||Bon Jovi - vocals, guitar, percussion, harmonica
||Jon Bon Jovi - vocals, guitars, piano, harmonica
||Cinderella - backing vocals
||Alice Cooper - backing vocals
|Also known as: Jon Bon Jovi
Born on: 02.03.1962
John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. (born March 2, 1962), better known as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American musician, songwriter and actor, best known as the lead singer and founder of Bon Jovi. As of August 2008, he has sold over 120 million albums worldwide with his band and 10 million albums as a solo artist. He is also the owner of an Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul.
Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., in Perth Amboy, New Jersey the son of two former Marines, hairdresser John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. and one-time Playboy bunny Carol Sharkey. He has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew. He is Italian-American; his father was born in Sciacca, near Agrigento in Sicily. He grew up in Sayreville, New Jersey. Bon Jovi attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey during his freshman and sophomore years. He later transferred to Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey.
When he was 17, Jon was working sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi's recording studio, The Power Station. In 1980, when Meco was there recording Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, Tony recommended Jon for the song "R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas." This became his first professional recording (credited as John Bongiovi). He left in 1983 when he got a record deal.
Along with Hugh McDonald, who would replace Alec John Such as Bon Jovi's bass player in 1994, and David Sabo, Jon released a song, Runaway, one of a few songs John wrote during his bus travels from Sayreville to The Power Station. He went to several record companies, including Atlantic Records,and Mercury (PolyGram), but they all turned him down. He went (as a last resort) to a Disc Jockey at WAPP-FM, a Manhattan radio show, and asked for the DJ to listen to Runaway; the DJ accepted. The DJ enjoyed Runaway and played it; he even put it onto the WAPP record. Runaway became a hit on the charts. Along the way, Mercury gave Jon a recording contract in 1983, and to promote Runaway, Jon called up Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Alec John Such and formed a band. John later found a man called Doc McGhee, who later became their manager. After John claimed he wanted a group name, one of the group suggested "Bon Jovi". Although Doc McGhee showed distaste to this suggestion (claiming it sounded like a French ice cream), the name stuck, and the group emerged as Bon Jovi, along with John slightly changing the spelling of his name to suit the band, and emerging as Jon Bon Jovi.
With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee, the band's debut album, Bon Jovi, was released on January 21, 1984. The album went gold in the US (sales of over 500,000) and was also released in the UK. The group found themselves opening for ZZ Top at the Madison Square Garden (before their first album had been released), and for Scorpions and KISS in Europe. They also made an appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album 7800°Fahrenheit was released, but the response was poor. The leading British metal magazine Kerrang!, who had been very positive about the debut record, called the album "a pale imitation of the Bon Jovi we have got to know and learned to love." Jon Bon Jovi himself later said it could have and should have been better. The band members, in interviews, have said they will not perform live any song off that album anymore.
The turning point came when they brought in songwriter Desmond Child for their third album, Slippery When Wet. With Child co-writing many of their hits on this and future albums the band shot to super-stardom around the world with songs such as "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' On A Prayer", and "Wanted Dead or Alive". The band recorded the album in Vancouver, and frequented many of Vancouver's strip clubs during their time away from the studio. The name of the album is said to be an homage to those very strip clubs.
The album has sold in excess of 25 million copies worldwide since its release in late 1986.
The next album from Bon Jovi was New Jersey released in 1988. The album was recorded very shortly after the tour for Slippery, because the band wanted to prove that they were not just a one hit wonder. The resulting album is a fan favorite and a mammoth commercial success, with hit songs such as "Bad Medicine", "Lay Your Hands on Me" and "I'll Be There for You", which are still nightly stalwarts in their live repertoire. New Jersey was a commercial smash and became the first hard rock album to spawn five Top Ten singles. "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There for You" both hit number one, and "Born to Be My Baby" (#3), "Lay Your Hands on Me (#7), and "Living in Sin" (#9) rounded out the list. "Blood on Blood" was also popular among fans. New Jersey was supported by video releases such as New Jersey: The Videos and Access All Areas, as well as a massive 18-month tour, originally billed The Jersey Syndicate Tour. In 1989, the band headlined the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Despite the band achieving massive success, New Jersey almost led to the end of the band as they went straight back out on the road so soon after the heavy touring for their previous album. During the New Jersey tour, singer Bon Jovi began having vocal difficulties. The extremely high notes and unrelenting schedule threatened to damage his voice permanently. With the help of a vocal coach, he made it through the tour. Bon Jovi has tended to sing slightly lower pitches since then. This constant living on the road almost destroyed the strong bond between the band members. Sambora is noted on the albums as co-writer for many songs, yet he resented the lack of attention that was heaped on Jon alone. As mentioned in VH1's Behind the Music, the band members note that at the end of the tour, each band member went their separate way, even departing in separate jets after the tour ended in Guadalajara, Mexico in early 1990.
