U2’s Bono called America ‘punk rock’ during Fulbright Prize acceptance speech

U2’s Bono was awarded the 2021 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding for his philanthropic work outside of the band “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. In his acceptance speech, the U2 singer mentioned his relationship with America, sharing that the country is more punk rock than classic.

U2’s Bono says band ‘looks to America’ during Fulbright Prize acceptance speech

Musician Bono, lead singer of U2, strolls between meetings with US lawmakers | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

As a U2 singer, Bono, real name Paul David Hewson, appeared in songs like “With or Without You”, “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Bono spent time abroad with the other members of U2, even buying a house in Monaco and spending most of his time in France. With several tours in the United States, Bono shared some of his favorite aspects of America, especially during his early days as a musician.

“We looked to America,” Bono said. “We saw a country with its own longstanding arguments, its own injustices. We knew that this promised land did not always keep that promise. We knew that America did not live up to all of its ideals, but the fact is that America had ideals.

Bono shared that admiration when he was honored with the Fulbright Prize as an activist and co-founder of ONE and (RED). (The William Fulbright Award specifically highlights those who are committed to helping those in need around the world.)

“We knew because you wrote them, you quoted them, you held yourself accountable,” he continued. “They shaped the fight for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights. I don’t know how, but I felt like I knew America wasn’t just a country. I felt it was an idea if it wasn’t a fact yet.

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U2’s Bono describes America as ‘punk rock’ and ‘hip-hop’

In conjunction with the Fulbright Prize, Bono will donate his $50,000 prize to ONE and (RED) this year, according to a press release. His speech compared America to different types of music, with Bono sharing that America is becoming a better version of itself.

“Even when it got messy,” Bono added. “Even when it got wild. America is not classical music. America is punk rock, America is hip-hop. I felt like America was fighting against itself, caught in the act of becoming… becoming itself… becoming its best self… I love this song called America. And I ask you tonight as a fanboy and critic: can you still hold this track? »

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What country is Bono a citizen of?

Technically, Bono is an Irish citizen and always has been. According to Register Citizen, Bono said he considered himself “a very proud American on 9/11”, noting that even if someone wasn’t an American, “everyone became an American that day”.

Although U2 have taken a step back from the spotlight, this group continues to release new versions of their well-known songs. This includes the 30th anniversary edition of Achtung Babywhich debuted on Spotify in 2021.

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Diana J. Carleton