Jon Bon Jovi (born John Francis Bongiovi Jr., March 2, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter and musician best known as the founder of the band Bon Jovi. Since its formation in 1983, the group has released 15 studio albums and two solo albums. In addition to their music, the band has also ventured into acting, with Bon Jovi appearing in films such as Moonlight and Valentino and TV shows including Sex and the City and Ally McBeal.
One of the biggest and most successful bands in history, Bon Jovi have sold more than 130 million records worldwide. They have a long list of top hits, including “Runaway” and “Slippery When Wet,” and are considered to be one of the most influential rock groups of all time. The band’s sound has evolved over the years, from stadium rock and glam metal to pop-rock with hard elements, and their popularity has continued into the 21st century. This is largely due to the band’s focus on solid songcraft, combining rock with ballads and soft rock influences, while remaining accessible to mainstream audiences.
The band’s eponymous debut album, Bon Jovi, spawned a top 40 hit with “Runaway” and went gold in 1984. The following year, the band released 7800° Fahrenheit, which also produced a Top 40 hit in “Whole Lotta Love.” These successes set the stage for the 1986 release of Slippery When Wet, which was an enormous hit. Bon Jovi has maintained their success through the decades with consistent record sales and tours. The band is currently composed of singer Jon Bon Jovi, drummer Tico Torres, bassist Alec John Such, and guitarist Richie Sambora.
While some critics have criticized Bon Jovi’s overly commercial style, others have noted that the band’s songs have universal appeal and are easy to listen to. This has enabled them to maintain a large following and keep their audience engaged. In addition to their music, Bon Jovi has done a great deal of charity work, and has established the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in 2006 to combat issues that cause families to fall into poverty.
Although Bon Jovi’s voter registration indicates that he is an independent, the band has supported many Democratic politicians, touring on behalf of presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, and playing acoustic sets at rallies for Barack Obama in 2008. The band was named Band of the Year by Billboard in 1994 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. Jon has made it a point to not allow his celebrity status to go to his head, preferring instead to focus on his music. He has also been very generous with his fortune, founding the Philadelphia Soul arena football team and contributing to a number of charities, including the Make a Difference Foundation. His dedication to his family and the people of his community has made him an icon in his field. He has been an inspiration to his fans, and remains a popular figure with those of all ages.