After ushering in the era of pop-metal with their 1986 blockbuster Slippery When Wet,” Bon Jovi wound up transcending the big-haired ‘80s, withstanding changes in style and sound to become one of the biggest American rock bands of their time.
Bon Jovi is an American rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Formed in 1983, Bon Jovi consists of lead singer and namesake 'Jon Bon Jovi' (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres as well as current bassist Hugh McDonald. The band's line-up has remained mostly static during their 26-year history, the only exception being the departure of Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald. The band became known for writing several rock anthems, and achieved widespread recognition with their third album Slippery When Wet, released in 1986. Bon Jovi is well-known for songs including "Livin' on a Prayer", which has become their signature song, as well as "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Wanted Dead or Alive", "Bad Medicine", "Keep the Faith", "Bed of Roses", "Always", "It's My Life", "Everyday" and "Have a Nice Day". Their latest hit single is "We Weren't Born To Follow".
After prolifically touring and recording during the late 1980s, the band went on hiatus following the New Jersey Tour in 1990, during which time Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora both released successful solo albums. In 1992, the band returned with the album Keep the Faith and have since created successful albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Their 2000 single "It's My Life", which followed a second hiatus, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi have been known to use different styles in their music, which have ranged to country for their 2007 album Lost Highway. Their latest album, The Circle, was released on 10 November 2009 in the United States.
Throughout their career, the band have released twelve studio albums, two compilation albums and one live album, and have sold over 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans, and were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009
Jon Bon Jovi (b. Jon Francis Bongiovi, 2 March 1962, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA) began playing piano and guitar in 1975 at thirteen with his first band 'Raze'. At the age of sixteen Bon Jovi met David Bryan (b. David Bryan Rashbaum, 7 February 1962 Edison, New Jersey) and formed the 12-piece cover band Atlantic City Expressway. They played New Jersey clubs even though they were minors. Still in his teens, Bon Jovi played in the band John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones, playing local clubs like "The Fast Lane" and opening for known acts in the area. By 1980, he formed another band, "The Rest", and opened up for New Jersey acts such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
By mid-1982, out of school and working part time in a woman's shoe store, Jon Bon Jovi took a job at the Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin Tony Bongiovi was co-owner. Bon Jovi made several demos – including one produced by Billy Squier – and sent them to record companies but failed to make an impact.
Bon Jovi visited the local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" in Lake Success, New York. He spoke directly to the promotion director John Lassman, who accepted the song "Runaway" for inclusion on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent. Bon Jovi was initially reluctant but eventually gave them the song on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on the track "Runaway". The studio musicians who helped record "Runaway" – known as The All Star Review – were guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and bassist Hugh McDonald.
The song began to get airplay in the New York area, then other sister stations in major markets picked up the song. In March 1983 Bon Jovi called David Bryan, who in turn called bassist Alec John Such (b. Alec John Such, November 14, 1952, Yonkers, New York, USA) ex-Phantom's Opera and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres (b. Hector Samuel Juan Torres, 7 October 1953, New York, New York City).
Tapped to play lead guitar was Bon Jovi's neighbor, Dave Sabo (a.k.a. The Snake) (b. David Michael Sabo, September 16, 1964, North Brunswick, New Jersey, USA) who later formed the group Skid Row. Sabo was eventually replaced by Richie Sambora (b. Richard Stephen Sambora, July 11, 1959, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA). Before joining the group, Sambora had toured with Joe Cocker, played with a group called Mercy and had been called up to audition for Kiss. He also played on the album Lessons with the band Message, which was re-released on CD through Long Island Records in 1995. Message was originally signed to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song Records label, although the album was never released.
Tico Torres was also an experienced musician, having recorded and played live with Phantom's Opera, The Marvelettes, and Chuck Berry. He appeared on 26 records and had recently recorded with Franke and the Knockouts, a Jersey band with hit singles during the early 1980s.
David Bryan had quit the band he and Bon Jovi founded in order to study medicine. While in college, he realized he wanted to pursue music full-time and was accepted to Juilliard School, a New York music school. When Bon Jovi called his friend and said he was putting together a band and a record deal looked likely, Bryan followed Bon Jovi's lead and gave up his studies.
