U2's Bono Reveals He Almost Died

Singer opens up about his near-death experience and how it influenced his new album

By Kendall Fisher Dec 27, 2017 7:08 PMTags
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Bono just dropped some serious news.

The U2 singer covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone in which he revealed he almost died recently—a subject that played a big part in the band's latest album Songs of Experience.

Though Bono won't dive into the details of his near-death experience, he says the new album explores the theme of mortality, which allows people to "fill in the blanks" in order to form their own connection with the music.

"People have these extinction events in their lives; it could be psychological or it could be physical. And, yes, it was physical for me, but I think I have spared myself all that soap opera," Bono explained. "Especially with this kind of celebrity obsession with the minutiae of peoples' lives—I have got out of that. I want to speak about the issue in a way that lets people fill in the blanks of what they have been through, you know?"

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

He continued, "It's one thing if you were talking about it in a place of record like Rolling Stone, but by the time it gets to your local tabloid it is just awful. It becomes the question that everyone is asking."

Not to mention, Bono feels his experience isn't worth elaborating because he was given the proper medical care to survive, which many people don't have access to.

"People have had so much worse to deal with, so that is another reason not to talk about it," he told the publication. "You demean all the people who, you know, never made it through that or couldn't get health care!"

A.M.P.A.S./Michael Yada

So instead of talking about it, Bono and U2 wrote, and for the first time, they wrote with death in mind.

"Strangely enough, mortality was going to be a subject anyway just because it is a subject not often covered," he said. "And you can't write Songs of Experience without writing about that. And I've had a couple of these shocks to the system, let's call them, in my life."

Another artist also helped influence him.

"I met this poet named Brendan Kennelly. I have known him for years; he is an unbelievable poet," Bono explained. "And he said, 'Bono, if you want to get to the place where the writing lives, imagine you're dead.' There is no ego, there is no vanity, no worrying about who you will offend. That is great advice. I just didn't want to have to find out outside of a mental excursion. I didn't want to find out the hard way."

For more on U2's new music and Bono's life, read his full interview with Rolling Stone here.

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