Drummer Larry Mullen founded the band by advertising on the school notice board for potential band members. The poster attracted Adam Clayton (bass guitar), Paul Hewson (vocals), and Dave Evans (guitar).
Paul adopted the nickname Bono Vox (after a hearing aid), later shortened to Bono and Dave was called "The Edge", a reference to his guitar playing style.
The band's first performance was under the name "Feedback" at a talent contest run by the school, which , incidentally, they failed to win but it was a popular entry. Changing their name to "Hype" the band struggled for attention and in an effort to get a more marketable name they settled on "U2" in 1978.
The early years were difficult and major success was elusive. Their main coups then were the hiring of Paul McGuinness as their manager and their association with Steve Lilywhite of the Island record company. Immensely successful hit singles and albums and world tours followed in the 1980s and 90s.
Their position as one of the world's most popular and talented bands was confirmed in 1987 when "The Joshua Tree" became the fastest-selling album in British musical history. Their unique brand of music often reflects on issues such as human rights, the environment and world peace and they have actively supported famine relief and the peace process in Northern Ireland. The members of the band and Paul McGuinness were awarded the Freedom of Dublin in 2000.
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