Between 1990 and 1992, the band members went their separate ways after the very rigorous two year New Jersey Tour, which exceeded 200 shows on 5 continents. This time off also helped them determine where Bon Jovi would fit within the rapidly changing music scene upon their return. Jon Bon Jovi recorded a solo album, a soundtrack to the movie "Young Guns II" (in which he also appeared for less than a second), more commonly known as Blaze of Glory. Released in 1990, the album featured high profile guests such as: Elton John, Aldo Nova, Little Richard, and Jeff Beck, among others. The album fared well commercially and received very positive reviews and quickly achieved platinum status. The title track, "Blaze of Glory", hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Jon an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, but he did not win the award. That same year, however, "Blaze of Glory" was awarded a Golden Globe.
In 1992, the band returned with the album Keep the Faith. The album was released in November of 1992 to the most critical acclaim that the band had ever received. Produced by Bob Rock, the album signified an ending to their early Glam Metal roots in previous albums and introduced a more "rock n roll"-driven groove to the album. Much more complex, lyrically and musically, the album proved that Bon Jovi could still be a viable band in 1992, despite the decline of the late 80s pop metal genre into which the band had been lumped and despite the industry's and audience's growing affinity for Grunge. As Bon Jovi's sound morphed itself to work in the 90s music scene, their image changed, as well. Gone were the excessive rock 'n' roll trappings of spandex, hairspray and hair. Singles "Bed of Roses," which was a huge Top 10 hit, "Keep the Faith" and "In These Arms" all hit the Top 40 in the U.S. Other songs on the album were released as singles internationally, mainly "Dry County", "I Believe" and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead".This album is also notable for being the first in a string of subsequent albums for Bon Jovi which proved more popular worldwide than in the U.S during the 90's. The album went double platinum in the U.S., but has sold much more worldwide.
In 1994, Bon Jovi released a "greatest hits" album titled Cross Road, which also contained two new tracks: the hit singles "Always" and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night".Always",spent thirty-two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of Bon Jovi's all-time biggest hits.The song peaked at #4 on the US charts and at #1 in countries across Europe, Asia and in Australia. The single sold very well, going platinum in the U.S.
That same year, bassist Alec John Such left the band, the first and only lineup change since Bon Jovi began. Hugh McDonald, who was the bassist on "Runaway", unofficially replaced Such as bassist. To this day, there is still speculation about whether Alec was fired or left on his own accord. Jon has claimed that Such was making too many mistakes onstage as a result of intoxication while performing. Such denied many of these claims in an interview soon after his departure, but later admitted there was some truth to them. Jon has made it public that there has been contact between Such and other band members recently. He even rejoined the band on stage for one song ("Wanted Dead or Alive") during their "homecoming" show at Giants Stadium in 2001. While he has not been officially replaced, Hugh McDonald has handled studio and live bass duties since then, with rumors that he had also recorded bass on previous albums. Jon said, regarding the departure of Such: "Of course it hurts. But I learned to accept and respect it. The fact that I'm a workaholic, studio in, studio out, stage on, stage off, want to be dealing with music day and night, doesn't mean everyone else has to adjust to that pace. Alec wanted to quit for a while now, so it didn't come as a complete surprise."
With the 1995 album These Days, Bon Jovi took the mature rock sound they had developed on Keep the Faith further. The record as a whole was darker and more downbeat than the usual Bon Jovi flare. As a result, These Days went Platinum in the U.S. and topped the UK charts. Despite critical kudos, it spun off only one hit single in the U.S., "This Ain't A Love Song". Nevertheless, the other tracks proved sufficiently popular to garner various successful European singles, including "Hey God", "Something for the Pain", "Lie to Me", and the title track "These Days".
