HOLLYWOOD — Music icon and outspoken Christian Pat Boone attended the 28th annual Movieguide Awards Friday and shared how his life has changed following the loss of his wife of 65 years.
"Not many people in this crazy business stay married to one person for 65 years, but Shirley went to Heaven ahead of me last year and I'm on my own now,” Boone told The Christian Post while on the red carpet at the popular awards show that celebrates faith and family content.
“But I know where she is,” he declared. “I know she went to that mansion in Heaven, where Jesus said, 'Where I am that you may be also.' So she's there waiting for me and if I knew I was gonna die next Tuesday at 3 o'clock I would say, 'Great, at 3:01 I'll be with Shirley again.'”
Shirley Boone died on Jan. 11, 2019, at age 84 while in hospice, surrounded by her family.
“I know she's more beautiful than ever and I know that my mother and dad and all these people [are there],” Boone told CP. “This is where our faith is so important. When we come to the parting that we all do, we part with people we love. It could be terribly sad or it can be a moment of celebration. For us, it was a time of celebration that Shirley is free of all the discomfort she suffered in her last year or two.”
The legendary singer said his wife is better off in Heaven because she was not getting well and “was in some misery.” Boone said his bride is now waiting for him.
"I believe she's here. The Bible talks about us being surrounded by great cloud of witnesses. I believe those witnesses include our loved ones and they're watching us,” he added.
Boone then shared the message he gave to distinguished boxer Muhammad Ali, who was raised in the Christian faith but later converted to Islam shortly before his career took off.
“I told Muhammad Ali this once, when he asked me, 'How do you stay true to your wife?' And I said, 'Because I know I'm surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. You are too.' I said, 'You get in the ring and you fight and you love it because millions of people watch you fight. You go into a hotel room with somebody you're not supposed to be with and that crowd of witnesses, your loved ones, your parents, your grandparents, they're saying, Cassius, they're not calling you Muhammad. You grew up as Cassius Clay and a Christian. They're saying, Cassius, son, don't do that. That's going to ruin your life,'” Boone recalled telling the professional boxer.
“If I were to do that, I would have my own loved ones waiting, saying, ‘Pat, stop, you're going to ruin your whole life,’” he insisted.
Boone looked around the Movieguide red carpet and maintained that heavenly witnesses were looking on.
"I do believe we are witnessed, like right now, by people who've gone ahead of us and they're watching this and they're applauding because we are awarding family-based and even Christian films,” he said.
The New York Times best-selling author also shared that he is gearing up to release a new book titled, IF.
"I believe what the Bible says and for that matter, God has proven it to me over and over. I'm writing my last book, and it's called IF. The if is, where are you going to spend your life after you leave this body? Are you going to spend it in Heaven or Hell?” Boone asked.
“God, His side of the ‘if’ is, He wants you in Heaven with Him,” the Florida native concluded. “What's your choice? You want to live in Heaven with God? If you want to, then you have to get to know Him now.”
Boone is known for his extensive career as a singer, composer, actor, writer, television personality and motivational speaker. He has recorded around 160 albums with sounds varying from rock 'n' roll and pop to country and gospel. Boone's career spans more than 60 years in singing and he has appeared in more than 12 Hollywood movies.
As a pop singer, he had dozens of Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and was the second biggest seller on Billboard's charts after Elvis Presley. Boone’s 2014 gospel album, Legacy, was his last album.
Although not in the limelight like her husband, among her other successes, his wife led a prayer ministry for people in the music industry for most of her life.