To say Richie Sambora is a proud dad would be a total understatement. In fact, the former Bon Jovi guitarist is daughter Ava Sambora‘s “rock” as he shares an incredibly close relationship with his only child.
Richie experienced fatherhood during his marriage with ex-wife Heather Locklear. The iconic musician and the legendary actress welcomed Ava in 1997, which came three years after they tied the knot. However, the duo went their separate ways after 13 years together in 2007.
Following his divorce, Richie focused on his career and fatherhood. As Ava grew up, though, his job as a guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer ultimately took a back seat. In 2013, he announced he was leaving singer Bon Jovi’s rock band after 30 years.
Even though the decision was hard, “there was really almost no choice about it,” Richie explained to People in December 2020, noting he realized his daughter “needed [him] to be around at that point” of her life. “Family had to come first, and that’s what happened.”
Looking back, the “Livin’ on a Prayer” performer is happy with his choice. “I’m lucky enough to have an amazing relationship with my daughter,” he gushed. “We’ve been through a lot of things together. That was a time of psychological maintenance for the family.”
It’s pretty clear that Richie’s decision to prioritize his daughter meant the world to Ava. While chatting alongside her famous father, the blonde beauty praised Richie for being a “generous and compassionate” man who always encouraged her “to show up for [herself].”
“He’s always been such a rock for me in my life,” the college graduate sweetly shared with People. “My dad loves me with every ounce of himself. He has always been so supportive of me and all of my dreams.”
Even when Richie was juggling his Hollywood career with fatherhood, Ava said he never missed out on her most important moments. “He showed up to every football game I cheerleaded at, every dance recital I performed in, and all of my school functions no matter how far he had to travel,” she marveled. “He even flew all the way from Australia to surprise me at my cotillion for the father-daughter dance.”
Ava feels “so lucky” to be Richie’s daughter!
Keep scrolling below to learn more about the star’s only child.
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