Name: Jon Bon Jovi
Birth Date: March 2, 1962
Place of Birth: Perth Amboy, New Jersey
Full Name: John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Jon Bon Jovi formed the band Bon Jovi in the 1980s, which became popular for its power ballads, soaring guitar riffs, and well-crafted melodies.
Born John Francis Bongiovi Jr. on March 2, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Jon was raised by his parents, Carol and John Bongiovi, a hairdresser.
In 1980, Jon recorded his first single, Runaway, at his cousin’s studio, with back-up by studio musicians. A local radio station included the song on a compilation tape, and it began to get frequent airplay. The success of Runaway got Jon noticed, and he realized that he’d need more than session players if he wanted to capitalize on his success, which he did with Alec John Such, Tico Torres and guitarist Richie Samborra. During a show in New York in 1983, the band caught the attention of record exececutive Derek Shulman, who signed them to PolyGram. It was Shulman who anglicized John Bongiovi’s name to Bon Jovi.
Following the group’s success, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were asked to assist in producing Cher’s self-titled album in 1987. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora co-wrote and sang backup vocals on Cher’s single “We All Sleep Alone” and also produced several other tracks on the album, later going on to co-produce Cher’s multi-platinum album Heart of Stone in 1989 and co-wrote the song “Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?”. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora also produced and co-wrote a song called “Hell Is Living Without You” on Alice Cooper’s album Trash in 1989.
During the Slippery When Wet Tour in 1987, Jon Bon Jovi’s attempt to give it his all during live shows and the tour’s exhausting schedule greatly strained his vocal cords, and he began receiving steroid shots to help him sing. With the help of a vocal coach, he was able to continue doing the tour. Despite the band achieving massive success with Slippery When Wet and New Jersey, living on the road almost destroyed the strong bond between the band members. The band members were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. Jon Bon Jovi noted that, each band member went their separate way, even departing in separate jets after the New Jersey Tour ended in early 1990 which exceeded 232 shows on 5 continents.
Tours opening for the Scorpions, Kiss and Judas Priest helped Bon Jovi build up a considerable fan base that appreciated the group’s rugged, soulful collection of songs about how tough it was to be a teenager. The band responded to tepid critical praise with its third album, Slippery When Wet, which went gold and platinum simultaneously within six weeks of its release. Powered by songs like Livin’ on a Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive, the album sold in excess of 14 million copies, putting it in the same league as Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
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, Jon Bon Jovi ended up composing an all-new theme song for the film’s soundtrack and delivering his first solo album. The album featured high-profile 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] and awarded a Golden Globe, as well. The song also earned Jon Bon Jovi an Academy Award nomination and a Grammy Award nomination.
The band went into temporary retirement in 1989. Jon concentrated on his solo career and appeared in his first movie, Young Guns II, for which he won he won a Golden Globe for Best Song, Blaze of Glory.
In 1994, the commercial incentive to return to Bon Jovi proved too hard to resist, and the band released another album, Keep The Faith. Jon enjoyed further solo success with 1997’s Destination Anywhere. The band regrouped two years later to record the Grammy-nominated album, Crush, and again in 2002 to put out its latest album, Bounce.
In the ’90s, Jon stretched his talents by nurturing an acting career with starring roles in Moonlight and Valentino and The Leading Man. He also appeared in a handful of independent films, including Pay It Forward and U-571. On television, he was a regular guest star on Ally McBeal until the series finale in 2002. Bon Jovi also made headlines in 2004 when he and Sambora became co-founders and owners of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul. The following year, he and the band donated $1,000,000 to Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network.
Jon married Dorothea Hurley, a karate instructor, in 1989. They have four children, Stephanie, Jesse, Jacob and Romeo Jon.
Jon Bon Jovi has worked on behalf of the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, Project H.O.M.E., The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation), and other groups.
He has been named the first Founding Ambassador of the Habitat for Humanity Ambassador program as part of the international nonprofit organization’s new advocacy outreach initiative. Jon Bon Jovi has been raising awareness with Habitat for Humanity since 2005 when he provided the funds to build six homes in Philadelphia and built the homes alongside the homeowner families, as well as with members of his Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team.