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30 Mind Blowing Facts Every Fan Should Know About The Irish Rock Band U2

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U2, the four-member rock band from Dublin, which consists of Bono (Paul David Hewson), the Edge (David Howell Evans), Adam Charles Clayton, and Laurence Joseph "Larry" Mullen Jr., are renowned globally for their live act. With a total of 13 studio albums released, they are one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. Here are 30 interesting facts about the band:

  1. U2’s most famous 2009-2011 360o Tour, a worldwide concert tour in support of their album “No Line on the Horizon,” still remains to be the highest-attended and highest-grossing in the history of concert tour, with $736 million from a total of 7.3 million tickets sold.
  2. The band holds a unique feat with a total of 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band has achieved till date.
  3. They are the only Irish act in the history to have won the Grammy Award for "Album of the Year."
  4. U2’s album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” released on October 30, 2000, is the only album ever in the history to have two different singles win Grammy Award for Record of the Year – the lead single "Beautiful Day" in 2001 and "Walk On" in 2002. The album was also included in the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
  5. They officially took the name as “U2,” in March 1978, on the suggestion of a punk rock musician, who played with “The Radiators,” Steve Averill, who was a family friend of Clayton. Averill is said to have suggested 6 names, out of which they chose “U2,” as it was the least disliked name.
  6. It was on September 25, 1976, at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, that the band was formed, when a 14-year old student named Larry Mullen Jr., posted on the notice board about his search about musicians to start a new band.
  7. Along with Paul Hewson “Bono,” David Evans “The Edge,” Adam Clayton, there were three other responses for Mullen’s posting from Dik Evans, an older brother of David Evans, Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin, friends of Mullen. Dik Evans, though he was a member of the band initially, he soon became an odd man out and was phased out with a farewell concert at the Presbyterian Church Hall in Howth.
  8. Mullen claims that he felt the band to have been “The Larry Mullen Band,” for the just 10 minutes, before Paul Hewson “Bono” walked him and blew away any chance of Mullen being the in-charge.
  9. U2 is ranked at #22, by the Rolling Stone in their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."
  10. The band performed during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVI, on February 3, 2002, as attribute to the victims of September 11 attacks. The performance was ranked as the best halftime show in Super Bowl history by USA Today as well as Rolling Stone.
  11. The single, “I Will Follow,” from their debut album “Boy,” was the first song by U2 to receive airplay on US radio. The single reportedly reached #20 on the Top Tracks rock chart.
  12. The lead single “Fire,” from their second album “October,” was the first to chart in the United Kingdom. The single also garnered them an appearance on “Top of the Pops,” a television program.
  13. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the year 2005, which was their first year of eligibility.
  14. Initially, the group settled for the name “Feedback,” as the band’s name, as it was one of the few technical terms the members were aware of.
  15. The band’s first chart success was the Ireland only EP “U2-3,” which sold out almost immediately, all the 1,000 copies of its limited edition 12-inch vinyl. The songs were recorded with producer Chas de Whalley at Windmill Lane Studios.
  16. U2 is listed at #19 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and at #29 in the list of “100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll,” by VH1.
  17. The band played their very first gig for a paying audience in April 1977, at St. Fintan's High School. Just after the gig, they had a name change and went by the name “The Hype.”
  18. The lead single “New Year’s Day,” from the album “War,” was the first hit for the group outside the Europe. The album was the first commercial success for the band, debuting at #1 in the UK and #12 in the US.
  19. Their concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on a rain-soaked evening of June 5, 1983, was singled out as one "50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock and Roll" by the Rolling Stone.
  20. It was on February 26, 1980, that the band played at the 2,000-seat National Stadium in Dublin, which was a risk that paid off well. Bill Stewart, an A&R representative for Island Records, who attended the show, got the band signed for a deal.
  21. Writers and Music critics all over the world acclaim their seventh studio album “Achtung Baby” to be “one of the greatest albums of all time,” and it’s the “80th-highest-ranked record” on critics' lists, according to Acclaimed Music. The National Association of Recording Merchandisers has listed the album at #45 on the list of “Definitive 200.” The record topped the “125 most influential albums” from 1985 to 2010 list by Spin.
  22. The lead single “Pride (In the Name of Love,)” about Martin Luther King, Jr., from the album “The Unforgettable Fire,” released in September 1984, was U2’s first song to reach the US top 40 and was a very big hit. The song was included in “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
  23. U2 is the fourth band in the world to have appeared on the cover of the “Time” magazine, following “The Beatles,” “The Band” and “The Who.” The magazine gave them the name “Rock’s Hottest Ticket.”
  24. In the year 2001, U2 was named as "Band of the Year" by Spin, which noted that the band has "schooled bands half their age about what a rock show could really accomplish."
  25. Their fifth album, “The Joshua Tree,” released on March 9, 1987, topped the charts in more than 20 countries and became the fastest-selling album in British history. It is also featured on the critics' lists of the greatest records with over 25 million copies sold. In the year 2014, the US Library of Congress deemed it as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
  26. U2 is ranked as the fourth-biggest band by Q, in the list that compares the record of album sales, largest audience for a headlining show and also the time spent on the UK charts. They were named as the “Greatest Act of the Last 25 Years,” in Q’s readers poll in the year 2011.
  27. The band’s debut album “Boy,” produced by Steve Lillywhite, received generally positive reviews, and peaked at # 52 in the UK and the #63 in the US. Declan Lynch of Hot Press commenting “almost impossible to react negatively to U-2's music," and the Paul Morley of NME claiming it to be "touching, precocious, full of archaic and modernist conviction."
  28. The famous TV series “One Tree Hill,” is said to be named after the song of the same name, by U2 in their album “The Joshua Tree.”
  29. According to Billboard Boxscore, the band stands next only to the Rolling Stones, with a total of $1.67 billion in ticket sales from the 1990 to 2016.
  30. At the end of 2009, U2 was ranked as one among the eight “Artists of the Decade, by Rolling Stone,” though they were second in total concert grosses for the decade and also the only band among the top 25 touring acts of the 2000s to have sold out every show played.

  31. U2 net worth: $600 million 

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