See Justin Timberlake's Inspiring Teen Choice Awards Speech - Rolling Stone
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Watch Justin Timberlake’s Inspiring Teen Choice Awards Speech

“I ask you to not learn from my example, but from the example of all the greats that have come before me,” singer says after accepting Decade Award

The Teen Choice Awards honored Justin Timberlake with the inaugural Decade Award Sunday night. The singer gave a moving, personal speech that invoked boxing legend Muhammad Ali and other musical greats. “As a former teen, a while ago, who’s made a few choices along the way, I’m here to tell you that you and your choices matter,” Timberlake said. His speech begins at the 5 minute mark of video below, via Billboard.

“To all you teens out there, I ask you to not learn from my example, but from the example of all the greats that have come before me,” Timberlake said. “For me, a big moment growing up was when I discovered that there was a music legend living right down the street from me, the Reverend Al Green, who taught the world a lesson that resonates now, I think, more than ever: let’s stay together. I learned from so many music greats: Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder.”

Timberlake’s speech also focused on the advice instilled upon him from Muhammad Ali, including resiliency, the importance of being “part of the solution” and to not be deterred by the impossible. “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing,” Timberlake said. “Greatest quote ever.”

“As a relatively new dad and a former teen, I’m here to say you will make mistakes along the way,” the singer added. “You will fall down. I have many times. Even Ali did. But what we do after that fall is how we make history because impossible is nothing. So don’t waste your 20s. They’re gonna be here before you know it, and they will go fast. Be nice to your parents. They aren’t perfect, either, but they have been through this movie before, and they love you more than you can imagine. So go out, do the impossible and just go on and become the greatest generation yet.”

In This Article: Justin Timberlake, Muhammad Ali


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