Jon Bon Jovi is to follow in the footsteps of Mother Teresa and Kermit The Frog – the rock superstar is to address the famed Oxford Union debating society.
Jon Bon Jovi, more used to performing before crowds of up to 60,000 wildly cheering fans in the world’s biggest stadiums, will talk to the august chamber in one of Britain’s most famous universities on June 15.
“I do have a bit of experience performing in front of crowds but this audience does present a whole new set of challenges,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“In a way, that’s why I accepted the invitation. It wasn’t vanity, it was more – OK, this is a new curve, let’s do it. It is the same feeling that has led me to start at the bottom as an actor and prove myself.”
Jon Bon Jovi starred alongside Harvey Keitel in “U-571” which sparked controversy because it portrayed American submarine commanders seizing a German Enigma code machine during World War Two – a feat actually achieved by Britain’s Royal Navy.
As leader of one of the world’s biggest rock bands, Jon Bon Jovi said of his latest challenge: “I am not frightened of failure. I’m frightened of standing still.”
His American band, who have been topping album charts for 17 years, have performed for three million people over the past year, touring in 17 countries. Their latest album “Crush” has sold 11 million copies.
The Oxford Union, founded in 1823, has gained a worldwide reputation for the cut and thrust of its debate, proving a valuable training ground for many future British prime ministers.
Oxford Union President Amy Hartland said Jon Bon Jovi has always been a favorite among Oxford students.
“To hear from a man whose music has had such a huge impact across the generations and indeed countries would be fantastic,” she said.
“We can’t wait to hear about his experiences performing across the world and his views on the modern world of music.”
Jon Bon Jovi is not the first pop star to take center stage in the debating chamber – Michael Jackson, Barry White and Steps have all addressed the students.