By 1996, Bon Jovi had established themselves as a "force" in the music industry, proving much more durable (and successful) than most of their 80's glam peers.
Jon had since been bitten by the acting bug. He landed lead roles in movies Little City and The Leading Man, as well as in Moonlight and Valentino, Homegrown, and U-571, among others. While he was free between filming different movies, Jon wrote what would become his second solo album, 1997's Destination Anywhere. The album received very positive reviews and was a success across Europe. It was rumored that the record company was pursuing Jon to name the record "These Days, Part 2", since the album was somewhat of a moody progression from These Days. 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. Dave Stewart of Eurythmics played guitar on the record, as well as producing some of the tracks.
Bon Jovi reunited in 1999 to record the song "Real Life" for the movie EdTV. David Bryan didn't make it to the filming of the video for the song because of a recent hand injury sustained in a home improvement mishap, so the band used a cardboard cutout of him for the shoot. The song was a major success.
After another lengthy hiatus of nearly three years, during which several band members worked on independent projects, Bon Jovi regrouped in 1999 to begin work on their next studio album. Their 2000 release, Crush, enjoyed overwhelming success both in the US and overseas, thanks in part to the smash-hit single "It's My Life", co-written by famous Swedish producer Max Martin. Crush, which also produced such hits as "Say it isn't so", and helped introduce Bon Jovi to a new, younger fan base. The Crush Tour, which began that summer, originally encompassed only 60 or so shows and was extended because of Bon Jovi's worldwide popularity, with the band remaining on tour through mid-2001. While on tour, Bon Jovi released a collection of live performances from throughout their career in an album titled, One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001. The Crush tour was notable in that the European 2000 leg included the band headlining two nights at Wembley Stadium, these would be the final shows ever at the venue before it was demolished.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the band performed as part of the historic star-studded The Concert for New York City benefit concert for victims and their families. They performed an acoustic medley of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive" with a stirring finale of "It's My Life".
In late 2002, Bounce, the band's follow-up to Crush, hit stores. Though Bounce did not enjoy the level of success of its predecessor, the album did produce hit singles such as "Everyday" and the title track. The band went on the U.S. Bounce Tour for this album, during which they made history as the last band to play Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia before it was torn down. The band also released a promotional album through Target. The album featured eight demo and live tracks.
Jon Bon Jovi in the Netherlands on May 26, 2006
Following the Bounce Tour, which wrapped up in August 2003, Bon Jovi embarked on what would become a unique and ambitious project. Originally intending to produce an album consisting of live acoustic performances of various songs, the band ended up rewriting, re-recording and reinventing 12 of their biggest hits in a new and much different light. This Left Feels Right was released in November 2003, with the title referring to the "left turn" of sorts that the band took in redoing the songs heard on this record.
The following year the band released a box set titled 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong, the title an homage to Elvis Presley's 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. The set consisted of four CDs packed with 38 unreleased and 12 rare tracks, as well as a DVD. The box set marked the sales of 100 million Bon Jovi albums and also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the release of the band's first record in 1984.
In November 2004, Bon Jovi was honored with the award for Merit at the American Music Awards, where they performed a sneak preview of an unfinished song, "Have a Nice Day". Bon Jovi also participated in Live 8 on July 2, 2005, where they debuted the full, final version of "Have a Nice Day", alongside the classics, "Livin' on a Prayer" and "It's My Life". On August 20, 2005, the band headlined Miller Brewing Co.'s Big Brew-Ha, celebrating its 150th anniversary. The free stadium concert at Miller Park in Milwaukee included one preview song from the band's forthcoming album.
Bon Jovi's long-awaited ninth studio album, Have a Nice Day, was released in September 2005. The album topped the charts around the world, giving Bon Jovi a career-best first week, selling over 202,000 albums. "Have A Nice Day" was the first single off the new album, and debuted at radio worldwide on July 18, 2005. The second single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home", was released in the U.S. in the spring of 2006, although internationally it was the third single release after "Welcome to Wherever You Are". In the U.S. a duet version of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" with country singer Jennifer Nettles of the band Sugarland was released, and in May 2006, Bon Jovi made history by becoming the first Rock & Roll Band to have a #1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Chart. On February 11, 2007, Bon Jovi also finally won the elusive Grammy Award, for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals" for "Who Says You Can't Go Home".
