“There’s one love, and we get to share it,” according to U2’s Bono in the lyrics to the band’s 1991 single, “One.” Sunday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Bono shared the love with a stadium full of fans — and a couple giants of the business and philanthropic community.
With guitarist The Edge playing the introduction to the song, Bono walked a platform into the center of the crowd.
“Next to my bandmates and my wife, Ali, no one has encouraged me more in my activism, therefore our activism, than Bill and Melinda Gates,” Bono said, in a nod to the Microsoft co-founder and his wife. “I want to give it up to them. Sometimes it is luminous figures that light the way. But oftentimes, it is social movements that lead the way.”
Bono and Bill Gates have been longtime partners in the ONE campaign in the fight against global poverty, hunger and preventable disease.
“We have 8 million members in the ONE Campaign, and that scares the shit out of politicians,” Bono said. “Nothing scares the shit out of politicians more than millions of people getting organized. That’s how it should be — the government should fear its citizens, not the other way around.”
Bono also thanked Starbucks and new CEO Kevin Johnson for contributing to RED, another Bono-led initiative, aimed at helping people and businesses join the fight against HIV. Starbucks has contributed more than $14 million to the Global Fund to help finance HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment programs during an 8-year partnership with RED.
“Eighteen million lives saved, largely led by the American people, the American taxpayer, left and right, both working together,” Bono said of the fight against HIV. He said the fight is not just happening in government, it’s also happening in commerce, as he saluted the RED Zone at CenturyLink and “Starbucks for turning RED.”
Two and a half minutes later, the band launched into “One,” with Bono singing, “We get to carry each other, carry each other.”