Gave us "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "I'll Be there for You"
Singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor, best known as the founder and frontman of rock band Bon Jovi
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).
In June 1982, Jon Bon Jovi recorded a song called "Runaway," subsequently shopping it to several record companies, including Atlantic Records and Mercury (PolyGram), who all turned him down. Bon Jovi then visited rock radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" in New York City who accepted the song for inclusion on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent, paving the way for "Runaway" to became a local hit. Bon Jovi the band was created, consisting of keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such and drummer Tico Torres. Tapped to play lead guitar was Jon Bon Jovi's neighbor Dave Sabo, who later formed the group Skid Row. Sabo was eventually replaced by Richie Sambora who became one of Bon Jovi's signature writing partners.
As songwriters, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, individually and as collaborators, are responsible for some of popular music’s biggest anthems over the last 25 years. Since Bon Jovi’s eponymous album release in 1984, their songs have propelled their albums and tours to stratospheric success with precision consistency.
From rock songs, (“You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Living On A Prayer” with fellow inductee Desmond Child, “It’s My Life,” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,”) to ballads (“Bed of Roses,” “I’ll Be There For You,” “Always,”), to outlaw-themed anthems (“Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Blaze of Glory”), the list of hits penned by the duo reads like a timeline of popular culture.
Bon Jovi has also found success working in TV and Film, with film appearances in New Year’s Eve, Cry Wolf, and Pay It Forward, and television appearances in 30 Rock, The West Wing, and Sex in the City. He has also delved extensively into political activism. In 2010 he was appointed by President Obama to the White House Council for Community Solutions. His foundation, The Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, addresses the issue of homelessness and hunger in America, as well as environmental issues.
Solid songcraft is heralded as one of the keys to Bon Jovi’s success with an arsenal of All-American songs that have repeatedly found a reception on a global stage. Bon Jovi has sold over 120 million records worldwide and charted seven #1 singles and countless Top Ten hits.