Jon Bon Jovi

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Always his own man, Jon Bon Jovi has survived the drastic image changes which have, over the past almost 20 years, pushed him to the top of the soft rock tree and helped keep him there.

Born John Francis Bongiovi on March 2, 1962, he spent much of his adolescence playing in local groups and working in his cousin Tony's New York recording studio as a janitor. Sweeping floors soon gave way to recording demos with the likes of Bruce Springsteen's band, before the New Jersey native got a band together himself and signed to Mercury Records in 1983.

The band, named after a simplified version of his surname, Bon Jovi, released an eponymously titled album in 1984 to no great acclaim. It was their third album, 1986's Slippery When Wet, which led to worldwide fame, and by this time hairdresser's son Jon was already making women hot under the collar with his chiselled looks and feathery hair.

The singer first went solo for the 1990 album Blaze Of Glory which featured songs from the "Brat Pack" movie Young Guns II and included a blink-and-you'll-miss-him big-screen debut. The band reunited in 1992 for Keep The Faith, which was met with less enthusiasm than previous efforts, but the next big success came with the release of their greatest hits album, Crossroads.

The popular ballad Always hinted at a new, softer direction for the band and in the final years of the millennium Jon's attention increasingly turned to acting. He flaunted his good looks in comedy films such as Moonlight And Valentino and stripped off for the steamy sex-romp The Leading Man. In 1997 he released another solo album which was accompanied by a video starring Demi Moore.

His acting career has since taken off, and in 2000 he scored a major success at the American box office with the submarine drama U-571. In the same year he also lent his talents to raunchy American comedy series Sex And The City and teamed up again with his fellow bandmembers to record the album Crush. In 2002 he made several guest appearances on Ally McBeal, playing the quirky lawyer's love interest Victor Morrison. Later that year Bon Jovi's eighth studio album Bounce was released.

Supported through it all by high school sweetheart Dorothea Hurley, with whom he tied the knot in 1989, Jon has balanced pop stardom with family life. He has four children with Dorothea - Stephanie Rose, Jesse James, Jacob and Romeo, born in 1993, 1995, 2002 and 2004 respectively. Despite fame's temptations, the star leads a relatively normal home life, once saying: "I wouldn't trade my wife for five Cindy Crawfords," referring to the supermodel who starred with him in his Please Come Home For Christmas video.
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