Jon Bon Jovi is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who is best known as the lead vocalist for the rock band Bon Jovi. He was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and is of Italian and Slovak descent.
A singer of gritty rock and roll with a distinctive voice, Bon Jovi has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards for his career.
In 1975, Bon Jovi began playing piano and guitar with his first band, Raze. He played in many bands over the years before forming the group Bon Jovi in 1983.
The group quickly found success with their debut album, New Jersey. After the album was released, they toured throughout North America and Europe, becoming one of the most popular live acts in the country.
After the release of their fourth album, Runaway, Bon Jovi signed a contract with Polygram/Mercury Records. Though frontman Jon Bon Jovi and drummer Richie Sambora would later leave the band, the rest of the lineup stayed together for several more albums.
During the 1980s, the band changed their sound to become more relevant to the era. They lessened their reliance on arena rock and introduced more ballads to their repertoire. The result was a much more sophisticated sound and allowed them to sustain their popularity into the 21st century.
Blaze of Glory
The 1990 release of Bon Jovi’s first solo album, Blaze of Glory, was a major success, selling over 15 million copies and winning a Golden Globe. It featured guest performances by Elton John, Little Richard and Jeff Beck.
Keep the Faith
Jon Bon Jovi and his band members regrouped after a decade apart to record their 1992 album, Keep the Faith. During this time, the band faced new challenges on the hard rock scene with Seattle’s alternative-rock bands Soundgarden and Pearl Jam leading the charge.
With a more mature attitude, Bon Jovi took a more politically aware approach to their music and wrote songs that dealt with issues such as poverty, education, health care and social justice. The songs became a key part of their setlists and remain favorites to this day.
The band’s fifth studio album, These Days, was released in 1995 and spent four weeks at number one on the UK charts. The album was also successful in other countries, including Ireland and Germany.
The 1997 release of Bon Jovi’s second solo album, Destination Anywhere, was another huge success. It was also accompanied by a short movie, featuring the band members and various guest stars.
This was the album that spawned the hits “It’s My Life,” “Santa Fe” and “Livin on a Prayer”. These songs, along with countless other songs from the group’s catalogue, helped make Bon Jovi an international superstar.
He also established himself as an actor in a series of television shows. He starred in the US’s popular comedy series Ally McBeal and in a couple of independent films.