Jon Bon Jovi to get Marian Anderson Award

Posted: July 25, 2014

HE'S NOT living on a prayer now.

Jon Bon Jovi, front man for the Grammy-winning band Bon Jovi, will be presented the 2014 Marian Anderson Award, Mayor Nutter announced yesterday.

Standing in front of an excited crowd at the Sofitel Hotel, at 17th and Sansom streets, Nutter said the award's board of directors had chosen Bon Jovi "for his efforts to end homelessness and combat poverty."

The award, created in 1998, is given annually to a critically acclaimed artist who has impacted society in a positive way. This year's award will be presented Nov. 18 at the Kimmel Center.

Past recipients include Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby.

Board chair Nina C. Tinari said this year's selection process was different. "This marks the first time that we have looked at generosity to the city and region as part of our search," she said.

"Jon Bon Jovi has truly distinguished himself as an artist and as a friend of our city and region, so we are deeply pleased at his agreement to accept the award," said Tinari.

Bon Jovi, a New Jersey native, chairs the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a nonprofit agency that originated in Philadelphia and intends to help improve the lives of those in need. The foundation provides funding for affordable housing and shelter for hundreds of low-income residents.

In October 2011, Bon Jovi's foundation also opened the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, N.J., to address food access on a local level and has since served more than 26,500 meals.

Nutter said Bon Jovi has supported several programs for Philadelphia's homeless population, including a 55-unit Project HOME building that opened in Francisville in April with the name JBJ Soul Homes.

"It's a great honor to be recognized by the great city of Philadelphia, in receiving this prestigious award," Bon Jovi said in a statement, adding that his foundation would "continue to reach those in need, both locally and nationally."

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