My, she's grown! Richie Sambora brings model daughter to R&R Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Inductee Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi with daughter Ava Sambora, left, and girlfriend Orianthi at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland on April 14, 2018. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Getting Bon Jovi back together again at Saturday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a big deal. So Richie Sambora, who abruptly quit during the group’s 2013 Because We Can Tour, made sure he was surrounded by love at the event.

That included the 58-year-old rocker’s only daughter, Ava Sambora, from his marriage to Heather Locklear. The blonde cutie we watched as she grew up — seems like just yesterday she was celebrating her sweet 16 — is now 20 and has several years of modeling experience under her belt because she’s genetically predisposed to being swimsuit-ready, thanks to her famous mama.

Ava, who attends Loyola Marymount University, congratulated her dad on social media, noting that she couldn’t have been “more proud.”

Scroll to see Ava’s photos from the event:

If you are wondering who the other beautiful blonde on Sambora’s other arm is, well, that’s his 33-year-old girlfriend, Orianthi, an Australian singer who is a guitarist like he is. They’ve been dating since 2014, soon after he ditched his iconic New Jersey band with nary an explanation. Richie and Orianthi have done some touring of their own together.

Sambora with daughter Ava and his girlfriend, Orianthi, at the induction ceremony. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Ava appeared to be enjoying herself at the event, held at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, which is great because she’s had a stressful few months with her mother. Locklear, who is friendly with Richie post-divorce, was arrested in February in a squabble with police related to an alleged domestic dispute in Ventura County, Calif. Through her attorney, she pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor counts: four counts of battery on a police officer and one count of resisting, obstructing, or delaying a police officer. After the arrest, she spent a month in rehab to treat “addiction,” according to People magazine.

Over the weekend, Locklear posted a photo of a gift from her daughter. “I love you + miss you so much,” Ava wrote in the card. “Cannot wait to see you.” The basket included relaxation products and a candle that said “You are doing great.” Ava commented on Heather’s post, writing, “I love you mama.”

Ava’s gift for her “mama”:

Last year, Ava shared this sweet throwback with her mom:

Of course, Richie had his own addiction problems and dropped out of Bon Jovi’s 2011 tour to go to rehab. However, the bigger headline was when he called it quits two years later when he just decided in the middle of the tour that he was done. His childhood pal Jon Bon Jovi told People in 2016, “That’s the story. There was no fight or money issues, like the reports say. Nobody expected Richie to quit in the middle of the night for no reason. He wasn’t fired; he just didn’t come to work.”

Bon Jovi continued, “Nobody has spoken to him.” Though he added, “I’m never going to badmouth the guy. He’s a wonderful friend, wonderful collaborator.”

Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi perform together at the 33rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 14, 2018. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

But on Saturday, Jon, Richie, and the boys were making beautiful music again — and receiving accolades for their truly incredible run, which goes on despite Sambora bailing. The ceremony, which also honored the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, and the late Nina Simone, will air on May 5 on HBO.


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