Soon after the release of Have A Nice Day, the band started gearing up for the new 2005-2006 worldwide Have A Nice Day Tour. This tour, being shorter than previous ones with only seventy-five shows originally planned, took the band to numerous stadiums and arenas throughout the world. During the tour, Bon Jovi performed as the headlining act ahead of Nascar's Daytona 500 on February 19, 2006. Originally it was planned for them to be the first act to perform at the new Wembley Stadium in London, however, the construction company Multiplex who were behind the stadium's rebuilding project said the completion of the stadium had been delayed until 2007. The concert was therefore moved to the Milton Keynes National Bowl with the same performance dates. Following dates in Japan and Europe, Bon Jovi extended the tour and returned to the US in the summer of 2006 for a few stadium shows, including 3 sold-out shows in the band's native New Jersey at Giants Stadium. Jon Bon Jovi thanked the crowd for their support because the group had now sold out Giants Stadium eight times. On February 7, 2006, a promotional album, Live from the Have a Nice Day Tour, was released through Wal-Mart, which contained six live tracks recorded in December 2005 in Boston. Three of these tracks were released in the U.K. in June 2006 as B-sides on the single "Who Says You Can't Go Home".
Jon Bon Jovi with Bon Jovi guitarist, Richie Sambora
On November 14, 2006, Bon Jovi were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame alongside James Brown and Led Zeppelin, joining music legends such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna and Elvis Presley. They will not be eligible for the U.S. equivalent until 2009.
With the end of the Have A Nice Day Tour, Bon Jovi began to throw around ideas for their next project. Among the potential offerings were going to Nashville to record with country stars (following the success of "Who Says You Can't Go Home"), a second greatest hits CD, a new studio album, and even new movies. In November 2006, Jon Bon Jovi revealed that the band were back in the studio working on a new Nashville-influenced album, and will be touring again.
In June 2007, Bon Jovi released their new tenth studio album, Lost Highway. The album debuted at number #1 on the Billboard charts, the first time that Bon Jovi have had a number one album on the US charts since the release of New Jersey in 1988. Thanks to the band's new country music fanbase, the album sold 292,000 copies in its first week on sale in the U.S., and became Bon Jovi's third US number one album. The first single from the new album was "(You Want to) Make a Memory", which debuted (and peaked) at #27 in the Billboard Hot 100, Bon Jovi's highest ever debut in the U.S. charts. The album reached Number #1 in Japan, Canada, Australia and Europe, and reached number #2 in the UK. The single (You Want to) Make a Memory was released in the UK following the opening of the O2 arena in the UK, the single debuted low at only #33, it is widely suggested that the performance of the single was hindered by Mercury UK, following supply issues and text download redemption problems.
To promote the new album, Bon Jovi appeared at the 6th annual CMT Awards in Nashville on April 16, on American Idol on May 2, on MTV Unplugged on June 22. They also performed at the First Live Earth Concert at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007. Bon Jovi was scheduled to co-host Live Earth India 2008 prior to its cancellation due to the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Jon Bon Jovi
Also to promote the album, the band are performing nine concerts in total in June and July 2007, a mini-tour which has unofficially been called the Lost Highway Tour by fans. As part of the 'tour', Bon Jovi were the first group to perform at London's new O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) when it opened to the public on June 24, 2007. The 23,000 seat stadium sold out within 30 minutes of tickets being released. The tickets for the O2 arena gig actually sold out in 30 seconds, (not 30 minutes as per BBC news page). In interviews Jon says less than a minute,(Interview on This Morning ITV, UK) but organizers of the gig were quoted as saying 30 seconds. This was the first time Bon Jovi had played an indoor arena in the UK in 15 years, as demand for tickets demands they play large venues, usually football(soccer) stadia. The gig was not actually part of the Lost Highway tour, it was billed as a 'Spot Gig'. The tour proper began in January 2008 and included dates throughout the UK and Ireland during the month of June. In late 2007,(performed/recorded in November, screened in December) Bon Jovi made history by being the first US act to headline the Royal Variety Performance, the show took place in Liverpool, in recognition of the city being named European Capital of Culture, and was dedicated to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 2nd's 60th wedding anniversary to HM The Duke of Edinburgh. Bon Jovi performed 2 of their own hits live: It's My Life and Lost Highway, and finished with the Beatles classic Let It Be,(Liverpool is home of the Beatles). They were joined on stage by the other acts who had performed during the evening for the finale before being introduced to the Queen and Prince Philip.
