Bono, lead singer of the iconic rock band U2, has announced that the group will perform in Paris next week and expressed hope that the performance will inspire the audience.
"Well, knowing our French audience and having a sense of them by now, I would say joy as an act of defiance," he said of his expectations for the concert. "That's what U2 does, that's what French people want from us and that's it."
The popular rock band was originally scheduled to perform in Paris on November 14, less than 24 hours after a series of terrorist attacks that left 130 dead and scores wounded. The most devastating attack was carried out at an Eagles of Death Metal concert held at the Bataclan Concert Hall, prompting U2 to postpone their performance, now scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7.
At the time, Bono deemed the assault as a "direct hit on music" and extended his thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris.
"If you think about it, the majority of victims last night are music fans," Bono said. "This is the first direct hit on music that we've had in this so-called War on Terror. And it's very upsetting."
"These are our people," he added. "This could be me at a show, you at a show... It's a very recognizable situation. All our thoughts are with the Eagles of Death Metal fans."
In continuing his comments to the AP, Bono also praised the band for "being very graceful" despite going through "the most ugly nightmare."
"[The terrorists] took a lot of lives we're not going to get back, but they're not going to change the character of the city of Paris," he said.
The Irish rock star went on to encourage potential concertgoers to be brave about attending the show, likening them to his own children.
"These are our people and they're very familiar faces, the people in the audience, they're our people," he said. "They're like my daughter, my son, they're like (U2 members) Edges, they're like Larry [Mullen Jr.]...so we took it very badly.
"But we're going back, you bet. Nothing will stop us from going back. Be vigilant, but be unafraid."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Bono often talks about his Christian faith and includes spiritual themes in many of his songs.
In a 2013 interview with Irish news channel RTE, Bono expressed a 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."
He has also suggested that Billy Graham played a significant role in his coming to faith, even giving tribute to the world-famous evangelist in the introduction to a song, "Thank you Billy Graham"."
Read the lyrics, in part: "At a time when religion seems so often to get in the way of God's work with its shopping mall sales pitch and its bumper sticker reductionism, I give thanks just for the sanity of Billy Graham for that clear empathetic voice of his, in that Southern Accent, part poet part preacher, a singer of the human spirit, I would say. I give thanks for Billy Graham. Thank you, Billy Graham."