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Jon Bon Jovi Turns 50!


First Posted: 03/02/2012 7:53 am Updated: 05/23/2012 1:48 pm

Longtime rocker Jon Bon Jovi celebrates his 50th on March 2. The New Jersey native, husband and father of four is best known for fronting the band Bon Jovi. Formed in 1984, together the band has toured globally and released 11 studio albums, four of which went to number one on the Billboard charts, according to Rolling Stone.

Bon Jovi is preparing to headline the Bamboozle Festival on May 19 in Asbury Park, NJ. The three-day event is primarily known for catering to young artists and fans, yet Bon Jovi, which has been a band for nearly three decades, will be performing on the main stage that Saturday, helping the festival to ring in its 10th anniversary.

In December 2011, Bon Jovi starred opposite several of Hollywood's finest, including Robert De Niro and Halle Barry, in the film "New Year's Eve." The role didn't require Bon Jovi to stretch much: He played a rock star. He has appeared in a dozen other films.

Bon Jovi met his wife, Dorothea Hurley, in high school and they married in 1989. They have a daughter, 18, and three sons, ages 17, 9 and 7. Bon Jovi says his family kept him on course amid the pressure of fame and the demands of recording and touring in his earliest years in the business, telling Scotland's Daily Record:

"God blessed me. I had a wife who loved me and a family to go home to. As tired and burnt-out as I was, I'm no quitter. There was no way I was gonna die. I'm still here. My health and my family are the core of my being. Without my wife and kids I'd be a dead man. It's a beautiful privilege to still be doing what I'm doing. A dream come true."

Bon Jovi also talked about how much he values his health, longevity and the experiences he had in his 40s:

You're never going to see the fat Elvis in me. People I admired like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and John Belushi all died at 27. I've got jeans older than that. Between the ages of 42 and 48 has given me some of my greatest memories yet. When I look at my peers Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, Bruce Springsteen, Bono -- they're all over 50 and still doing great. That's because they don't live the bullshit or cliched rock star life. They survive on a great catalogue and new material. That's the team I want to play for.

When he's not recording, touring or acting, Bon Jovi spends time on his charitable foundation, Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which assists communities in addressing poverty and homelessness. Bon Jovi has been a part of the foundation, formerly known as The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation, since 2006. Additionally, he and Dorothea opened The Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, NJ in 2011. The restaurant provides meals without prices for those in need. In exchange for meals, patrons can either donate what they can or perform volunteer work.

Welcome to 50, Jon. Happy birthday!

Check out the slideshow below for Bon Jovi's photos and performances.

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  • Jon Bon Jovi

    <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/jon-bon-jovi-9542512" target="_hplink">Jon Bon Jovi</a>, born John Francis Bongiovi on March 2, 1962, turns 50.

  • A Family Man

    Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea Hurley at the "New Year's Eve" premiere with kids (left to right) Jesse, Stephanie, Romeo and Jacob.

  • Childhood Sweethearts

    Jon Bon Jovi and his wife <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/jon-bon-jovi-9542512" target="_hplink">Dorothea Hurley</a>, married in 1989.

  • Jon Bon Jovi's Soul Kitchen

    Jon Bon Jovi opened <a href="http://www.jbjsoulkitchen.org/" target="_hplink">The Soul Kitchen</a> in Red Bank, NJ in 2011, offering meals in exchange for donations or volunteer work.

  • Bon Jovi

    <a href="http://www.bonjovi.com/band/jon_bon_jovi" target="_hplink">Bon Jovi</a>, formed in 1984, is made up of Jon Bon Jovi on vocals and guitar, Richie Sambora on guitar and vocals, David Bryan on keyboard and vocals, and Tico Torres on Drums.

  • Front Man

    Between 1987 and 2009, Bon Jovi has had three of their albums go to number one on the <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/bon-jovi/biography" target="_hplink">Billboard Charts</a>.

  • For The Fans

    In 2004, Bon Jovi released the box set "<a href="http://www.bonjovi.com/release/dvds-albums/100000000-bon-jovi-fans-cant-be-wrong" target="_hplink">10,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong</a>" featuring 51 tracks and DVD footage.

  • Performing with Bon Jovi

    Bon Jovi will be headlining this year's Bamboozle festival in Asbury Park, NJ on May 19.

  • Always

    "<a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/bon-jovi/biography" target="_hplink">Always</a>" was featured on the 1994 album "Cross Road" and went to number four.

  • Just Older

    "Just Older" was part of the band's 1999 album, "<a href="http://www.bonjovi.com/release/albums/crush_1" target="_hplink">Crush</a>."

  • Living On A Prayer & Wanted Dead Or Alive (Acoustic at MTV Awards 1989)

    Two years prior, in 1987, Bon Jovi <a href="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/1987/" target="_hplink">won an MTV Video Music Award</a> for "Livin' On A Prayer."

  • You Give Love A Bad Name

    "<a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/bon-jovi/biography" target="_hplink">You Give Love A Bad Name</a>" was a number one single from the number one album "Slippery When Wet" in 1986.

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Filed by Kristen Stenerson  |  Report Corrections