Happy birthday Jon Bon Jovi.
It’s a big moment for the “Livin’ On A Prayer” singer and Bon Jovi frontman – he turns 60 on Wednesday.
“I’m okay with getting older, I really am. I’m attracted to older people,” Bon Jovi told USA TODAY in October 2020. “Guys I look up to are older than me: When I talk (music) with Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, when I talk football with Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, when I talk politics with President (Bill) Clinton.”
“Getting old doesn’t scare me”: Jon Bon Jovi on Aging, Legacy and Knowing “When It’s Time to Go”
Here’s a look at the rocker’s early musical days and his active role in giving back to communities in need.
Beginning of Bon Jovi’s music: “I deserved these gray hairs”
John Bongiovi was born to John and Carol Bongiovi in 1962. His parents met in the Marines. Dad was a barber and mom owned a flower shop—it was a blue-collar upbringing in New Jersey.
Before becoming a Grammy-winning artist, Bon Jovi played Jersey Shore clubs in the 80s in bands like Atlantic City Expressway, The Rest and John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones.
Then came that of the singer Breakthrough: Bon Jovi recorded a song he co-wrote, ‘Runaway,’ at Power Station studio in New York. An all-star group was then reunited to perform on the track, including Roy Bittan of the E Street Band and Hugh McDonald, who would later join Bon Jovi on bass.
A piece of music history:Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ t-shirt and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Glory Road’ lyrics up for auction
On the road:Bon Jovi, the band, hit the road again in April for their first tour since 2019
“Runaway” found its way to radio as part of an unsigned band contest – even though Bon Jovi didn’t really have a band until David Bryan, Tico Torres, Richie Sambora and Alec John Such answer the call.
Bon Jovi has since have sold over 130 million albums and are one of the few rock bands that can still fill arenas and stadiums around the world.
“Let me tell you, I earned that gray hair,” the rock legend told USA TODAY in the 2020 interview. “I’ve been through enough pain and healing to be here. ‘ve survived the trends that have come gone.”
Bon Jovi’s philanthropic work: “There are those who defend and those who do”
In addition to music, the rocker is a philanthropist. His Soul Foundation has provided grants for nearly 1,000 “affordable and supportive” housing units in 11 different states.
Former President Clinton recognized the rocker’s efforts to help others at the Soul Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2016.
“I came here to add my voice of thanks to Jon and (his wife) Dorothea for giving so much of your life to house the homeless and feed the hungry, train the unemployed and remind us all that beneath our differences, we’re not that different after all,” Clinton said.
‘These songs mean a lot’: Bon Jovi keeps rocking
This year, Bon Jovi and the band have more shows to perform with 15 concerts in the South and Midwest in April, which should be the first leg of a 2022 tour.
Although the idea of a tour is exciting, Bon Jovi said performing in front of live audiences is tertiary in the grand scheme of his career.
“Writing it is all I can really care about. Recording it is the second because you want to see if it was worth it. And touring is the third,” he said at the time. . “It’s the last one because it’s wonderful and all, but I don’t live to tour. I don’t live to hear people clapping. It’s a byproduct of writing the song.”
Bon Jovi’s writing has won awards and inspired many in difficult times, including Chicagoans who sang “Livin’ On A Prayer” in the streets in March 2020 and young kindergarten children in Florida at who the musician enlisted to help him write “Do What You Can”. ” in April 2020.
“These songs mean a lot to a lot of people and I’m grateful for that. It’s a gift that God gives you the job that you wanted when you were a kid, and that I can still do it. I’m the greatest man lucky in the world,” Bon Jovi said.
Contributor: Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY