dorothea Hurley. The chapel has used it as a claim to fame ever since. Graceland wedding chapel.jpg
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 1962), on April 29 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. The couple has four children: a daughter, Stephanie Rose (born 1993), and three sons, Jesse James Louis (born 1995), Jacob Hurley (born 2002) and Romeo Jon (born 2004). [60]

A former resident of Rumson, New Jersey, Bon Jovi established his Sanctuary Sound recording studio in the basement of his home there. [61] [62]

He 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 has performed several times at the Patriots' home field, Gillette Stadium. [63]

On May 16, 2021, Bon Jovi received a honorary degree from Princeton University. He was recognized for his contributions in society areas, including music, history, education, literature, public service, public health, social justice and ending homelessness. [64]


Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums



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


1999 Sex and the City SethEpisode: "Games People Play"
2002 Ally McBeal Victor Morrison10 episodes
2006 The West Wing HimselfEpisode: "Welcome to Wherever You Are"
2010 30 Rock HimselfEpisode: "Anna Howard Shaw Day"

Related Research Articles

Bon Jovi American rock band

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Original bassist Alec John Such quit the band in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013. The band have been credited with "[bridging] the gap between heavy metal and pop with style and ease".

Richie Sambora American musician

Richard Stephen Sambora is an American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. He and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi formed the main songwriting unit for the band. He has also released three solo albums: Stranger in This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998, and Aftermath of the Lowdown released in September 2012.

<i>Bon Jovi</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi is the self-titled debut studio album by American glam metal band Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984. Produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at No. 43 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

<i>Slippery When Wet</i> 1986 studio album by Bon Jovi

Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American glam metal band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, with recording sessions between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The album features many of Bon Jovi's best-known songs, including "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer", and "Wanted Dead or Alive".

<i>New Jersey</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Bon Jovi

New Jersey is the fourth studio album by American glam metal band Bon Jovi, released on September 19, 1988 by Mercury Records. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn and recorded at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The album was the follow-up to the band's third album, Slippery When Wet, and reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart in its second week of release after debuting at number eight. It remained at the top for four consecutive weeks and was Bon Jovi's last album to do so until Lost Highway (2007).

<i>Keep the Faith</i> 1992 studio album by Bon Jovi

Keep the Faith is the fifth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on November 3, 1992, by Mercury Records. It is Bon Jovi's last studio album to feature all five original members, as bass guitarist Alec John Such was dismissed from the band in 1994. It is Bon Jovi's first album since 1985's 7800° Fahrenheit not to be produced by Bruce Fairbairn. It was also their first album to have a title track. The album was produced by Bob Rock and was recorded at the Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. Keep the Faith marked a change to a "more serious interpretation of the band's pop-metal groove". It is also Bon Jovi’s longest album to date, clocking in at 66 minutes.

<i>These Days</i> (Bon Jovi album) 1995 studio album by Bon Jovi

These Days is the sixth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on June 27, 1995, by Mercury Records. This was the first album Bon Jovi released after the dismissal of original bass guitarist Alec John Such, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald, who would officially replace him in 2016. The album, produced by Peter Collins, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, is praised by many critics and fans as their best album. These Days is overall a darker album in contrast to the band's usual brand of feel-good, inspiring rock songs and love ballads.

David Bryan American musician

David Bryan Rashbaum is an American musician and songwriter, best known as the keyboard player for the rock band Bon Jovi, with which he also co-wrote songs and performed backing vocals. In 2018, Bryan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi.

Tico Torres Member of Bon Jovi

Hector Samuel Juan "Tico" Torres is an American musician, artist, and entrepreneur, best known as the drummer, percussionist, and a songwriter for American rock band Bon Jovi. In 2018, Torres was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi.

<i>Have a Nice Day</i> (Bon Jovi album) 2005 studio album by Bon Jovi

Have a Nice Day is the ninth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on September 20, 2005. Produced by John Shanks, the album was recorded at Sanctuary Sound II in New Jersey, and Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, California.

<i>Stranger in This Town</i> 1991 studio album by Richie Sambora

Stranger in This Town is the first solo studio album by Richie Sambora, the guitarist from the New Jersey band Bon Jovi. The album was released in 1991, while Bon Jovi was on a 17-month hiatus. Jon Bon Jovi also released a solo album, Blaze of Glory (1990), during this period.

Who Says You Cant Go Home 2006 single by Bon Jovi

"Who Says You Can't Go Home" is a song written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora for the American rock band Bon Jovi's ninth album Have a Nice Day (2005). The song was produced by John Shanks, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. A duet version of the song featuring vocals from Jennifer Nettles of the American duo Sugarland was also shipped to country music radio. Both versions of the song feature on Have a Nice Day; the original version appears as the fourth track, while the country version appears as the thirteenth and final track.

Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi song) 1987 single by Bon Jovi

"Wanted Dead or Alive" is a power ballad by American glam metal band Bon Jovi. It is from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and was released in March 3, 1987 as the album's third single. During a February 20, 2008 encore performance in Detroit, Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd about running into Bob Seger at a Pistons game. As he introduced his song "Wanted Dead or Alive", he said it was inspired by Seger's "Turn the Page" hit and called the song the band's anthem. The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, making it the third single from the album to reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100. As a result, Slippery When Wet was the first glam metal album to have 3 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ill Be There for You (Bon Jovi song) 1989 single by Bon Jovi

"I'll Be There for You" is a song by American glam metal band Bon Jovi, released as the third single from their 1988 album New Jersey. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The single ranked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Mainstream rock chart.

Billy Falcon is an American musician, composer and music producer. He released rock albums throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, as well as appearing on The Way International's "High Country Caravan". He is currently active in the Nashville, Tennessee area with the band The Sowing Circle.

Runaway (Bon Jovi song) 1984 single by Bon Jovi

"Runaway" is the debut single by American glam metal band Bon Jovi. It was originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power Station Demos" at the beginning of singer Jon Bon Jovi's career, featuring the vocalist backed by session musicians.

Phil X Canadian rock guitarist

Theofilos Xenidis, better known as Phil X, is a Canadian musician and songwriter. Since 2011, he has played lead guitar with Bon Jovi and officially replaced former lead guitarist Richie Sambora in 2016.

Whole Lot of Leavin 2008 single by Bon Jovi

"Whole Lot of Leavin'" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi and John Shanks and it was released only in Europe as the fourth single from the band's album Lost Highway.

The Circle Tour

The Circle Tour is a worldwide concert tour by American rock band Bon Jovi. The tour was supporting the band's 11th studio album The Circle (2009). Starting in North America in early 2010, the tour progressed to Europe, South America, Asia and Australia before the years end. It included a historic 12 night run at the O2 Arena in London and four nights in East Rutherford, New Jersey to celebrate the grand opening of the Meadowlands Stadium. The tour was the #1 top-grossing concert tour for 2010 in the United States.

<i>What About Now</i> (album) 2013 studio album by Bon Jovi

What About Now is the twelfth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. Produced by John Shanks, the album was released on March 8, 2013 in Australia and March 12, 2013 in the United States. The album was promoted throughout the band's 2013 Because We Can: The Tour. It is the last album to feature lead guitarist Richie Sambora before his departure from the band in April 2013.


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