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 rock band Bon Jovi. He was also the owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the now suspended Arena Football League. Throughout his career, he has released two solo albums and eleven studio albums with his band which have sold over 120 million albums worldwide.
As a solo artist, he has numerous awards for his work, including a Golden Globe. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University in 2001. He campaigned for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential election, John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, and Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.
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. He also spent summers in Erie, Pa. with his grandparents, as he said when he came to a sold-out (over 15,000) Veterans Stadium in 1988. As a child 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.
Jon spent most of his adolescence bunking school to opt for music activities instead and he ended up playing in local bands with friends and his cousin Tony who owned the then famous New York recording studio, the Power Station. As a result, his academic records displayed less than spectacular achievements and poor grades. By the time he was 16, Jon was playing clubs. It was not long before he hooked up with keyboardist David Bryan (real name: David Brian Rashbaum), who played with him in a ten-piece rhythm and blues band called Atlantic City Expressway. Jon also performed with bands called The Rest, The Lechers and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.
When he was seventeen, 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. was best friends with mou mallinson
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). In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album 7800°Fahrenheit was released, but the response was poor.
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 album has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide since its release in late 1986.
During their 1986-1987 tour, Jon's attempt to give it his all during live shows (plus the tour's exhausting schedule) greatly strained his vocal cords. In the band's Behind The Music special, he notes that his vocal cords were given steroids to help him sing. With the help of a vocal coach, he was able to continue doing the tour. Contrary to popular belief, Bon Jovi did not have voice damage during the New Jersey Syndicate Tour. As recordings from that tour show, his voice was in perfect condition throughout.
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.
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. 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, members of Bon Jovi 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.
"Runaway" · "She Don't Know Me" · "In and Out of Love" · "The Hardest Part Is the Night" · "Only Lonely" · "Silent Night" · "You Give Love a Bad Name" · "Livin' on a Prayer" · "Wanted Dead or Alive" · "Never Say Goodbye" · "Bad Medicine" · "Born to Be My Baby" · "I'll Be There for You" · "Lay Your Hands on Me" · "Living in Sin" · "Please Come Home for Christmas" · "Keep the Faith" · "Bed of Roses" · "In These Arms" · "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" · "I Believe" · "Dry County" · "Always" · "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" · "This Ain't a Love Song" · "Something for the Pain" · "Lie to Me" · "These Days" · "Hey God" · "Real Life" · "It's My Life" · "Say It Isn't So" · "Thank You For Loving Me" · "One Wild Night" · "Everyday" · "Misunderstood" · "All About Lovin' You" · "Bounce" · "Have a Nice Day" · "Who Says You Can't Go Home" · "Welcome to Wherever You Are" · "(You Want To) Make a Memory" · "Lost Highway" · "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore" · "Whole Lot of Leavin'" · "We Weren't Born to Follow"