Grammy Award–winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton has sold more than 50 million albums and singles worldwide and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has also just penned The Soul of It All: My Life, My Music (Hachette/Center Street Nov.), his memoir about the highs and lows of four decades in the music business.
Father of three daughters and a grandfather of two, Bolton is a passionate advocate for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 1993, he founded his own organization, Michael Bolton Charities, to help at-risk women and children.
Bolton will be in the Hachette booth (3621) at 4 p.m. today to sign postcards of his book cover and pose for pictures.
Why was now the right time to write your first memoir, The Soul of It All?
It just felt like the right time, and then you carve out the time and space to seize the moment. I will have plenty more to write about down the road, as I have no plans to retire! Each day brings new potential material, new experiences, with an interesting message and cast of characters. I couldn’t have dreamed how amazing my life would become.
What would you like readers to learn from it?
I would like readers to learn that the truth is what their instincts most often tell them and that nothing great comes easily. The road your passion takes you on is steep and full of challenges—but gratifying throughout a lot of the process. I hope that it will resonate when a reader understands the long, uphill journey I have traveled and still do at this time in my life and career. But mostly I hope people are inspired. If there is inspiration, I have succeeded.
Is there something you think readers might be surprised to learn?
I think readers will be surprised to know about my early wild, searching, escaping, discovering years—and my relentless sense of humor.
How would you compare the process of writing a song to writing a book?
Writing a song is a piece of cake compared to writing my first memoir. The book requires a process which opens files and folders I have for a long, long time purposely kept closed. Some I love opening and revisiting, others not so much. Telling my story is cathartic and therapeutic, but sometimes it’s quite painful. In hindsight we are given what we need to truly grasp “the soul of it all,” and we just need to be strong enough and clear enough not to miss the meaning.
You are very active in the fight against domestic violence and have your own foundation, Michael Bolton Charities. What are some of its initiatives?
The area of violence against women in America is unbearably disturbing to me. I was raised by a very strong father, who, in his most masculine moment and as old school as he could be, believed you were not a man if you hit a woman. I agree and work toward a time when this is taught to boys at an early developmental stage of their lives.
My foundation, MBC, is now in its 20th year. Our initiatives cover many fronts, and we partner with people who have been doing this work long before us, such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The abuse of human rights needs to be at the top of our agenda. The Violence Against Women Act is the most important one passed in many years, and we need our House and Senate to keep it in place and fully funded. To be a part of this process, to focus on these issues is my greatest achievement.