In a September 2007 interview for Glamour Magazine Jon raised eyebrows with his comments on Pete Doherty ("I've never heard a single one of his songs"), David Beckham ("past his prime"), Robbie Williams ("That guy couldn't even fill a bar") and Oasis ("couldn't fill a bar either - and they're full of themselves"). In a subsequent interview he clarified his remarks and claimed to have been quoted out of context.
(Interviewer) : There was a quote from the UK where you slagged off Robbie Williams and Oasis, saying they couldn't fill a club in the US . . .
JBJ : Of course the English took it out of context. They were talking about the success they (Robbie and Oasis) have had in America. I said they couldn't play a club there. I'm a huge Robbie fan, buy all his records, seen him live. But he couldn't play a big venue in America. It's not a slag at him, it's like, ''Look how screwed up the industry is, he can't play a club here but he plays three Knebworths (outdoor stadium) in the UK.
Bon Jovi recently appeared at the opening of the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. They played a string of 10 shows to mark the opening of the arena.
As a prelude to the 2008 Major League Baseball All Star Game, Bon Jovi played a free concert in Manhattan's Central Park on the Great Lawn. The band will then play at Madison Square Garden from July 14-15.
During a stop in Los Angeles on the New Jersey tour in 1989, Bon Jovi secretly took a trip to Las Vegas, where he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Rose Hurley (*September 29, 1962) on April 29, 1989 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dorothea is a Karate instructor. Together they have four children: Stephanie Rose (May 31, 1993), Jesse James Louis (February 19, 1995), Jacob Hurley (May 7, 2002), Romeo Jon (March 29, 2004). Bon Jovi maintains a strong family foundation to this day. Jon and his family reside in Manhattan and Middletown, New Jersey. The grounds of their Middletown residence includes a building Jon has converted into a British style pub. He has named it the 'Shoe Inn', stating he has hung a horse shoe in it as he feels he has been blessed, and considers himself 'one of the luckiest men in the world'.
In 2001, he received an honorary degree at the Monmouth University graduation ceremony at which he also gave the commencement address. In 2001 Jon also addressed the Oxford Union in England.
In 2004, he became founder and primary owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League with fellow band member Richie Sambora. He appeared in several television commercials for the league, typically with John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Bon Jovi has been a New York Giants fan his entire life, and also has a long-standing friendship with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, demonstrated by Belichick often playing Bon Jovi music at Patriots practices.
Raised a Catholic, Bon Jovi has expressed his belief in God, stating in a 1993 interview in Philadelphia that he "believes in an omnipresent God who is 'right here' (pointing to the room around him)". In 1995 he discussed writing the These Days record and how blessed he'd been using the phrase "God willing, or I should say God, thank you.".
Bon Jovi has worked on behalf of the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Project Home, 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. 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. The construction site also served as the video shoot location for his band's single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home". In 2006, Bon Jovi made a $1 million donation to build 28 Habitat homes in Louisiana in partnership with low-income families on the hurricane-stricken coast. In July, 2007, Bon Jovi announced a project that will rehabilitate a block of 15 homes in north Philadelphia. During an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, the band donated $1 million to the Angel Network foundation.
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 and National Lampoon's Pucked. He also had a supporting role in the movie Pay It Forward, where he played Helen Hunt's abusive ex-husband. His TV series appearances include Sex and the City and an extended stint on Ally McBeal as a plumber who was Ally's boyfriend for a short period of time, as well as a guest appearance on The West Wing and Las Vegas. He was guest star on American Idol in May 2007, during the show's "Rock Week" in which the contestants all performed his or his band's songs. On October 13, 2008 Jon hosted the third episode of the 33rd season of Saturday Night Live sporting a shorter new haircut.
A Democrat, Bon Jovi toured extensively on behalf of Presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, appearing at and playing acoustic sets (with Sambora) at rallies for the Kerry-Edwards ticket throughout the United States. 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 Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign; he will play a 2009 Manhattan fundraiser for her to attempt to eradicate some of her $6.3 million dollar 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.