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Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009
John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.
March 2, 1962
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
|Other names||Jon Bon Jovi, Jr.|
|Education||St. Joseph's School
Sayreville War Memorial High School
|Spouse(s)||Dorothea Hurley (m. 1989–present)|
|Parent(s)||John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. (father)
Carol Sharkey (mother)
|Relatives||Tony Bongiovi (cousin)|
John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (born March 2, 1962), known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and frontman of the rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983.
Bon Jovi has released 2 solo albums and 12 studio albums with his band, which to date have sold over 130 million albums worldwide, thus making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the 1990s, Bon Jovi started an acting career, starring in various movie roles and has made several TV appearances in various series.
As a songwriter, Bon Jovi was inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, Bon Jovi ranked #50 on the list of Billboard Magazine's "Power 100", a ranking of "The Most Powerful and Influential People In The Music Business". In 1996, People Magazine named him one of the "50 Most Beautiful People In The World". Bon Jovi was ranked #31 on the "Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists" list by Hit Parader.
Bon Jovi was a founder and majority owner of the Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul. He is the founder of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, founded in 2006, to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. He campaigned for Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential election, John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election, and Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. In 2010, President Barack Obama named Bon Jovi to the White House Council for Community Solutions. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, in 2001.
John Francis Bongiovi Jr. was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the son of two former Marines, barber John Francis Bongiovi Sr. and Playboy Bunny turned florist Carol (Sharkey). He has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew. His father was of Italian (from Sciacca, Sicily) and Slovak ancestry and his mother is of German and Russian descent. He has stated that he is a blood relative of singer Frank Sinatra.
Bon Jovi was raised Catholic. He spent summers in Erie, Pennsylvania, with his grandparents, and sold newspapers. As a child, John attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey, during his freshman and sophomore years. He later transferred to Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey.
He spent most of his adolescence skipping school to opt for music activities instead, and ended up playing in local bands with friends and his cousin Tony Bongiovi, who owned the then-famous New York City recording studio The Power Station. As a result, his academic records displayed poor grades. By the time he was 16, John Bongiovi was playing clubs. It was not long before he joined up with keyboardist David Bryan, who played with him in a ten-piece rhythm and blues band called Atlantic City Expressway. He also performed with bands called The Rest, The Lechers and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.
When he was seventeen, Jon Bon Jovi was working sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi's recording studio. In 1980, when Meco was there recording Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, Tony Bongiovi recommended him for the song "R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas", which became his first professional recording (credited as John Bongiovi).
During a stop in Los Angeles on The New Jersey Syndicate Tour in 1989, Bon Jovi secretly took a trip to Las Vegas, and married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley (born September 29, 1962), on April 29 at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. The couple has four children.
A former resident of Rumson, New Jersey, he established his Sanctuary Sound recording studio in the basement of his home there.
In 2004, he became founder and primary owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. He appeared in several television commercials for the league, typically with John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Bon Jovi is no longer part owner of the Soul. In 2011, Bon Jovi expressed interest in purchasing 15% of the Atlanta Falcons for 150 million dollars.
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