U2 to Receive Sonny Bono Visionary Award at Palm Springs Film Fest
The Palm Springs International Film Festival announced today that the rock band U2 will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award Saturday at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The legendary group recorded the song "Ordinary Love" for The Weinstein Company's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which recently received a Golden Globes nomination for Best Original Song.The award is traditionally introduced by gala honorary chairwoman Mary Bono, widow of the festival founder and award namesake. "We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director," festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement, "but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world's premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease and social injustice. Their latest song 'Ordinary Love' from the film 'Mandela' is an ode to Nelson Mandela ... whom the band worked with in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa."
Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals),Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). They were more successful as a touring act than they were at selling records, until their breakthrough 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The group reinvented themselves with their 1991 hit album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour; U2 integrated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences into their sound, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s with varying levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour in the 2000s with the records All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), which established a more conventional, mainstream sound for the group. Their U2 360° Tour from 2009-2011 was the highest-attended and highest-grossing concert tour in history.
U2 have released 12 studio albums and are among the all-time best-selling music artists, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. They have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and in 2005, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and has labelled them the "Biggest Band in the World". Throughout their career, as a band and as individuals, they have campaigned for human rights and philanthropic causes, including Amnesty International, the ONE/DATA campaigns, Product Red, and The Edge's Music Rising.