"It's My Life" is Bon Jovi's first single from the album Crush. It was released on May 23, 2000. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Max Martin. The song was hit #1 across several countries (although it only reached #33 in the US). However, it has the distinction of making Bon Jovi the only band once classified as 1980s hair metal to reach the top 40 in the 2000s, a testament to how the song managed to introduce the band to a new, younger fanbase. The song is arguably their most well known post-1980s hit single and it has been performed live at almost all shows since its release.
The song has many classic Bon Jovi features, such as Sambora's use of the talk box, and a line in the second verse "For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down" refers to Tommy and Gina, a fictional working class couple that Bon Jovi and Sambora first wrote about in their 1986 hit "Livin' on a Prayer".
"It's My Life" is also notable for its line referencing fellow New Jerseyan Frank Sinatra: "My heart is like an open highway / Like Frankie said / I did it 'My Way'." Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora apparently had a disagreement over those lines, with Bon Jovi recalling:
I had just come home from making U-571 and I said "Sinatra made 16 movies and toured 'til he was 80. This is my role model". He [Sambora] said, "You can't write that damn lyric. Nobody cares about Frank Sinatra but you." And I wrote it anyway.
The song became an anthem that appealed to many fans. As Jon Bon Jovi later stated:
When I was writing "It's My Life", I thought I was writing very self-indulgently about my own life and where I was in it. I didn't realize that the phrase "It's My Life" would be taken as being about everyone--by teenagers, by older guys, mechanics, whatever. "It's my life, and I'm taking control". Everyone kind of feels that way from time to time.
The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. Will Estes (as Tommy) and Shiri Appleby (as Gina) are the two main characters (as it says in the lyrics "for Tommy and Gina, who never back down"). At the beginning, Tommy is watching a video of a Bon Jovi concert on his computer when Tommy's mother ordered him to take out the trash and suddenly Gina calls, and during the whole video, Tommy starts running down to his apartment and obediently takes out the trash and starts runs through the streets of Los Angeles up to the concert, getting chased by dogs, running a marathon, posing for pictures, and jackknifing a truck. The video was inspired by the movie Run Lola Run. Jon Bon Jovi met Will Estes on the set of U-571 and chose him to be in the video. The music video features the 2nd Street Tunnel as one of the main settings.