"We've found different ways of expressing it, and recognized the power of the media to manipulate such signs. Maybe we just have to sort of draw our fish in the sand. It's there for people who are interested. It shouldn't be there for people who aren't." –Bono on faith, quoted in "U2 at the End of the World"
Formed in 1976, U2 has consistently remained among the most popular acts in the world since the mid 1980s.
The band has sold approximately 50.5 million albums in the U.S., according to the RIAA, and upwards of 170 million worldwide, has had six #1 albums in the US and nine #1 albums in the UK and is one of the most successful bands of the rock era. The band has won 22 Grammy awards, more than any other recording artist.
The band is also politically active in human rights causes, such as the Make Poverty History campaign as well as Live Aid, Live 8, One.org, and Bono's DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa) campaign.
HistoryThe band was formed in Dublin on Saturday, 25 September 1976 . Larry Mullen, Jr., then fourteen, posted a notice on his secondary school bulletin board (Mount Temple Comprehensive School) seeking musicians for a new band. The response that followed that note resulted in seven boys attending the initial practice in Larry's kitchen. Known for about a day as "The Larry Mullen Band," the group featured Mullen on drums, Adam Clayton on bass guitar, Paul Hewson (Bono) on vocals, Dave Evans (The Edge) on guitar, his brother Dik Evans on guitar and Mullen's friends Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin. Soon after, the group settled on the name Feedback because of the amplifier noise phenomenon they favored. Martin only came to the first practice, and McCormick was out of the core group within a few weeks.
After 18 months of rehearsals, Feedback changed its name to The Hype. The band performed with their new name at a talent show in Limerick, Ireland on 17 March 1978. One of the judges for the show happened to be CBS Records' Jackie Hayden; they won the contest, earning a £500 prize. Hayden was impressed enough with the band that he gave them studio time to record their first demo. Jackie Hayden later went on to work for Irish Magazine Hot Press.
In an interview with Christianity Today, Bono said:
"I just go where the life is, you know? Where I feel the Holy Spirit," Bono told Christianity Today. "If it's in the back of a Roman Catholic cathedral, in the quietness and the incense, which suggest the mystery of God, of God's presence, or in the bright lights of the revival tent, I just go where I find life. I don't see denomination. I generally think religion gets in the way of God.
"I am just trying to figure it out. Everybody wants to make an impact with their life, whether it's small scale with friends or family—that's really big, is the truth—or whether it's on a grand scale, in changing their communities and beyond.
"I just want to realize my potential." He recalled one pastor's recent advice: Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Find out what God's doing. It's already blessed. "That's what I want," Bono said. "I want to align my life with that.