Early years (1984–85)
Once the band began playing showcases and opening for local talent, they caught the attention of record executive Derek Shulman, who signed them to Mercury Records and whom was part of the PolyGram company. Because Jon Bon Jovi wanted a group name, Pamela Maher, a friend of Richard Fischer and an employee of Doc McGhee, suggested she call themselves Bon Jovi, following the example of the other famous two word bands such as Van Halen. This name was chosen instead of the original idea of Johny Electric. Pamela's suggestion of the name was met with little enthusiasm, but two years later they hit the charts under that name.
Cover art for Runaway.With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee they recorded the band's debut album, Bon Jovi, which was released on January 21, 1984. The album included the band's first hit single, "Runaway", released in 1983. The group found themselves opening for ZZ Top at Madison Square Garden (before their first album had been released), and for Scorpions and Kiss in the US and Europe. They also made an appearance on the popular television program American Bandstand.
In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album 7800° Fahrenheit was released. While the album did not do as well as they'd hoped in terms of sales, it allowed Bon Jovi to get out on the road touring again. In April and May 1985, Bon Jovi headlined venues in Europe and Japan. In May, the band began a 6-month run of U.S. tourdates supporting Ratt. In the midst of that tour they managed to make appearances at the Texas Jam and Castle Donnington's Monsters of Rock concerts in England. Jon Bon Jovi also did a solo appearance at the very first Farm Aid in 1985. That's Great and all but Bon Jovi is the best singer at least in the America if not the world! Slippery When Wet (1986–87)
In April 1986 Bon Jovi moved to Vancouver to record their third album. Six months of studio work resulted in Slippery When Wet. The album, produced by Bruce Fairbairn and mixed by Bob Rock, was released in August 1986 and became Bon Jovi's breakthrough album. The first single, "You Give Love a Bad Name", became the band's first #1 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. The follow-up single, "Livin' on a Prayer" hit #1 as well, spending four weeks at the top position, both co-written with a young virtually unknown songwriter named Desmond Child (b. John Charles Barrett, 28 October 1953, Gainesville, Florida, USA) whose songwriting talents were recommended by KISS frontman, Paul Stanley. The songwriting partnership of Jon Bon Jovi/ Richie Sambora/ Desmond Child has continued to the present day. The album's third single "Wanted Dead or Alive" was a major Top 10 hit and still remains to this day, the Bon Jovi "National Anthem".
MTV wholeheartedly embraced Bon Jovi, whose camera friendly good looks and live concert videos helped catapult the band into superstardom. With the overwhelming success of Slippery When Wet Bon Jovi had become the worldwide musical superstars they had been dreaming of. Slippery When Wet reached number one in Australia, Canada and holds the record for the most weeks for a hard rock album at #1 in U.S., spending 8 weeks at #1 on Billboard 200 and has been certified Diamond by RIAA for selling 12 million copies only in U.S. In 1987, Slippery When Wet was named the top selling album of the year by Billboard and "Livin' On A Prayer" won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance. The band also won an award for Best Pop/Rock Band at the American Music Awards and an award for Best Rock Group at the People's Choice Awards.
When Slippery When Wet was released in August 1986, Bon Jovi was the support act for 38 Special. By the end of 1986, Bon Jovi were well into six months of headline dates in arenas across America. In August 1987, the band headlined England's "Monsters of Rock" festival. During their set Dee Snider, Bruce Dickinson and Paul Stanley joined the band to perform "We're an American Band". The band ended the year having headlined 130 shows in the "Tour Without End", grossing $28,400,000.
Jon Bon Jovi was asked what all this astronomical success meant, to which he answered, "Everything is bigger, and it moves twice as fast. You're recognized twice as often. This is bigger, the whole world gets bigger. You have to sell more records, be huger. You get smarter and you understand the business a little more, so it's more responsibility. You understand it now, and you want to make sure everything goes right".
Following the group’s success, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were asked to assist in producing Cher’s ‘comeback’ self-titled album in 1987. Jon and Richie co-wrote and sang backing vocals on Cher’s single "We All Sleep Alone" and also produced several other tracks on the album, later going on to co-produce Cher’s multi-platinum album Heart of Stone in 1989.
