Jon Bon Jovi may have had his rise to fame as the lead singer of the hair band Bon Jovi, but these days, he has turned his heart to matters more close at hand: family and hunger.
Jon Bon Jovi is one of the few artists who hasn’t had any scandals involving him, has been a performer for over thirty years, is still married to his high school love, Dorothea, and wants to give back to a community that helped him and his fellow band members when they were struggling teenagers on tough New Jersey streets. He has opened a restaurant called The Soul Kitchen, which has no prices for the items on its menu, but instead accepts donations. He says it’s the least he can do for families and children in desperate need, many of whom are going to bed hungry at night.
“When there are 15 percent of children going to bed hungry at night in a nation like the United States, these aren’t issues that need science to find a cure. So they go to the food pantry, they can get their food, they can go to the culinary program, they can have an opportunity for job training. These are all the things that are now under one roof.”
He has opened the B.E.A.T program to help indigent youth with job training, so that they find job opportunities, he said. He says while he greatly loved the early years of Bon Jovi and Rock music in general, being a musician has not been enough to satisfy his personal goals. He finds that through charity work, he said.
“I mean, I don’t give a f**k that I sell out 10 nights at an arena. It’s just what I do. It’s just a job. And I get paid well for it. And I get to wear a T-shirt and dirty jeans. But I don’t really give a f**k about the rest of it because it’s a shallow pool. When you’ve been at it this long, you know it’s a real shallow pool.”
Jon credits his wife, Dorothea Hurley, whom he has been in love with since high school, and their children, Stephanie, Jesse, Romeo, and Jacob, with keeping him devoted to things that really matter. He says while he has enjoyed the rock star lifestyle, and acknowledges that only through that lifestyle could he do the philanthropic things he participates in now, it is not what has defined him as a person. He also states that he has made mistakes, many of them, but his family has kept him afloat during those times. He says that the whole rock star persona of having multiple women and tons of secrets is just not his style, according to Fashion and Style.
“I’ve been in one of the biggest rock bands in the world and I’m not a saint, and I have not been a saint. I missed tons of birthdays and school plays. But it’s not like Dorothea came in halfway through the movie and didn’t know who she got. She’s been in it the whole game. She understands what it means. It’s my life, and it is what it is. I don’t have a mistress on the side or another family across town. You’re never going to read that story about me. I have no regard for that whole lifestyle.”
Jon Bon Jovi has also been vocal for years about politics and issues that affect children. Currently, he supports the Democratic platform of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He is still writing and producing music, with his latest musical venture to be released in September.
[Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images]