U2 to receive Kennedy Center lifetime achievement award

The Edge and Bono

U2 are to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC tonight (December 4).

The band are among a host of honourees who will be awarded for their artistic achievements alongside George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight and composer and conductor Tania León by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

The ceremony is set to take place at 6.30pm local time (11.30pm GMT) in the Kennedy Center Opera House. It will be later aired on US television on December 28.

“We consider America to be a home away from home and we are very grateful to the #KennedyCenterHonors for welcoming us into this great clan,” U2 said of the honour.

They added: “In December 1980, we made our first trip across the Atlantic to America. Our first show was at The Ritz in New York City, the second, The Bayou in D.C.

“We had big dreams then, fuelled in part by the commonly held belief at home that America smiles on Ireland. And it turned out to be true, yet again.

“But even in the wilder thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years on, we would be invited back to receive one of the nation’s greatest honours…”

The Chairman of the Kennedy Center, David M Rubenstein, added that U2 had won over America and the world with their “iconic anthems, potent lyrics, and powerful messages of social justice and global citizenship”.

Meanwhile, Bono recently hinted that U2 will play in Las Vegas in 2023.

“I can’t announce Vegas, you’d have to shoot me! But if it happens, I can promise you it won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen in Las Vegas or anywhere, ever,” he said.

“There’s no place yet big enough. For us to go, it has to be something that no-one’s ever gone [to] before.”

He also recently completed a 14-date book tour dubbed ‘Stories Of Surrender’, based on his new memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.

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