Soundtrack Of My Life: Ronnie O’Sullivan

Snooker legend whose first gig was an all-timer

This interview first appeared in a February 2017 issue of NME magazine

The first song I can remember hearing

Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’

“I must have been five or six years old. I became a huge Michael Jackson fan, he’s got so many great songs, but ‘Billie Jean’ stuck out for me.”


The first song I fell in love with

Tracy Chapman – ‘Fast Car’

“It’s a bit of a driving song and I love driving. I was in my first decent car and I was 17, 18 and I remember this song coming on and I thought ‘this is a buzz!’ I always have the CD in my car.”

The song I wish I’d written

Ian Brown – ‘F.E.A.R’

“My friend got me into him – I’d never heard of him before. We were in the car, driving to the UK Championships and he said ‘listen to this song’. Every sentence starts with F-E-A-R. I thought ‘this geezer is a lyrical genius’. He’s really thought about that one – or maybe he hasn’t, maybe it’s instinctive!”


The first gig I went to

Oasis at Knebworth Park, 1996

“There were so many people there and everyone looked like Noel Gallagher! I went with my friend Stuart – he was a good lad. We went there and had a laugh.”

The song I do at karaoke

“I did it once at a club when I’d had a few drinks. I said to myself, ‘You will never, ever do that again’. It was embarrassing. I actually can’t remember what I sang, but I’m not a very good singer anyway because whenever I sing people say ‘you’re a terrible singer’. So that’s why I don’t sing. Once I tried playing guitar but for me it was like learning another language – I thought, ‘I ain’t got time for this!’ It didn’t really float my boat.”

The musician that reminds me of home

Rod Stewart

“He’s lives not far from where I live in Essex and when I was younger I remember my dad being into Rod Stewart and also Deacon Blue and people like that. My mum and dad were quite into their music; Tina Turner, Simply Red, Phil Collins. They were quite funky my mum and dad, they were always out – social animals!”

The song I want played at my funeral

Eminem – ‘Lose Yourself’

“Sometimes you have to get so lost in something that you go into autopilot and start doing amazing things, but you have to be in the zone to do it. That’s what that song really means to me – if people can get to that space in their life where they experience that, then they’ve had a good life.”

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