Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.; March 2, 1962) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as the lead singer and founder of Bon Jovi. Throughout his career, he has released two solo albums and eleven studio albums with his band which have sold over 130 million albums worldwide.[1]

As a solo artist, Bon Jovi has numerous awards for his work, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for his solo hit, “Blaze of Glory”. 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.

He was ranked in the Hit Parader’s top Metal vocalists of All Time.

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. in Perth Amboy, New Jersey the son of two former Marines, barber John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. and florist Carol Sharkey. He has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew.[2] His father was of Sicilian and Slovak ancestry and his mother was of German and Russian descent.[3][4] He has stated that he is a blood relative of Frank Sinatra.[5] He spent summers in Erie, Pennsylvania, with his grandparents as a newspaper salesman.[6] As a child, Bon Jovi attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey, during his freshman and sophomore years.[7] He later transferred to Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey.[8]

Bon Jovi spent most of his adolescence bunking school to opt for music activities instead, and ended up playing in local bands with friends and his cousin Tony Bongiovi, 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, Bon Jovi was playing clubs. It was not long before he hooked up with keyboardist David Bryan (real name: David Bryan Rashbaum), who played with him in a ten-piece rhythm and blues band called Atlantic City Expressway. Bon Jovi also performed with bands called The Rest, The Lechers and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.

When he was seventeen, Bon Jovi was working sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi’s recording studio. In 1980, when Meco was there recording Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, Bongiovi recommended Bon Jovi for the song “R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” This became his first professional recording (credited as John Bongiovi).[9] He left in 1983 when he got a record deal.[10]

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 double 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.

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. That year Jon Bon Jovi earned a BRIT Award for Best International Male and also won a MTV Europe Music Award for Best Male.

Jon Bon Jovi recorded 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.

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 Hurley (born September 29, 1962) on April 29, 1989 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together they have four children: Stephanie Rose, Jesse James Louis, Jacob Hurley, and Romeo Jon. Bon Jovi maintains a strong family foundation to this day.[10]

In 2004, he 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. The AFL will be returning in 2011, but Jon will no longer be part owner of the Soul.

Charitable work

Bon Jovi has worked on behalf of the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, 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. 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 (now non existent). 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.The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) was founded in 2006 and exists to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, they support innovative community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

He is one of 21 artists singing on “Everybody Hurts”, a charity single organized by Simon Cowell in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[

Jon Bon Jovi visited major rock station WAPP 103.5FM “The Apple” in New York City. He spoke directly to the promotion director John Lassman, who accepted the song “Runaway” for inclusion on the station’s compilation album of local homegrown talent. Bon Jovi was initially reluctant to have it included but eventually gave them the song on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on the track. The studio musicians who helped record “Runaway” – known as The All Star Review – were guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and bassist Hugh McDonald.

Runaway became a local hit on the charts. Along the way, Mercury gave Bon Jovi a recording contract in 1983, and to promote Runaway, Bon Jovi called up Richie Sambora, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Alec John Such and formed a band. After Bon Jovi claimed he wanted a group name (and rejecting “Johnny Lightning”), one of the group suggested “Bon Jovi”, slightly changing the spelling of Jon’s last name.

Jon Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi, 2008
Background information
Birth name John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.
Also known as Jon Bon Jovi
Born March 2, 1962 (1962-03-02) (age 48)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey,
Genres Hard rock, rock, country rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter, actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, percussion instruments, trumpet
Years active 1983–present
Labels Island, Mercury
Associated acts Bon Jovi
Website bonjovi.com
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