Bon Jovi – The Band That Rocked in the ’80s and ’90s

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During the ’80s and early ’90s, Bon Jovi was one of the biggest bands around, a hard rock force to be reckoned with on the concert circuit and the record charts. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s signature croon was always a powerful element of the show and the band’s hits like “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Bad Medicine” were some of the decade’s biggest. The group also expanded its musical horizons, dabbling in everything from confessional adult contemporary to reflective country music and even influencing the MTV Unplugged series with their own sit-down acoustic versions of some of their biggest hits.

In the early ’90s, Bon Jovi also started to expand their acting career, appearing in films such as Moonlight and Valentino and scoring a couple of guest spots on Ally McBeal before launching a full-fledged movie career with the aptly titled 1997 film The Leading Man. In the same decade, Bon Jovi continued to explore new genres and broaden their audience with a series of albums that blended their typical arena-ready hard rock with things like funk, rap and even reggae.

With the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bon Jovi stepped into the public-awareness arena with such songs as “Bounce” and “Have a Nice Day,” and the group’s philanthropic efforts helped raise funds to help those affected by the tragedy. The group sold out two homecoming concerts at Giants Stadium in New Jersey that year, which were broadcast on VH-1 to record ratings.

The following year, Bon Jovi topped the charts with a re-recorded version of their hit “You Give Love a Bad Name” that featured then-fiancĂ©e Jennifer Aniston on vocals. This was followed by a slew of hits including “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” (which went to No. 1 on the Billboard chart) and “Blaze of Glory.”

Throughout their long run, Bon Jovi continued to churn out hits while also expanding their audience with a series of specials and a concert series that saw them visiting some of the world’s largest arenas. In addition to their own branded shows, the band regularly appeared on a variety of television programs including The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and Saturday Night Live and has made cameo appearances in many movies and TV series.

Bon Jovi’s latest effort, the aptly named 2020, is a direct and politically charged album meant to bear witness to an ugly period in American life. It’s the first time that Bon Jovi has delved into political commentary since the departure of guitarist Richie Sambora in 2013, and the result is a more personal and less glam record than fans might have expected.

In an interview with GQ, Bon Jovi spoke about the process of making the album and his admiration for musicians who take risks. He specifically praised Jeff Beck, saying that the guitarist “can do things with his thumb and fingers that would blow your mind.” He then added Jimi Hendrix to his list of favorite artists.