Bono Slams His Own Singing Voice And U2's Name: 'I'm Just So Embarrassed'

By Katrina Nattress

January 18, 2022

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Photo: AFP

Bono is one of the most well-known singers of one of the most well-known bands ever, but during a recent visit to the Awards Chatter podcast, the U2 frontman admitted that he's not only "embarrassed" by the group's name, but also by his own singing voice — claiming he only learned how to sing "recently."

“I’ve been in the car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I’ve been the color of, as we say in Dublin, scarlet,” Bono admitted. “I’m just so embarrassed.”

As for the moniker, the rock star said he "really" doesn't like it. "I was late into some kind of dyslexia,” he said. “I didn’t realize that The Beatles was a bad pun either. In our head it was like the spy plane, U-boat, it was futuristic – as it turned out to imply this kind of acquiescence, no I don’t like that name. I still don’t really like the name.”

When the band formed more than 40 years ago, it was their manager that convinced the members U2 was a winning name. “Paul McGuinness, our first manager, did say, ‘Look, it’s a great name, it’s going to look good on a T-shirt, a letter and a number,’” Bono recalled, but that doesn't make him like it any more.

Though most of his vocal performances make him "cringe a little bit,” Bono did say that the 2004 single "Vertigo" is “probably is the one I’m proudest of.”

“It’s the way it connects with the crowd,” he explained.

He also had nothing bad to say about his bandmates — “the band sound[s] incredible" — it's just his "strained" voice that Bono can't get past.

"I was thinking out of my body. I wasn’t thinking about singing. I didn’t really think about changing keys. Did we ever change a key?” he contemplated before adding: “I do think U2 pushes out the boat on embarrassment quite a lot and maybe that’s the place to be as an artist, you know right at the edge of your level of embarrassment.”

Listen to the full interview below.

U2
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