October 2008 Archives

By Becky Bohrer, The Huffington Post

NEW ORLEANS - U2 frontman and activist Bono said Wednesday that next week's presidential election provides a great opportunity to "relaunch Brand USA" amid worldwide scrutiny.

"The whole world has a stake in how things turn out," the Ireland native told thousands of Starbucks Corp. employees in New Orleans for a leadership conference. The coffee company and Bono's (RED) label, which helps raise money for the Global Fund that pays for AIDS programs in Africa, also announced a partnership Wednesday.

The singer talked about brands and what they stand for. In Starbucks' case, he said some might see it as a place to hang out and get coffee -- but that brand can also signify social responsibility.

The way the U.S. is perceived -- "Brand USA" -- also means something, he said. And it's never been so closely watched, said Bono, who didn't endorse either candidate for president.

Regardless of who wins, "it's a great chance to relaunch Brand USA," he said.

Live Nation Pays U2 With Shares

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The rock band U2 will receive almost $19 million in shares of Live Nation, the concert promoter, as part of a 12-year contract with the company it signed in March.

Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., registered 1.56 million shares in a regulatory filing on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Live Nation has been diversifying beyond live performances by signing artists including Madonna and Shawn Carter, known as Jay-Z, to multiyear contracts that include recording and merchandise, as well as touring.

John Vlautin, a company spokesman, declined to comment beyond the filing.

Lori Earl, a spokeswoman for the band - whose members include the singer and frontman Bono, the guitarist the Edge, the bassist Adam Clayton and the drummer Larry Mullen - did not immediately comment.

Live Nation fell 48 cents, to $11.93, on Friday in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Copyright © 2008 The New York Times Company

Bono's building site song for Tom

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Sir Tom Jones asked U2's Bono to write him a song for his new solo album, 24 Hours, which will be released in the UK next month.

Sugar Daddy was written after the veteran singer met the supergroup frontman in a Dublin nightclub.

Even though Bono does not perform on the track, U2 guitarist The Edge plays on it.

It refers to Sir Tom's early days as a building site worker. He has now sold more than 100m records worldwide.

"I was in a club in Dublin and I was talking to Bono and asked him if he would write me a song, so he said I'll write you one but I need to know a lot about you so I can write something about you," Sir Tom told BBC Radio Wales.

Seven minutes of video from last week featuring Bono talking about the ONE campaign and politics with John Roberts from CNN.

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