Recognized worldwide for his raspy voice, Irish accent and humanitarian endeavors, Bono, lead singer of rock band U2, is arguably one of the world's most iconic and respected musicians of today. However, in a recently aired interview with BBC, Bono confessed his surprising insecurity that his Grammy-award winning band may not stay relevant in light of his recent declaration of faith in Jesus Christ.
"We were trying to figure out, 'Why would anyone want another U2 album?' And then we said, 'Well, why would we want one?' There was some unfinished business. We felt like we were on the verge of irrelevance a lot in our lives. How you get through is to make stuff that's relevant to you and you have to make an honest account of what you're going through."
Although a release date for U2's new album has yet to be released, the band's spiritually-minded single "Invisible" has given fans insight into what to expect. Despite the song's success (the song received nearly one million downloads within the first hour of its release) The lyrics--which include the lines "I'm more than you know/A body in a soul/You don't see me but you will/I am not invisible"--Bono fears, won't connect personally to his audience. "If that is relevant to other people, then great; that would be a thrill. But we don't know. I think 'Invisible' is a great song, but I don't know how accessible it is."
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And this uneasiness may not be entirely unfounded. Although U2's lyrics have expressed subtle spiritual themes since their formation in 1978 (most notably "Tomorrow" and "Drowning Man"), Bono has historically shied away from discussing his religious views. Born to a Roman Catholic father and a Protestant mother during the religious feuds of 1960s Ireland, Bono held distaste for organized religion and "avoided religious people" for most of his life. However, he has since changed his tune, partnering up with Christian organizations to promote his campaign against HIV/AIDS. "[Bono is] ready to be used by God in whatever ways he can," said Richard Cizik, the Washington-based director for the National Association of Evangelicals, "and if we were all so willing, the world would be a better place."
However, Bono's relationship with Christianity has publically become less pragmatic and increasingly personal. In a 2013 interview with Irish news channel RTE, Bono blatantly expressed his belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
"[Who is Christ] is a defining question for a Christian...you're not let off easily by saying a great thinker or philosopher...he went around saying he was the Messiah...he was crucified...because he said he was the son of God. He either was the son of God...or nuts...[and] I find it hard to accept that millions of lives... have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nut. I don't believe it."
Later, in an interview with Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, Bono revealed Christianity's future influence on his music. "It's very annoying following this Person of Christ around [chuckling], because He's very demanding of your life."
While only time will determine the success of U2's upcoming album, one thing is certain: Bono says he's prepared to stand his ground: "We'll find out if we're irrelevant. I'm perfectly prepared for people to try and blow us off the stage. We're just not going to make it easy."