How Bon Jovi influenced pop music despite its critics.

Like It or Not, Bon Jovi Is a Hugely Influential Band

Like It or Not, Bon Jovi Is a Hugely Influential Band

Half a century of pop-chart history.
April 27 2018 7:00 AM

Hit Parade: The You Give Rock a Bad Name Edition  

Over the objections of critics, Bon Jovi entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month. What is the band’s legacy?

Jon Bon Jovi performing at the VH1 Big In 2002 Awards at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, December 4, 2002. (Photo by: Kevin Winter)
Jon Bon Jovi.

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photos by Kevin Winter.

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Bon Jovi is many things—platinum-selling, chart-topping, and now, Hall-of-Fame-inducted. That angers music critics, who have been slagging off this band of hard-rock prom kings since the 1980s. Among the haters is Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy, who has loathed Bon Jovi since high school. But even he can’t deny it—Bon Jovi is hugely influential. In the wake of the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Chris puts aside his animus to explain how the biggest band in hair metal has remained strangely relevant—thanks to its deathless hits, album sales, and, more recently, influence on a certain hair metal–loving Swedish pop producer.