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Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”

PLUS: 12 Things You Didn’t See At the 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert

Today in Billboard History

Nov. 19, 1988

"Bad Medicine," the first single from Bon Jovi’s album "New Jersey," spent its first of two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.

In this week’s cover story, Jon Bon Jovi gets intimate. He talks family, his never-ending world tours (which have grossed nearly $1 billion since the turn of the century), and inspiration.

Apparently Jersey boys stick together: “I came home and said to Richie [Sambora, Bon Jovi guitarist], ‘I want to be Frank Sinatra. I’m going to make movies here, I’m going to make music there, I’m going to run the business here. This is the way it’s going to be,’” Jon recalls. “It’s the Sinatra kind of vision. He got a president elected. He did incredible things for civil rights at the time. He was making movies, music, and he was doing it the way he wanted to do it. Frankie said, ‘I did it my way,’ that beauty of that honest lyric. The people who related to that song found Frankie in themselves. It was an incredibly empowering lyric — it empowered me. That’s what happens when you hit on a lyric that’s honest and true.”