Bon Jovi, originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, are an American hard rock band that have sold more than 120 million albums worldwide. They are one of the best-selling bands of all time and have toured widely. Lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi is a philanthropist who has campaigned for Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and many other politicians. He is also the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to help individuals in need and provides assistance for families.
The band formed in 1983, taking influence from several genres of music and combining them into an arena rock style. Their main inspirations were Van Halen and Aerosmith, whose hard-rock sound inspired them to write catchy songs and over-the-top performances. They also drew inspiration from Bruce Springsteen’s E. Street Band and other New Jersey-based bands.
They began their career in the heyday of hair metal, but soon transcended this trend to become one of the world’s top rock groups. Their 1986 smash hit Slippery When Wet and 1988 follow-up New Jersey launched the band to international superstardom.
In 2003, they were arguably bigger than ever and they looked set to stay that way for a while longer. They were touring heavily and the follow-up to 2008’s Lost Highway was set to debut at the top of the charts.
Despite all the grief and ructions that were still around them in 2003, Bon Jovi were having a good time. They were putting together shows with the same fervour that they had when they were young.
This is what makes their live shows so great: They’re tight, they play with passion and their songs never seem to end. They take you through a lifetime of hits, from the 1980s to the present day.
Their songs have always been about life in general – celebrating love, friendship and loyalty. Their lyrics are uplifting and they’re a joy to hear.
There’s an underlying theme of acceptance in their music too, and Bon Jovi are happy to touch on topics such as 9/11 resilience in the 2002 track “Bounce” or tolerance in the 2005 track “Have a Nice Day”. They also make sure to evoke the ’80s in their latest material with tracks such as “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Bad Medicine” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” which are all still big hits today.
They’ve also managed to keep their music fresh by releasing albums every few years, and their fans continue to flock to see them live, often in stadiums across the world. Their latest album, What About Now, was released in 2013.
The band’s popularity has soared throughout the decades and they are known to have a special connection with their fan club members. When they’re not on the road, they enjoy a quiet lifestyle in their hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey.
When the band was first starting out in the ’80s, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres and David Bryan were teenagers with blue-collar roots. They shared a deep devotion to rock heroes like Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band, as well as blue-collar classics from Van Halen and Journey.