New Jersey (1988–90)
Determined to prove that the success of "Slippery When Wet" was not a fluke, Bon Jovi released their fourth effort New Jersey in September 1988. The resulting album was a commercial hit. New Jersey spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard 200 and has been certified seven times platinum by RIAA.
New Jersey also holds the record for the hard rock album to spawn the most Top 10 singles, with five singles charting on the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in United States. "Bad Medicine" and the ballad "I'll Be There for You", both of hit #1 on Billboard Hot 100. The album's three other singles ("Born to Be My Baby", "Lay Your Hands on Me", and "Living in Sin") reached the Top 10 and were huge hits on MTV. Bon Jovi even made the news when the video for "Living In Sin" was banned by MTV for featuring some too racy romance/sex scenes. After that it was re-edited and MTV put it in heavy rotation.
Bon Jovi mounted another huge worldwide tour that continued throughout 1989 and 1990. They visited more than 22 countries and performed more than 232 shows before it was all over. The personal highpoint for the band was their June 11, 1989 sell-out homecoming at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. In August 1989, the band headed to Russia for the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Bon Jovi were the first band officially sanctioned by the Russian government to perform in Russia and New Jersey was released on the state-owned record label, Melodiya, a privilege no Western artist had ever been granted before. Monsters of Rock festival was cancelled in 1989 because of the deaths of two fans during the Guns N' Roses performance in 1988. It was replaced with another rock festival which took place in Milton Keynes with Bon Jovi, Europe, Skid Row, and Vixen as participants..
The non-stop touring was taking its toll on the band. By the end of the New Jersey tour, Bon Jovi had 16 months of concerts under their belt and the band members were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. Finally, following the last tour date in Mexico, and without any clear plans for their future, the band members just went home.
Solo albums (1990–91)
Between 1990 and 1991 the band members went their separate ways. The exhaustion of recording both Slippery When Wet and New Jersey back to back, with highly paced world tours after each album, took its toll on the band. The band have since stated that there were few if any goodbyes between them at the end of the New Jersey tour. During the time they took off from the scene, the band retreated to their own interests and showed no desire for making another album.
Jon Bon Jovi recorded a solo album, a soundtrack to the movie Young Guns II more commonly known as Blaze of Glory. Having been originally approached by his friend Emilio Estevez to lend "Wanted Dead Or Alive" as the theme song for his upcoming Billy The Kid sequel, Jon Bon Jovi ended up composing an all new theme song for the film's soundtrack and delivering his first solo album. Released in 1990, the album featured high profile guests such as Elton John, Little Richard and Jeff Beck. The album fared well commercially and received positive reviews. The title track, "Blaze of Glory" hit #1 in United States. That year "Blaze of Glory" won an award for Best Pop/Rock Single at the American Music Awards and awarded a Golden Globe, as well. The song also earned Jon Bon Jovi an Academy Award nomination and a Grammy nomination.
Sambora, with the help of Tico Torres and David Bryan, released a solo album entitled Stranger In This Town, in 1991. The album featured Eric Clapton on the song "Mr. Bluesman". David Bryan recorded a soundtrack for the horror movie The Netherworld, which was the brighter part of that year after he was hospitalized with an illness caused by a South American parasite. Alec John Such took a fall off of his motorcycle which injured his bass-playing hand, forcing him to develop a whole new way to hold and play his instrument.
Disillusioned with the music business, despite all his success, and unhappy with the status quo, in 1991 Jon Bon Jovi fired his management, business advisers, and agents, including his long time manager, Doc McGhee. Jon took on the quarterbacking responsibilities himself by closing ranks and creating Bon Jovi Management.
In October 1991 the band went to a Caribbean island of St. Thomas to discuss plans for the future. They managed to resolve their differences by allowing each member to speak about his feelings without interruption from each other. Upon resolving their issues, they headed back into the Vancouver Little Mountain studios with Bob Rock to work on the band's fifth album in January 1992.
