"When life proves you wrong, don't stop believing. Never, ever stop believing."

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
May 21, 2020
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Let's hear it for the newly grads!

While graduations are mostly being done virtually this year in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, that didn't stop iHeartRadio from creating something special for these deserving students across the country. Last month, the free broadcast, podcast, and streaming radio platform announced that they were putting together a series of commencement speeches from luminaries across several fields—John Legend, Ryan Seacrest, Angie Martinez, Jimmy Fallon, and Katie Couric, to name a few—with country star Tim McGraw among the ranks.

Now, we're pleased to share anyone can stream McGraw's commencement address, and boy will you be moved by his words of wisdom.  After offering students his congratulations, McGraw begins, "This situation is unique, but that is also what makes it memorable. The entire world is thinking about you, standing behind you, wanting to support you after you enter the next phase of your journey." He also goes on to share his family's empathy, offering, "I can personally relate to the situation you're in, as we have two daughters graduating this year; one from high school, one from college. Our family joined you in the disappointment of not being able to share this moment in person as a collective event. We are all witnesses to your accomplishment, to this important marker of time in your life. Even though it looks different than we all imagine. Life is often different than we imagined."

Later in his speech, McGraw comments on the meaningfulness of human connection. "As a musician and entertainer. It's always been at the heart of everything I do, everything I love. Throughout my career, it's always been my goal to reach out and connect with others through music," he comments. "Everything I do at home in the studio or on that stage; lights, sound, music, everything, it's all done with the goal of connection. I want to connect with the people in those seats, to bring us a moment we can all share together."

Now, for the real tear-jerker: "Graduates, you are a generation that understands community. I see in my daughters, and I see in you a passion to understand and help others, an awareness of the bigger picture of humanity, and a willingness to show up for each other. A wholly elevated level of care and attention to the world, and the footprint we make with them," McGraw says. "We will get back to a new normal, and as we do, I challenge you graduates to become leaders who guide us with the beacon of human connection."

"None of you will forget the lessons you learned, be sure you teach others...believe there is good in everyone; when life proves you wrong, don't stop believing. Never, ever stop believing," he concludes his heartfelt address.

Listen to the full speech here.

If you're anything like us, it's safe to say you're filled with enough inspiration right about now to run a treadmill marathon from your quarantine quarters. Congratulations, graduates!