Jon Bon Jovi Suffers Tragic Loss Of His Mom, Carol

Carol Sharkey Bongiovi, the mother of legendary musician Jon Bon Jovi, has died. She was 83 years old.

Jon Bon Jovi has confirmed the heartbreaking news in a statement obtained by Variety. While her cause of death remains undisclosed, reports indicate that she passed just three days before her 84th birthday. "Our mother was a force to be reckoned with; her spirit and can-do attitude shaped this family," Bon Jovi said. "She will be greatly missed."

Bon Jovi shared a close bond with his mother, who had also been part of the entertainment industry. During a 2006 interview on "Larry King Live," the singer-songwriter revealed that his mother was one of the original Playboy bunnies. "When the club was on 58th, 9th Street over there near the plaza,' he shared. "I did go there as a kid. Oh God, did I have the stories and the pictures. ... They had their little outfit and my dad was like this hip cat because he was married to a Playboy bunny." And notably, she did that after she had served in the Marine Corps. "Tough woman. Strong woman. Independent woman," Bon Jovi said of her to We Salute, adding that his parents inspired him to chase his dreams. "My parents were firm believers that anything you want to have, you can have ... That was one great gift they gave us — a sense of optimism."

Carol was Jon Bon Jovi's biggest fan

Carol Sharkey Bongiovi may not have had the official title of president of the Jon Bon Jovi fan club, but she was undoubtedly its first and most fervent promoter. When her son's band was just starting out, she helped them rise to fame by contacting local papers to spread the word about Bon Jovi. And she ran this grassroots fan club operation straight out of the flower shop she owned.

"What I got from my parents was the ability to make the dream reality," Bon Jovi told the Big Issue. "Even if you truly weren't any good at your craft, if you believed you were, you could work on it. As I got older I realized that was a great gift that I got from my folks. They truly believed in the John Kennedy mantra of going to the moon. 'Yeah, of course you can go to the moon. Just go, Johnny.' And there I went."

Funnily, Carol wasn't always convinced her son would go on to become a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. When Bon Jovi joined a talent competition, their performance was so terrible that Carol felt embarrassed. "I was just having a conversation with my mother, and she recalls the story much differently than I do, but she then admitted to the truth," Bon Jovi shared in a "Life is Short with Justin Long" podcast guesting. "She said, 'Remember the first time you came off the stage at a talent contest with your first band?' And I said, 'Yeah, I remember, you told me you wanted to crawl under the seats and that it was horrible.'" Carol denied ever having done that, but she eventually came clean: "And then about 20 minutes later, she goes, 'Yeah, I think I did.'"