Keep the Faith (1992–93)
Bon Jovi's fifth studio album Keep the Faith was released in November 1992, represents "the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Bon Jovi" and marked a change in the band's sound. To promote Keep The Faith they returned to their roots playing a few dates at the small New Jersey clubs where they had started their career.
The musical tastes had shifted in the four years between New Jersey and Keep the Faith. Keep The Faith proved that Bon Jovi could still be a viable band in 90's, despite the industry's and audience's growing affinity for Grunge. The album managed to reach Double Platinum status by the RIAA in US and debuted at #1 in both UK and Australia. The album’s title track was it’s first release, hitting #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, followed by the ballad "Bed of Roses" which spent six weeks on Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. As Bon Jovi’s sound morphed itself to work in the 90's music scene, their image changed, as well. The media focused far too much attention on Jon Bon Jovi’s hair. When Jon Bon Jovi cut his hair he made headlines on CNN.
The band appeared on MTV Unplugged in late 1992 but that was different from the other episodes of MTV Unplugged series. The performance captures Bon Jovi in an intimate, "in the round" experience, performing acoustic and electric renditions of classic hits (Bon Jovi and non-Bon Jovi tracks) and new material from Keep the Faith. The concert was released commercially in 1993 as Keep the Faith: An Evening with Bon Jovi.
To mark the beginning of the band's next phase Bon Jovi embarked on an extensive international tour, visiting countries the band had never seen before and headlining stadiums in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. They visited 38 countries and performed 177 shows on the Keep the Faith Tour/I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Tour.
Cross Road and These Days (1994–96)
In October 1994, Bon Jovi released a greatest hits album titled Cross Road, with two new tracks: "Always" and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night". The first single off of the album, "Always", was a massive hit. "Always" spent six months on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, certified platinum in the US and became Bon Jovi's highest selling single. With the album Cross Road, Bon Jovi's album sales soared all around the world. That year Bon Jovi won an award for Best Selling Rock Band at the World Music Awards.
That same year, bassist Alec John Such left the band, the first lineup change since Bon Jovi began. Hugh McDonald (b. Hugh John McDonald, December 28, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), who was the bassist on "Runaway," unofficially replaced Such as bassist, with rumours that he had also recorded bass on previous albums. Jon Bon Jovi said, regarding the departure of Such: "Of course it hurts. But I learned to accept and respect it. The fact that I'm a workaholic, studio in, studio out, stage on, stage off, want to be dealing with music day and night, doesn't mean everyone else has to adjust to that pace. Alec wanted to quit for a while now, so it didn't come as a complete surprise."
Bon Jovi's sixth studio album, These Days, was released in June 1995. This was the first album Bon Jovi released after the firing of bassist Alec John Such. Critics responded to These Days much as they had to Keep The Faith, noting that the band had continued to mature lyrically and explore different styles of music, while keeping the music undeniably Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi has stated that even though the album was their darkest, the band was in a very happy place at the time.
The album managed to reach Platinum status by the RIAA in U.S. but fared better internationally than in the U.S. The album debuted at #1 in UK where it replaced Michael Jackson's album HIStory at number one on the UK Albums Chart and spent four consecutive weeks at #1. In Japan, the album topped the Oricon chart with sales of 379,000 copies in first week, becoming then-fastest selling album by a non-Japanese group in history of the country's chart. The lead single This Ain't A Love Song reached #14 in the United States, and was the only significant US hit from the album, however, the album produced four UK Top 10 hits. That year the band earned a BRIT Award for best international band and also won a MTV Europe Music Award for Best Rock.
The world tour that kicked off in India took the band though Asia, Europe, Australia and South America before the band's first-ever shows in South Africa. A career highpoint came in June 1995 when Bon Jovi sold out three-nights at London's historical Wembley Stadium in London, England. With film crews in tow, the concerts were documented for Bon Jovi: Live From London, a Grammy-nominated video of their record-breaking appearance. Bon Jovi visited 35 countries and performed 126 shows on These Days tour.
Following the overwhelming success of the These Days Tour, the members of Bon Jovi went their separate ways. But unlike the period following the New Jersey tour, tainted with uncertainty, this hiatus was a conscious group decision. The members of Bon Jovi agreed to a self-imposed two-year sabbatical from the band.
