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JBJ Oxford Address Article 17 June 2001
"Rocker tells students to be passionate"

Source: The Herald - Glasgow, Scotland (June 16 2001) submitted by Harv Morrison

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi took time out from his UK stadium tour yesterday to address students at the Oxford Union.

The 39-year-old frontman of American rockers Bon Jovi, one of the world’s biggest selling bands, followed in the footsteps of superstar Michael Jackson, who earlier this year also spoke at the debating society.

As opposed to crowds of 60,000 plus, Bon Jovi spoke to an audience of a few hundred students at the Frewin Court premises in Oxford.

His band has been at the top for more than 17 years and in the last 12 months has performed 95 concerts in 17 countries to more than three million people.

The group’s last album, Crush, has sold 11 million copies since it was released last year.

The father-of-two, who is married to his childhood sweetheart, offered his own advice on living life while also touching on his upbringing, during the short speech.

Bon Jovi, dressed entirely in black, said: “I spent years playing in bar bands, watching and learning my craft – that was my university. My folks saw my desires and dreams and never discouraged it. If you have people like that in your life you cannot fail.”

During the 20-minute speech, he advised the students that he had learned, in life as a rock star, the qualities needed to succeed in life: “Passion, perseverance and possibility”.

He added: “Nothing is more important than passion. Whatever you decide to do in life just be passionate about it. You have to be true to yourself – it’s your life. You are the masters of your destiny and passion not pedigree will win in the end.”

The superstar politely declined to sing to the union when asked to by one young female student. Instead, he recommended she turns up tomorrow night in Milton Keynes at the band’s concert, to which he invited all of his audience to for free.

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