Hollywood marriages often crash and burn, but rocker Jon Bon Jovi’s has been soaring for 25 years.
What’s his secret? It’s simple.
“I got it right the first time,” Bon Jovi told PEOPLE at Common Thread: An Acoustic Collection Music Series, an event he is curating with designer Kenneth Cole in New York City.
Sounds so simple, right? Just pick the right person the first time, don’t settle for someone else. But then, why do so many people get it wrong? Well, not everyone is as lucky as Bon Jovi, who married his high school sweetheart, Dorothea.
“She’s the best, I just adore her,” he said.
His marriage obviously isn’t the only success in his life. Bon Jovi’s band is still one of the biggest touring bands in the world, which was proven by the screaming fans outside the Kenneth Cole store in Soho and the audience singing along to his acoustic rendition of “Livin’ on a Prayer” at the event.
Fans will be happy to know he has another album in the works.
“I was in the studio all day working on the new record. I walked here from the studio,” the musician told PEOPLE. Where is he getting inspiration for his 18th album? From the news.
“I just read the paper, it gives you an opportunity to write something … It’s early but I’m about a dozen songs in. I feel good.”
As for Thursday night’s event, Bon Jovi and Kenneth Cole have known each other for a decade and decided to curate this series over dinner one night.
“Around Christmas time, as a matter of fact, we were out to dinner with our wives reminiscing about the year gone by and we were talking about the frustrations both in the design world and the music world … And we were talking about what a joy that is when you see that next generation come through,” Bon Jovi expressed. “So he said, ‘For Fashion Week wouldn’t it be neat if we did something like this?’ And he was promoting the next generation’s designers and I could throw a bone to some good songwriters, and I know plenty of them. So we said, this is a great concept. And I’m here, and it’s Fashion Week and it gave us an excuse to go to dinner again … it’s giving back to the next generation, all at the same time.”
He did just that Thursday, opening up the stage to up-and-coming artists Rodney Atkins, Rose Falcon and Cole Redding.
This isn’t the only time the duo has teamed up to give back. Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation teamed up with Kenneth Cole’s wife, Maria, and HELP USA to build a 50-unit apartment building in Newark, New Jersey, together.
“Across the country my foundation has built 450 houses and the kitchen is doing great,” he said, referring to Soul Kitchen, his pay-what-you-can charity restaurant in New Jersey.
“It’s so rewarding emotionally. I try to explain to people, take part in what we do because you’ll leave there feeling so good about it.”