Jon Bon Jovi had been bitten by the acting bug. He landed lead roles in couple of movies. While he was free between filming different movies, Jon wrote what would become his second solo album, 1997's Destination Anywhere. A short movie of the same name was recorded around the record's release, based entirely on the songs from the record and starring Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Whoopi Goldberg.
Tico Torres used the opportunity to further pursue his painting while David Bryan started writing and composing various musicals. In 1998, Richie Sambora released his second solo outing called Undiscovered Soul.
Bon Jovi reunited in 1999 to record the song "Real Life" for the movie EdTV minus Bryan who was recovering from an accident in which he nearly severed his finger. In 1999 Bon Jovi was ready to release a new album, under the working title "Sex Sells", however the album was suspended and only three of more than thirty songs written were used for Crush. (In the Real Life music video you can see some posters of this album).
Crush and One Wild Night (2000–01)
After a nearly three-year hiatus, during which several band members worked on independent projects, Bon Jovi regrouped in 1999 to begin work on their next studio album. In June 2000, Crush was released as the band's seventh studio album. The first single "It's My Life" was noted as one of the group’s most successful releases in a decade and most importantly, becoming a symbol of the band's longevity as they prevailed through many different changes in the mainstream rock scene with admirable success. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide and helped introduce them to a new, younger fan base. That year the band received two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album Crush and Best Rock Performance by Duo/Group "It's My Life". The video for "It's My Life" won the My VH1 Music Awards for "My Favorite Video". VH1 also featured the band on the episodes of Behind The Music in 2000.
Bon Jovi played stadiums in Japan and Europe over the summer of 2000 including two sold-out concerts at London's historic Wembley Stadium, becoming the last ever concerts held at the legendary venue before its demolition. That summer the band played to more than one million fans in less than 30 shows. Upon their return to the U.S. the band did a sold-out arena tour in the Fall of 2000, followed in the Spring of 2001 with a sold-out arena–amphitheatre run of dates in America. They revisited stadiums in Japan and Europe before one more lap of shed dates in America. Bon Jovi sold out two homecoming concerts at New Jersey's Giants Stadium. Concerts were not only fulfilling career and personal highlights for the band but the broadcast broke ratings records for the VH-1 network.
One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001
While on tour, Bon Jovi released a collection of live performances from throughout their career in an album entitled One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001. This was Bon Jovi's first-ever live album. The songs were culled from archives of recorded material the band had been collecting from their earliest days on the road right through the current tour.
The band awarded for "Hottest Live Show" at the 2001 My VH1 Music Awards At this awards show, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora surprised a live theatre full of attendees and a live television audience with a beautiful rendition of "Here Comes The Sun" as a tribute to George Harrison.
When the Crush and One Wild Night tours were complete, the members of the band had anticipated a brief vacation before work would begin on the band's 8th studio album. But on September 11, the world changed. Within days of the terrorist attacks, Jon and Richie had filmed Public Service Announcements for the Red Cross, recorded "America The Beautiful" for the NFL and performed as part of the historic America: A Tribute to Heroes live telethon. One month later, the band participated at two Monmouth County Alliance of Neighbors concerts in Red Bank, NJ to raise funds for the families close the band's hometowns, which were affected by the World Trade Center disaster. And on October 21, 2001, Bon Jovi performed at the monumental Concert For New York at Madison Square Garden, raising relief funds and honoring those who worked to save lives during the attack. Bon Jovi also released a second greatest hits album titled Tokyo Road in 2001.
Bounce and This Left Feels Right (2002–04)
In spring 2002, the group entered the studio to begin recording their eighth studio album, the title, Bounce was a reference not only to New York City's and the United States' ability to bounce back from the World Trade Center attacks as a nation but, it also referred to Bon Jovi, the band's ability to bounce back again and again, over the years. Bounce represented a return to Bon Jovi's "roots" with Richie Sambora playing heavily distorted guitars, gravelly vocals by Jon, keyboard effects and piano's by David Bryan and booming drums by Tico Torres. Jon Bon Jovi noted that "Bounce" was mainly a "Jon and Richie album". However, this return to a more "classic Bon Jovi" sound, while a relief to some fans[who?], also brought out some critics that accused the band of being too "formulaic", a criticism that had been leveled at the band in the past
The first single off the album "Everyday", nominated at the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The band went on the Bounce Tour for this album, during which they made history as the last band to play Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia before it was torn down. Following the end of the Bounce Tour in August 2003, Bon Jovi embarked on a project; originally intending to produce an album consisting of live acoustic performances, the band ended up rewriting, re-recording and reinventing 12 of their biggest hits in a new and much different light. This Left Feels Right was released in November 2003.
