This article is about the Irish rock band; for the reconnaissance aircraft see U-2.
- Paul David Hewson (stage name Bono) - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
- David Evans (stage name The Edge) - Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Adam Clayton - Bass Guitar
- Larry Mullen, Jr. - Drums and Percussion
The band was formed in September 1976 by the four, who were still schoolboys. Since the release of their debut album Boy in 1980, the band has gone on to become one of the most successful and popular bands in the world. They have also been considered by many critics to be one of the most innovative live bands in music, specifically with revolutionary tours such as the 1992-1993 Zoo TV Tour. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, its first year of eligibility.
Three members of the band (Bono, The Edge, Mullen) are Christians. Early in the band's career, the three worshiped regularly, though it is not known if the band has maintained such levels. Specifically, the band's October album has many references to God. Adam Clayton, who is an atheist, stated that during the recording of October he felt a bit isolated from the group, but has not since.
In 2002 at the Super Bowl halftime show, U2 performed a MLK/Where the Streets Have No Name combination (in addition to reciting Psalm 51:15), with a list of 9/11 victims in the background. Bono also revealed the American flag under his jacket at the end of the performance.
Beginning in the late 1990s, Bono began campaigning for social justice for the impoverished, specifically focusing on the continent of Africa. In 2006 he and Bobby Shriver co-founded the (RED) product line with The Gap, Motorola, Apple and other retailers, donating a portion of the proceeds to The Global Fund which helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Bono has also appeared in front of the United Nations numerous times, and has met with many world leaders, including U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Liberty Medal, nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and being named one of Time magazine's Persons of the Year for 2005 (with Melinda and Bill Gates).
In 2006 there was criticism of U2 for moving some of their publishing company from Ireland to the Netherlands to avoid newly created taxes for music groups in the country.
They have released the following albums:
- Boy (1980)
- October (1981)
- War (1983)
- Under a Blood Red Sky (1983) [Live recordings from the band's tour in support of the War album]
- The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
- The Joshua Tree (1987)
- Rattle and Hum (1988) [Partially consisting of new tracks, partially of live recordings from the Joshua Tree Tour]
- Achtung Baby (1991)
- Zooropa (1993)
- Pop (1997)
- All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
- No Line on the Horizon (2009)
Hit U.S. Singles
- "I Will Follow" (81)
- "New Year's Day" (53)
- "Pride (In the Name of Love)" (33)
- "With or Without You" (1)
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (1)
- "Where the Streets Have No Name" (13)
- "Desire" (3)
- "Angel of Harlem" (14)
- "The Fly" (61)
- "Mysterious Ways" (9)
- "One" (10)
- "Discotheque" (10)
- "Staring at the Sun" (26)
- "Beautiful Day" (21)
- "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of" (52)
- "Vertigo" (31)
- "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" (97)
(#) denotes highest position on Billboard Hot 100.