This past Saturday the Sotheby’s (RED) auction held in New York City. Bono and with some help from his friends Jony Ive (Apple) and Marc Newson have reportedly raised close to 13 million and was doubled by none other than Bill Gates. The money will benefit the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Bono and The Edge had a jam session performing a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky with Angelique Kidjo, Nile Rodgers and his band, Chic. We would call it a rehearsal jam session. However during the auction Bono and Chris Martin ( ColdPlay) performed a couple of tunes on the piano that was to be auctioned.
Today is World AIDS Day, a day of particular significance to Bono, whose (RED) brand launched years ago to help support the Global Fund in their effort to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Since its beginning, (RED) has garnered the support of major retailers like Apple, Dell, Starbucks, Gap, and American Eagle (just to name a few).
Around 100,000 are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
Accounts show Edun Apparel, founded by the rock star and his wife Ali Hewson in 2005, suffered losses to the tune of €6.8million in 2011.
The company is also 49 per cent owned by the world’s largest luxury goods group LVMH which put €6.7million into Edun in 2009.
The Paris-headquartered group also owns some of the world’s top brands — including Louis Vuitton, Donna Karan, Moet Chandon and Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Bono’s star-studded famine commercial has been banned from airing on U.K. TV – because broadcasting officials fear the clip breaches rules regarding political advertising.
The U2 rocker shot the minute-long advert with a slew of his celebrity pals, including George Clooney, Jessica Alba and Colin Farrell, to raise awareness about the famine crisis sweeping across Eastern Africa.
The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity, which was produced by Bono’s One charity, is aimed at urging government officials to do more to tackle the hunger issue, but the TV commercial has now been taken off the airwaves by bosses at governing body Clearcast amid worries its message could potentially conflict with the terms stated in the 2003 Communications Act.
A Clearcast spokesperson tells BBC News, “These rules ensure that adverts aren’t being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.”
“One (charity) appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d’etre (reason for existence) is to pressure political leaders. It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules.”
Eric Shivvers Chicago :
When U2 played here in Chicago two nights ago, I was asked to take some pictures of the show and I did. Yeah, I have a great shot of Larry playing his djembe and a couple of the Edge, both of which will make great mementos but as I stood against the rail behind the stage taking in the show, I turned around and observed a group of One campaigners and Amnesty International volunteers lining up to go onstage. I thought to myself, if Bono Edge, Adam and Larry are the generals of philanthropy and we are the army of followers, then these are the lieutenants. Night in and night out on this tour, local volunteers give up their time to sign up us fans for these causes. Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry know that we are a community of good-hearted people, willing to join a cause they promote.
As stage crew handed out the props that these good Samaratins were going to walk with onstage, I knew this would be the one photograph that no one else would take. The smiling happy volunteers were excited to go onstage, even if it was just to stand for five minutes or so, representing their great organizations. It didn’t matter that they weren’t going to play along with Edge or sing with Bono. What they were doing was more important. They were speaking to us in silence for those who don’t have a voice. The people they represent are the AIDS patient waiting to die in a hospital in Central Africa or a political prisoner such as Aung San Suu Kyi. Both of whom need these organizations to set justice straight.
I thought it was a little camp the first time I witnessed this on the 360 tour, but after seeing their smiling faces in these pictures, I have greater respect for this spectacle during the show. U2 keeps teaching me something new about the world every time they go out on the road. With these volunteers and our passion for the band, we have made a difference. Aung San Suu Kyi was finally freed from house arrest and 4 million lives were saved from AIDS with anti-retroviral drugs. These two accomplishments came from rock stars that didn’t have to take up these causes, but they did and they made a believer out of me when I joined their army 25+ years ago.
In closing, these pictures will never grace the entertainment section of the Chicago Tribune, but the opportunity to represent their cause for five minutes onstage will last a lifetime. They will tell their friends and family about standing shoulder to shoulder with U2 on a hot July night in 2011. There may be no photographs of witness to their triumph but that’s okay. They are volunteers who will slip back into their day-today world unrecognized as the rockers they shared the stage with, but recognized, through their passion, as the keepers of the flame, telling us that we can change the world one U2 fan at a time.
U2’s vibrant frontman Bono has the kind schedule that would make us normal people spin uncontrollably. However he did take the time to reflect on what he would like to accomplish this year, as a member of U2 and as a regular guy.
The February issue of the UK’s “Q” magazine, Bono lets loose in a small feature titled “Bono’s 5 Step Plan to Take over the World”. First on the list for Bono is obviously any new music that U2 are testing out.
“We’ve been listening to new material for “Songs of Ascent”. We haven’t fully decided to press ‘go’ on that,” Bono admitted about the spiritual record where the “360” opener “Kingdom of Your Love” came from. While still unsure as to what the band will focus on, he does feel the need for audiences this summer to hear some fresh tracks. “Even if it’s an EP or a single song,” he said.