The following year, the band released a box set entitled 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong, the title being an homage to Elvis Presley's 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. The set consisted of four CDs packed with 38 unreleased and 12 rare tracks, as well as a DVD. The box set marked the sales of 100 million Bon Jovi albums and also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the release of the band's first record in 1984.
In November 2004, Bon Jovi was honored with the Award for Merit at the American Music Awards, where they performed a sneak preview of an unfinished song, "Have a Nice Day".
Have a Nice Day (2005–06)
Bon Jovi participated in Live 8 on July 2, 2005, where they debuted the full, final version of "Have a Nice Day", alongside "Livin' on a Prayer" and "It's My Life". Bon Jovi's ninth studio album, Have a Nice Day, was released in September 2005. "Have A Nice Day", the first single off the album. The second single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home", was released in the U.S. in early 2006. In the U.S., a duet version of "Who Says You Can't Go Home" with country singer Jennifer Nettles of the band Sugarland was released, they also released Welcome To Wherever You Are as the third single. And in May 2006, Bon Jovi became the first Rock & Roll Band to have a #1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Chart. On February 11, 2007, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles won the Grammy Award, for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals" for "Who Says You Can't Go Home". The band also won an award for Best Rock Song at the People's Choice Awards with "Who Says You Can't Go Home."
Soon after the release of Have A Nice Day, the band started gearing up for the new 2005–2006 worldwide Have A Nice Day Tour. This tour, being shorter than previous ones with only seventy-five shows originally planned, took the band to numerous stages and stadiums throughout the world. The tour was a significant commercial success, as the group played to 2,002,000 fans, and the tour grossed a total $191 million. The tour was the third-highest-grossing tour of 2006 taking in just over $131 million, just behind The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang World Tour and Madonna's Confessions Tour. On November 14, 2006, Bon Jovi were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame alongside James Brown and Led Zeppelin.
Lost Highway (2007–08)
Bon Jovi in Montreal in 2007 during the Lost Highway Tour.In June 2007, Bon Jovi released their tenth studio album, Lost Highway. The album influences the band's rock sound with that of country music following the success of a country version of the band's 2006 single "Who Says You Can't Go Home", a duet with Jennifer Nettles.
To promote the new album, Bon Jovi made several television appearances, including the 6th annual CMT Awards in Nashville, American Idol, and MTV Unplugged, as well as playing at the Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium. They also performed ten promotional gigs in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Japan. As part of the 'tour', Bon Jovi were the first group to perform at London's new O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) when it opened to the public on June 24, 2007. The 23,000-seater stadium sold out within 30 minutes of tickets being released.
Lost Highway topped the charts in United States, Japan, Australia, Europe, and Canada. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and the albums first single "(You Want To) Make a Memory" was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2008 Grammy Awards. The albums third single "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore" won the CMT Music Award for the Collaborative Video of the Year in 2008. Presenter LeAnn Rimes accepted the award on behalf of the band, as Bon Jovi was not at the awards ceremony. The song was also nominated for the Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Event of the Year.
In October 2007 the band announced the Lost Highway Tour. Starting with the 10 shows to open the brand new, Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center, the band toured Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and then Europe, finishing in the summer. In early December 2007 the band took time off from their Canadian tour to become the first ever American band to headline the Royal Variety Performance in Liverpool, England, performing in front of the Queen herself. While the band was on tour in Australia, Bon Jovi have landed eight albums in ARIA Charts in the wake of their first tour in 12 years.
