Portal:U2

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Introduction

U2 performing in August 2017, from left to right: Larry Mullen Jr.; The Edge; Bono; Adam Clayton

U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums and percussion). Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic sound built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.

The band formed as teenagers while attending Mount Temple Comprehensive School, when they had limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album, Boy (1980). Subsequent work such as their first UK number-one album, War (1983), and the singles "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" helped establish U2's reputation as a politically and socially conscious group. By the mid-1980s, they had become renowned globally for their live act, highlighted by their performance at Live Aid in 1985. The group's fifth album, The Joshua Tree (1987), made them international superstars and was their greatest critical and commercial success. Topping music charts around the world, it produced their only number-one singles in the US, "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".

Selected article

Screenshot from a video of American astronaut Mark E. Kelly inside the International Space Station. The video was shown by rock band U2 at concerts on the U2 360° Tour, prior to the song "Beautiful Day".
"Beautiful Day" is a song by the rock band U2. It is the first track from their 2000 album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and it was released as the album's lead single. It was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2's biggest hits to date. Like many tracks from All That You Can't Leave Behind, "Beautiful Day" harkens back to the group's past sound. The tone of The Edge's guitar was a subject of debate amongst the band members, as they disagreed on whether he should use a sound similar to that from their early career in the 1980s. Lead vocalist Bono explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has.

The song received positive reviews, and it became their fourth number-one single in the UK and their first number-one in the Netherlands. The song peaked at number 21 in the United States, the band's highest position since "Discothèque" in 1997. In 2001, the song won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group has played "Beautiful Day" at every one of their concerts since the song's 2001 live debut on the Elevation Tour.

Selected image

U2 on stage in a public park
Credit: Ardfern
U2 PopMart Tour, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, Northern Ireland, August 1997

Did you know...

  • ... that the U2 song "Magnificent" was originally titled "French Disco"?

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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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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.

Quotes

  • "I was on the outside when you said / You said you needed me. / I was looking at myself. / I was blind, I could not see. / A boy tries hard to be a man / His mother takes him by the hand / If he stops to think, he starts to cry. / Oh why?" —"I Will Follow" (Bono), Boy (1980)
  • "You bury your treasure where it can't be found / But your love is a secret that's been passed around. / There is a silence that comes to a house / Where no-one can sleep. / I guess it's the price of love; I know it's not cheap." —"Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" (Bono), Achtung Baby (1991)
  • "And if You look, / You look through Me. / And when You talk, / You talk at Me. / And when I touch You, / You don't feel anything" —"Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" (Bono), Zooropa (1993)
  • "You're on the road but you've got no destination / You're in the mud, in the maze of her imagination / You love this town even if it doesn't ring true / You've been all over and it's been all over you" —"Beautiful Day" (Bono), All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
  • "I try not to major on self-loathing but it does creep in every so often. Guilt to me is a very useless emotion. You make a mistake, you try and rectify it, you apologize, and you get on." —Bono, U2 by U2 by U2 with Neil McCormick (2006)

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