John Francis Bongiovi Jr. is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi, which he formed in 1983. He has released 15 studio albums with the band and two solo albums. In addition to his music career, he has also had a successful acting career and has been a part of numerous charitable endeavours.
In 2000, he founded the Bon Jovi Foundation, which works to improve the lives of children in need by bringing attention and money to their cause. The charity has raised millions of dollars and has helped many families across the United States. He has also been a prominent figure in raising awareness for the homeless population and was a major contributor in building homes in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
The band’s first big hit, Runaway was written by Jon and Richie Sambora in 1980. The pair recorded the song with backing musicians at Jon’s cousin’s home, and it quickly got traction on local radio stations. The track was included on a compilation tape that the group sent to record executive Derek Shulman, who signed them to PolyGram. This was the turning point for Bon Jovi.
Bon Jovi continued to build a loyal following with the release of their eponymous debut album in 1984 and the follow-up, 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit, which went platinum. However, it was their third album, Slippery When Wet, that brought the band international fame. The lead single, You Give Love A Bad Name, became a top five hit and catapulted the band to the forefront of the rock scene.
A few years after the success of Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi began to expand their horizons by taking on more acting roles and writing songs for movie soundtracks. This was the beginning of their long-running partnership with Hollywood director Emilio Estevez, who used their songs in multiple films.
Despite juggling his acting career with the demands of being in a successful band, Jon still found time to write what would become his second solo album. The 1997 release, Destination Anywhere, was a top 20 hit. The album was accompanied by a short movie based on the songs, which starred Jon, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg.
Bon Jovi’s latest album, 2020, is a more mature offering than the Livin’ on a Prayer era. The band has shifted their sound to lessen their reliance on arena rock guitars and focus more on melody and ballads. They have also incorporated elements of soft rock and country into their musical style, moving away from the hard-rock roots that made them so popular in the late ’80s. This new direction has been well-received by their fans.