The tour was the highest grossing tour of 2008 in Billboard's rankings, with ticket sales of $210.6 million, reported from November 14, 2007 through Nov.11, 2008. In all, 2,157,675 tickets were sold during 2008. Combined with $16.4 million in 2007 from the Newark shows, making a combined gross of $227 million in ticket sales. In Pollstar's calculus for North America, the Lost Highway Tour had the highest gross for 2008 at $70.4 million.
The Circle and Greatest Hits (2009–present)
In April 2009, Phil Griffin's documentary on the band, "When We Were Beautiful", debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, chronicling Bon Jovi's ups and downs over 25 years and following the band on their latest Lost Highway tour.
In June 2009, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. That month they also recorded a cover of the song "Stand By Me" with Iranian singer Andy Madadian, to show solidarity for those affected by political unrest in Iran. Parts of the song were sung in Persian.
On November 10, 2009, the band released their 11th studio album, entitled The Circle. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 163 000 copies in its first week. The album is a return to rock n' roll after their Nashville influenced album, Lost Highway. To promote the album, Bon Jovi performed "We Weren't Born to Follow", the first single off the album, on the result show of the rock week of the TV show, The X-Factor. The song also was performed during the Fest der Freiheit on November 9 in Berlin, a memorial for the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
On December 12, 2009, Bon Jovi were ranked #9 on Billboard's top 25 touring artists of the decade after grossing (US)$419,481,741 from 249 shows, of which 244 were sellouts.
On January 31, 2010, Bon Jovi performed for the first time at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. They performed the songs “We Weren’t Born to Follow” off their new album The Circle, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” from their album Have a Nice Day, and fans voted for the last song and chose “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Bon Jovi was nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "We Weren't Born To Follow."
Bon Jovi headed out on the road once again on February 19, 2010, embarking on The Circle Tour, their largest tour since the Jersey Syndicate tour in the late 1980s. When it concludes in 2011, the tour will have consisted of 135 shows in 30 countries.
On April 11, 2010, Bon Jovi played in Dallas. A short stream of this show was available through the band's website, and viewers were able to buy tickets to three of their shows in Toronto, Chicago, and New Jersey all of which would happen this coming summer.
On April 19, it was announced that special editions of Bon Jovi albums from 1984 to 2007 will be released. These albums will feature new artwork and photos from the time period of when the albums were released. They will also feature live recordings of select songs on the album recorded on the tour that supported the album. The albums were released on May 11.
Bon Jovi had planned to release a greatest hits album in 2009, but the project got sidelined after the group came up with enough material for a brand new studio album, Jon commenting that "the state of the world at this point in time gave us a lot to write about". That doesn't mean the best-of set has been put on hold forever, Jon says "it will come out in 2010". Along with a few never-before-released songs, the compilation will also feature tracks not featured on Bon Jovi's 1994 Cross Road greatest hits. "It'll be a new greatest hits because the last one was 15 years ago in'94. So you had everything from These Days forward. And what is this my fifth album in this decade? So at least six studio records and a solo thing. And then I'm sure you'll still end up having to put 'Living On A Prayer' on it but there won't be 'Runaway' on it. It won't have the early early stuff because we'll have had more hits since then."
In July 2010 Bon Jovi posted pictures on their Facebook page from the photo shoot for the Greatest Hits album, suggesting a release in late 2010.
Current members Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1983–present) Richie Sambora – lead guitar, backing vocals, talkbox (1983–present) Tico Torres – drums, percussion (1983–present) David Bryan – keyboards, piano, backing vocals (1983–present) Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals (1994–present, unofficially a member) Touring musicians Bobby Bandiera – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003–present – live only) Jeff Kazee – organ, backing vocals (2003–06 – live only) Lorenza Ponce – violin, backing vocals (2007–09 – live) Kurt Johnston – pedal steel, backing vocals (2007 – live) Former members Alec John Such – bass guitar, backing vocals (1983–94). Returned for one live performance of "Wanted Dead or Alive" in New Jersey in 2001.
Studio albums Bon Jovi (1984) 7800° Fahrenheit (1985) Slippery When Wet (1986) New Jersey (1988) Keep the Faith (1992) These Days (1995) Crush (2000) Bounce (2002) This Left Feels Right (2003) Have a Nice Day (2005) Lost Highway (2007) The Circle (2009)