Jon Bon Jovi is without doubt one of the most celebrated artists of our time. The singer-songwriter and record producer is known as the frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi, which he founded in 1983. His contributions and achievements as part of the Grammy-winning group and as a solo act have earned him a place in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a place in Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 list of the most powerful and influential people in the music business.
Beyond his musical career, Jon is also an actor, best known for his roles in movies and television series such as Moonlight and Valentino, U-571 and Ally McBeal. See how the New Jersey native has achieved so much in his career and how he has managed to balance all of this with family commitments.
Jon Bon Jovi’s Fact Sheet
How Jon Bon Jovi Became A Singer
Jon Bon Jovi, who has stated that he is a blood relative of another great music artist, Frank Sinatra, discovered his passion for music as a teenager. By the age of 13 he had learned to play musical instruments such as piano and guitar and was a member of a band called Raze.
When he turned 16, he met the future member of the Bon Jovi band, keyboardist David Bryan, and they formed a band called Atlantic City Expressway. While playing in his band, he also played in the John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones Band and later in another band called The Rest, which he formed in 1980 when he turned 18. That same year Jon made his very first professional recording, after his cousin Tony Bongiovi, who is a record producer and studio owner, introduced him to the musician Meco.
Meco was in the studio to record the album “Christmas in the Stars”: The Star Wars Christmas album, and so Tony recommended the young man, who then contributed the song “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. A few years later, Jon Bon Jovi was able to record another song called “Runaway”, which appeared on the WAPP 103.5FM radio station’s compilation album “The Apple” with local talent in 1983.
The success of “Runaway” was Jon Bon Jovi’s first start in the music world. Not only did it make him popular, it also made him discover how he could work harder if he wanted to capitalize on his success. Driven by this success, he contacted David Bryan again, who in turn called bassist Alec John and drummer Tico Torres, and together with guitarist Richie Sambora they formed the rock band we know today as Bon Jovi.
Success Enjoyed By Jon Bon Jovi and His Band
Bon Jovi was founded in 1983 with Jon as lead singer and frontman. After the record manager Derek Shulman became aware of her and heard her at a show in New York City, he signed her to Mercury Records, a subsidiary of PolyGram.
In 1984, the band released their self-titled debut album, which climbed to number forty-three on the Billboard 200 album charts. In April 1985, their second album, 7800 Fahrenheit, was released, climbing to number thirty-seven on the Billboard 200 album charts and receiving gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Jon Bon Jovi and his group enjoyed great success after the release of their third album, Slippery When Wet, which was named best selling album of 1987 and spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 charts. The album’s first two singles, “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”, both reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, the band has released twelve more studio albums, toured nearly two dozen times and received numerous awards and nominations.
Why Richie Sambora Left Bon Jovi
It is rare that all the founding members of a band stay together for so long. Band members often quit for various reasons, and Bon Jovi was no exception to this phenomenon.
In April 2013 guitarist Richie Sambora announced his departure from the band to the surprise of fans from all over the world. The reason for Sambora’s departure was shrouded in mystery, as it was only said that he had left for “personal reasons”. Many speculated that the guitarist had been fired, but both he and Jon denied this.
It was later revealed that Sambora left the band because touring interfered with his family life. After his departure, he released a number of solo albums and others with his RSO group member Orianthi.
Achievements As A Solo Artist and Acting Career
Amidst the success of the Bon Jovi band, Jon Bon Jovi started a solo career and in 1990 released his first solo album entitled Blaze of Glory. The album’s title track of the same name, which served as the soundtrack for the 1990 movie Young Guns II, won an American Music Award for the most popular pop/rock single and a Golden Globe for the best original song. It also received an Oscar and Grammy Award nomination.
In 1997 he released his second solo album entitled Destination Anywhere. He also has a live album, At the Starland Ballroom Live, released in 2009, and a compilation album, The Power Station Years: The Unreleased Recordings, released in 2001.
On the acting front of the film, Jon began with an unappreciated role in Young Guns II, then went on to paint in Moonlight and Valentino, and had other minor roles in films such as The Leading Man, No Looking Back, Row Your Boat and Homegrown. His first supporting role came in 2000 in the film Pay It Forward, in which he played the role of an abusive ex-husband.
Interesting Details About Jon Bon Jovi’s Marriage
Not many celebrity marriages have stood the test of time as well as those of Jon and his wife Dorothea Hurley, who have been married for over three decades. The couple, who were lovers in high school because they both attended Sayreville War Memorial High School, exchanged vows on April 29, 1989, in Las Vegas, Nevada at Graceland Wedding Chapel, where many other celebrity weddings have taken place.
When the news of Jon Bon Jovi’s marriage began to spread, the public and their family members were not happy about it. Jovi himself mentioned that both his mother and his music manager were concerned about the impact on his career. Nonetheless, his opinion on the matter remained unchanged, and the couple still lives together today, after having had great success in his career.
In an interview with People magazine, his wife Dorothea named the ability to grow evenly and not in opposite directions as one of the secrets behind the success of their marriage. She admitted, however, that they had some difficulties as a couple, but somehow managed to make it work.
As she continued to talk about how she could balance her marriage and her husband’s fame, Dorothea simply said that somehow they had managed to make it work. She also described her famous husband as a good family man when he is not on stage.
How Many Kids Do They Have?
Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are blessed with four children; a daughter Stephanie Rose, born May 31, 1993, and three sons named Jesse James Louis, Jacob Hurley and Romeo Jon, born February 1995, May 2002 and March 2004 respectively. Despite his very busy career, Jon still devotes a lot of time to his family. Dorothea also revealed how, as parents, they try to give their children a normal life, a life free from their father’s glory.
In 2012, Jon and his family made headlines after Stephanie was hospitalized after a heroin overdose. The then-teenager was found in her Hamilton College dorm room, unresponsive before an ambulance was called. In a subsequent search of the dormitory, police found more heroin, marijuana and other drugs, leading to her arrest. Together with her companion Ian Grant, she was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, but these charges were later dropped.