Bono said that the work he and Edge contributed to the “Spider-Man” musical for Broadway is “potentially one of the best things we’ve ever done” and while waiting for the show’s financial problems to be worked out, he expects the show to be running later this year.
Bono also discussed U2’s upcoming debut at the Glastonbury festival in June. He said that “everyone is excited” and because it’s on a smaller scale than “360”, expect a performance without so much spectacle. “I think it will just be about the music on that day,” Bono said.
Also on his mind was (RED) and Bono was happy to report new developments shaping up. Nike has joined the campaign, he revealed, and Africa’s hosting of the World Cup this year is something he is truly thrilled about. “It’s important that the world gets to see the majesty and magical side of that most extraordinary continent,” he said.
As incredible as Bono’s year sounds so far, perhaps the most special event will take place on May 10, when he turns 50. And he already feels the pressure. After attending a Leonard Cohen concert last year where he got emotional during the show, Bono confessed, “I realized that all my favorite songs he wrote in his 50s and 60s. That, to me, was a throwdown.” However daunting as turning 50 seems, Age is nothing but a number, Bono!
“It is sexy to want to change the world.” Bono
December 1st is World AIDS Day – a time to honor all who are affected by AIDS. Cities, brands, organizations and people are coming together from all over the world to make one statement. That ONE COLOR UNITES US. And that color is (RED).
Here’s how you can get involved. Help us turn Facebook & Twitter (RED) on December 1st:
Facebook: Share our video & make your profile picture (RED).
Twitter: We’ve been working with our good friends at Twitter to do something really exciting. We’re turning the color of tweets red for the day! Just use #red or #laceupsavelives to turn your tweets red. Find out more at: @joinred or @U2TOURFANS #U2TOURFANS
What else can you do on December 1st? This World AIDS Day, (RED) partners are making increased contributions to help fight AIDS in Africa:
Starbucks: 5 cents for every hand-crafted beverage in US & Canada, and 5p/5 Euro cents for every espresso-based beverage bought in UK & Ireland.
Gap: 1% of all revenue at participating US and Canada stores.
Dell: Doubling their contributions on DELL (PRODUCT) RED™ products in US, UK and Japan. Until December 2nd.
Bugaboo: As always Bugaboo will be contributing 1% of their total revenue to the Global Fund.
Click here to see all (RED) partners.
33 million people in the world have HIV. 22 million live in Africa. It costs around 40cents a day for the 2 pills that are needed to help keep someone living with HIV alive. Yet, more than 70% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $2 a day. Because of you, to date $140 million has been sent to Africa through (RED) partners and events, which has supported programs that have helped reach 4 million people.
Thank you for fighting AIDS in Africa. Being (RED) is sexy.
ONE COLOR UNITES US on December 1st
With the holidays just around the corner, Starbucks has just made your next coffee run about more than just a Grande Gingerbread Latte. The coffee giant has teamed up with (RED) — the movement to help eradicate AIDS in Africa — and released a limited-edition album titled ‘All You Need is Love.’
Starting Nov. 17, customers who spend $15 at participating Starbucks throughout the US or Canada will receive a free copy of the four-track CD while supplies last. The album features special recordings by longtime (RED) advocates U2, Dave Matthews Band, John Legend and Playing for Change, who give the Beatles’ ‘All You Need is Love’ a reggae makeover.
Starbucks will also be donating $1 to support the Global Fund for each CD that is given away. To preview the songs on ‘All You Need is Love’ and find out more information, visit the Starbucks Love Project.
U2 are among the special guests who will feature in a one-off concert for the (RED) charity next month, it has been announced.
The initiative was launched in 2006 by Bono and he and his fellow band members have confirmed their appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall event.
Billed as “An Evening with Gavin Friday & Friends”, the bill also includes Laurie Anderson, Rufus Wainwright, Antony Hegarty, Scarlett Johannson and Courtney Love.
The members of U2 are expected to collaborate with the other acts rather than perform together.
Gavin Friday is a childhood friend of the Irish rockers, while (RED) is an organization which aims to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.
The show takes place on October 4, with tickets going on-sale this week from CarnegieHall.com.
To celebrate Oprah’s 24th Season, the Queen of Media is closing down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile of September 8th and throwing herself a Kick Off Party
The event is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis and will take place outside near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street. Doors open at noon, filming begins at 5:00 pm.
Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson are slated to be on hand to help Oprah celebrate the new season of her show.
Oprah.com also promises some surprises by teasing, “You never know who will show up…”
Is it possible Bono could also be on hand to wish Lady O well? The two have worked together before and the legendary rocker will be in Chi-town this week as U2 kicks off the American leg of their 360 Tour.
Photo Credit: Red Campaign/