It was 35 years ago today (February 14th, 1987) that Bon Jovi's “Livin' On A Prayer” began its four-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song was first released the previous August on the band's third album, Slippery When Wet, serving as the set's second single following the chart-topping “You Give Love A Bad Name.” “Livin On A Prayer” toppled Madonna's then sixth-Number One hit, “Open Your Heart” after only one week on top of the Hot 100.
Upon its initial release, “Livin' On A Prayer” sold a whopping 800,000 copies the U.S. alone and in 2013 was officially certified triple platinum. A tally in June 2020 saw the video racking in over 600 million YouTube views.
Jon Bon Jovi co-wrote the tune with bandmate Richie Sambora and noted songwriter Desmond Child — and maintains its success took him by surprise. In recent interview with The Irish Times, he said, “That song, God bless it. But, my God, who knew? Not us, I can assure you. It was created on a day when none of us had any ideas. We just had a conversation, and it came out of that. I’m sure happy my name’s on it!”