Close call for Jon Bon Jovi (1962-) in December 2002. The Qantas airplane he and 191 passengers were riding from Los Angeles to New York blew an engine and made a fiery emergency landing. The star was on his way home from headlining an Australian concert tour.
A near miss and yet another reason for Jon to celebrate today, his birthday.
Born John Bongiovi in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the handsome rock star has made a habit of generating enough explosive heat of his own.
"Trying to seduce an audience is the basis of rock'n'roll," he once said.
He founded his self-titled band in 1983 with guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan Rashbaum, bassist Alec John Such, and drummer Tico Torres. Bon Jovi gained worldwide superstardom with the release of Slippery When Wet (1986), which featured the band's signature anthem Wanted Dead or Alive.
The lead singer said of the group's success, "When the five of us are together, it's magic because it's fun." It also helps to have a frontman with enough body, smile, and charisma voltage to blaze the stage, television, and movie screens.
The band's eighth studio album, Bounce (2002) celebrated survival and resilience. "We can save the world. But first we've got to start with ourselves. If you believe in yourself, anything in the world is possible," Jon Bon Jovi said.
Never one for following trends, in 2007 he credited their longevity to the loyalty of relationships. "We just grew up and grew in public, and fortunately 100 million people came along for the ride."
More ROCK & ROLL Quotations
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