Jon Bon Jovi is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated artists of our time. The singer-songwriter and record producer is popular for being the frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi, which he founded in 1983. His contributions and achievements as a part of the Grammy Award-winning group and as a solo act have earned him an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a place on 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 films and television series like Moonlight and Valentino, U-571 and Ally McBeal. Check out how the New Jersey native was able to achieve so much in his career as well as how he has been able to balance it all with family responsibilities.
How Jon Bon Jovi Became A Singer
Jon Bon Jovi, who has stated that he is a blood relative of another great musical artist, Frank Sinatra, discovered his passion for music as a teenager. By age 13, he had learned how to play musical instruments like the piano and guitar and had joined a band called Raze.
By the time he turned 16, he met future Bon Jovi band member, keyboard player David Bryan, and they formed a band called Atlantic City Expressway. While playing with his band, he also played with the John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones band and later with another band called the Rest which he formed when he turned 18 in 1980. That same year, Jon made his very first professional recording after his cousin Tony Bongiovi, who is a record producer and recording studio owner, introduced him to 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 went on to contribute to the song, “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. A few years later, Jon Bon Jovi was able to record another song titled “Runaway” which featured in the radio station WAPP 103.5FM “The Apple” 1983 compilation album of local homegrown talent.
The success of “Runaway” marked Jon’s first launch into the music world. Not only did it make him popular, but it also made him discover how to work harder if he wanted to capitalize on his success. Propelled by this, he went on to reconnect with David Bryan who in turn called bassist Alec John and drummer Tico Torres and together, they formed the rock band we known today as Bon Jovi along with guitarist Richie Sambora.
Success Enjoyed By Jon Bon Jovi and His Band
Bon Jovi came into existence in 1983 with Jon serving as the lead singer and frontman. After having gained the attention of record executive Derek Shulman who listened to them play at a show in New York City, he signed them to Mercury Records, a subsidiary of the PolyGram company.
In 1984, the band released its self-titled debut album which peaked at number forty-three on the Billboard 200 album chart. In April 1985, their second album, 7800 Fahrenheit was released and it peaked at number thirty-seven on the Billboard 200 chart while further receiving Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Jon Bon Jovi and his group enjoyed huge success following the release of their third album, Slippery When Wet, which was named the top-selling album of 1987 and spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. The album’s first two singles, “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”, both achieved number one spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, the band has released twelve more studio albums, embarked on almost two dozen tours, and received loads of awards and nominations.
Why Richie Sambora Left Bon Jovi
It is rare to see all founding members of a music band remain together for so long. Band members often call it quits for various reasons, and Bon Jovi was no exception to this phenomenon.
In April 2013, guitarist Richie Sambora announced his departure from the group to the surprise of fans from all around the world. The reason for Sambora’s departure was shrouded in mystery as it was only said that he left for “personal reasons”. Many speculated that the guitarist had been fired but both him and Jon came out to deny this.
It was later revealed that Sambora left the band because touring interfered with his family life. Following his departure, he released a number of solo albums, as well as others with his RSO group member, Orianthi.
Achievements As A Solo Artist and Acting Career
Amid the successes of the Bon Jovi band, Jon Bon Jovi launched a solo career, releasing his first solo album titled Blaze of Glory, in 1990. The album’s title track of the same name, which served as the soundtrack for the 1990 film Young Guns II, won an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. It further received an Academy Award and Grammy Award nomination.
In 1997, he released his second solo album titled Destination Anywhere. He further has a live album, At the Starland Ballroom Live, released in 2009, and a compilation album titled The Power Station Years: The Unreleased Recordings, which was released in 2001.
On the film acting front, Jon started with an uncredited role in Young Guns II. He subsequently appeared as a painter in Moonlight and Valentino and had other minor roles in films like The Leading Man, No Looking Back, Row Your Boat, and Homegrown. His first supporting role came in the movie Pay It Forward in 2000, where he played the role of an abusive ex-husband.
Interesting Details About Jon Bon Jovi’s Marriage
Not many celebrity marriages have been able to stand the test of time like that of Jon and his wife of over three decades, Dorothea Hurley. The pair, who were high school sweethearts as they both attended Sayreville War Memorial High School, exchanged vows on April 29, 1989, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Graceland Wedding Chapel where many other celebrity weddings have taken place.
When the news about Jon Bon Jovi’s marriage began to spread, the public, as well as their family members, were not happy about it. Jovi himself mentioned that his mother and music manager were both worried about its effect on his career. Nevertheless, his mind remained unchanged on the matter and today, the pair are still living together after he has enjoyed massive success in his career.
Speaking to People magazine, his wife Dorothea listed being able to grow equally and not in opposite directions as one of the secrets behind the success of her marriage. She, however, admitted that they have had their fair share of troubles as a couple but somehow have managed to make it work.
Speaking further on how she is able to strike a balance between their marriage and her husband’s fame, Dorothea simply said they somehow saw it work. She also described her famous husband as a good family man whenever he is off the stage.
How Many Kids Do They Have?
Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are blessed with four children; a daughter Stephanie Rose, born 31st May 1993, and three sons named Jesse James Louis, Jacob Hurley, and Romeo Jon, who were born February 1995, May 2002, and March 2004, respectively. Despite his very busy career, Jon still dedicates lots of time to his family. Dorothea also revealed how they try as parents to give their kids a normal life, a life free from their father’s fame.
In 2012, Jon and his family made headlines after Stephanie was hospitalized after overdosing on heroin. The then-teenager was found unresponsive in her dorm room at Hamilton College before an ambulance was called. A subsequent police search of the dorm found some more heroin, marijuana, and other drugs, which led to her being arrested. Along with her companion, Ian Grant, she was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, however, those charges were later dropped.