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"I love hymns and gospel music, but the idea of turning your music into a tool for evangelism is missing the point. Music is the language of the spirit anyway." — Bono

Week in Review: May 11, 2020

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Bono Turned 60 And Gave Us A Gift: “Sixty Songs That Saved My Life”

Bono turned 60 on Sunday, May 10, 2020. He gave the world another gift—an emblem of his humility, gratitude, boundless generosity and personification of joy. He compiled a list of “60 Songs That Saved My Life,” describing them as “the ones that got me from there to here, zero to 60 . . . through all the scrapes, all manner of nuisance, from the serious to the silly … and the joy, mostly joy.” He didn’t stop there. He penned fan letters to the artists, some through letters to their children, like Alice Pavarotti (Luciano Pavarotti’s daughter) and Duncan Bowie (David Bowie’s son). U2.com shared the first six letters here. Each letter is a poem and work of art in itself. Through each, Bono weaves memories of his father, teenage existential angst and early days romancing his wife Ali. Bono’s four-hour-plus playlist is available here. 

Friends, Family And Fans Commemorate Bono’s Birthday On Social Media

Longtime friends of Bono and U2, including Morleigh Steinberg (married to The Edge), Guy Oseary, Anton Corbijn, Gavin Friday and Guggi, turned out on Instagram to send birthday wishes. Bono’s daughter, Jordan, who shares his birthday, posted Instagram stories of two cakes: one chocolate and raspberry, the other yellow, both decorated with replicas of famous works of art—cutouts of Bono’s and Jordan’s faces replacing the originals—and notes saying, “Love, 1960, 1989, 2020” and “Two masterpiece humans born on the same day 30 + 1 years apart. Happy birthday. X.” SiriusXM 1st Wave (Channel 33) interspersed U2 music throughout the day. The Irish Post captured fans’ birthday messages from around the world here.

Build A Well For Bono’s Birthday

Through May 31, 2020, the African Well Fund welcomes U2 fans and admirers of Bono’s activism work to participate in the 18th Annual Build a Well for Bono’s Birthday Fundraiser, this year to commemorate his 60th birthday. The 17 campaigns thus far have generated over $275,000 in honor of Bono and have financed clean water and sanitation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. To donate, please click here.

U2.com Streams U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle For Subscribers

On May 10, 2020, Bono’s birthday, U2.com streamed U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle. The concert video was originally recorded on September 1, 2001 at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland during the European leg of the Elevation tour. Bono’s father, Bob Hewson, had died of cancer ten days earlier. In the concert, Bono dedicated the song “Kite” to his father. In 1984, the band resided at the castle to write and record The Unforgettable Fire album.

Ahead Of Bono’s Birthday, He Chatted With RTÉ Radio 1’s Ryan Tubridy

Two days before his birthday, on Friday, May 8, 2020, dialing in from his home in Dublin, Bono spoke with RTÉ Radio 1’s Ryan Tubridy. Bono shared his thoughts about the lack of certainty facing the world during the pandemic. He described the band’s desire to show solidarity with Ireland’s frontline hospital workers, which culminated in a donation of €10 million for PPE procurement. He also joked about “not doing enough hoovering at home.” Read our full writeup here. Listen to the interview here: here.

Adam Clayton Appeared On RTÉ’s Late Late Show To Spotlight Mental Health Issues Related To COVID-19

On Saturday, May 9, 2020, Adam Clayton dialed into RTÉ’s Late Late Show with host, Ryan Tubridy, to highlight mental health issues related to the pandemic lockdown. The show invited viewers to participate in a fundraiser called Darkness Into Light, facilitated by Pieta, an organization in Ireland that assists individuals in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm. Adam emphasized how sheltering at home during the pandemic can trigger mental health stressors related to living and working in small spaces, as well as anxiety about employment and unemployment. Adam reiterated that “there is help out there.” Read about Adam’s appearance here.

(c) atU2/Brown, 2020.