Portal:U2

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The U2 Portal

U2 performing on 17 May 2005. From left to right: The Edge, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton.
U2, Vertigo Tour, 2005.

U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland. The band consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). U2 have been one of the most popular acts in the world since the mid-1980s. The band has sold upwards of 170 million albums worldwide, and they have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other rock band.

U2 formed in 1976 when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. By the mid-1980s, however, the band had become a top international act, noted for its anthemic sound, Bono's impassioned vocals, and The Edge's textural guitar playing. Their success as a live act was greater than as a record-selling act until their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, brought them mega-stardom. Their alternative rock/dance-infused 1991 album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour were part of a significant reinvention for the band; it was a response to their own sense of musical stagnation, the dance and alternative music revolutions, and criticism of their image. This experimentation continued for the rest of the 1990s.

In the early years of the 21st century, U2 have pursued a more traditional sound while maintaining influences from their previous musical explorations. They continue to enjoy the highest level of commercial and critical success. The band is active in human rights, international development, and social justice causes, such as Amnesty International, Make Poverty History, the ONE Campaign, Live Aid, Live 8, Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign, and Music Rising.

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Selected article

The stage was surrounded by the audience and featured a claw-like supporting rig.
The U2 360° Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2009 album No Line on the Horizon, the tour visited stadiums from 2009 through 2011. It was named for a stage configuration that allowed the audience to almost completely surround the stage. To accommodate this, a massive four-legged structure nicknamed "The Claw" was built above the stage, with the sound system and a cylindrical, expanding video screen on top of it. U2 claimed that the tour would be "the first time a band has toured in stadiums with such a unique and original structure."

In an era of declining music sales, analysts expected U2 360° to be a major source of income for the band. Every date of the tour sold out, many within minutes of tickets going on sale. To accommodate the time required to assemble and transport "The Claw" between tour dates, three separate stage structures were required on tour. The 360-degree production increased the capacity of venues by up to 25%, leading to attendance records at over 60 venues. Various themes were incorporated into the shows; portions of the concerts featured outer space themes, due to "The Claw's" resemblance to a spaceship. Pre-recorded messages from the International Space Station were displayed during the shows, as were sociopolitical statements from Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi. The setlists were adjusted for each year of the tour; for the 2010 shows, unreleased songs were debuted live, while for 2011 legs, the group performed more 1990s songs to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Achtung Baby.

The tour was generally well received by critics and fans. By its conclusion, U2 360° had set records for the highest-grossing concert tour with $736 million in ticket sales, and for the highest-attended tour with over 7.2 million tickets sold.

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The Edge speaking at a microphone in a theater
Credit: Jere Keys
U2's The Edge introduces the documentary Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man at the Sundance Film Festival 2006.
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Did you know...

  • ... that the U2 song "Winter" was written for the war film Brothers after the band viewed a rough cut of the film?
  • ... that the word "baby" is on Achtung Baby twenty-seven times?
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WikiProjects

Wikiproject U2.jpg

WikiProject U2 is a project that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in U2. The aim of this project is to standardise and improve articles related to U2, as well as to create any missing articles. To become a member of this WikiProject (anyone may join), simply click here - and add {{user|username}}.

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Departments: AssessmentOutreach (Newsletter) • Collaboration of the Fortnight/of the Month
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Selected biography

The U2 Portal
Alison "Ali" Hewson (née Stewart; 23 March 1961) is an Irish activist and businesswoman. She is the wife of singer and musician Paul Hewson, known as Bono, from the rock group U2.

Raised in Raheny, she met her future husband at a young age at Mount Temple Comprehensive School and married him in 1982. She has a degree in politics and sociology from University College Dublin in 1989. The couple have four children together and live at residences in Ireland, France, and the United States. She has inspired several U2 songs, most famously "Sweetest Thing".

Hewson began a career as an activist in the 1990s, focusing on the effects of nuclear power. She narrated Black Wind White Land, a 1993 Irish documentary about the lasting effects of the Chernobyl accident, and has worked closely with Irish activist Adi Roche. She has been a patron of Chernobyl Children's Project International since 1994 and has participated in a number of aid missions to the high-radiation exclusion zones of Belarus. She has also campaigned against Sellafield, the northern English nuclear facility. In 2002 she helped lead an effort which sent more than a million postcards, urging the site be closed, to Prime Minister Tony Blair and others. Tabloid newspapers have mentioned Hewson as a possible Labour Party candidate for President of Ireland but no such attempt has been made.

Hewson is the co-founder of two ventures in the ethical business field, the Edun fashion line and Nude Skincare products. The former, intended to promote fair trade with Africa, has struggled to become a viable business. French conglomerate LVMH has made substantial investments into both companies.

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Quotes

  • "I can't believe the news today / I can't close my eyes and make it go away. / How long, how long must we sing this song? / How long, how long? / 'Cos tonight, / We can be as one, tonight." —"Sunday Bloody Sunday" (U2), War (1983)
  • "We're at a point where production has gotten so slick that people don't trust it anymore. [...] We were starting to lose trust in the conventional sound of rock & roll — the conventional sound of guitar [...] those big reverb-laden drum sounds of the '80s or those big, beautiful, pristine vocal sounds with all this lush ambience and reverb. So we found ourselves searching for other sounds that had more life and more freshness." —The Edge, explaining the band's motivation for seeking a new sound in Achtung Baby (1991) and Zooropa (1993), "Zoo World Order" by Anthony DeCurtis for Rolling Stone (14 October 1993)
  • "Edge is the unsung hero. On a musical level, he's got real insight, but he's not precious about what he does." —Larry Mullen, Jr., U2 by U2 by U2 with Neil McCormick (2006)
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Categories

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Associated Wikimedia

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