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Bono says pressure to look ‘macho’ stopped him confessing his love for ABBA

“I didn’t have the courage to own up,” he admitted.


Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Bono (62) has confessed he did not have the “courage” to own up to his love for ABBA as he felt pressure to look “macho."

The U2 frontman is a big fan of the Swedish pop group, but spent many years staying silent on his fandom.

In a conversation with BBC Radio 2 alongside The Edge (61), the pair shared their love for “great songwriters who aren’t necessarily seen as very hip.”

Bono revealed he is a big fan of the Eurovision winners.

“I didn’t have the courage to own up to this next band when I was 16 in the middle of punk rock,” he admitted.

"But I did get to The Bee Gees and I was ready to own up to (the songs) Massachusetts and Tragedy – I mean these are just crazy good."

He added: "But there’s a bit of a macho ‘I don’t want to own up to ABBA’.

"But I’ll tell you what, they’re just better songs. You can’t be empirical about everything in art."

Abba were regarded as 'unhip' in the late 1970s, but Bono and The Edge are now lauding them. Photo: Getty© Getty Images

When he was growing up in Dublin throughout the 1970s, he said ABBA was “the national anthem for young mothers.”

"Certainly at closing time at our local pub, often young women would sing Thank You For The Music, and I would sing it and I was very thankful for the music.

"But I was like, what is this phenomenon? This is before their musicals and all that. What is going on with Abba?"

The U2 star was also open about his belief that they had “murdered” Dancing Queen with their rendition, recalling he invited Benny Andersson on stage in Stockholm in 1992.

A documentary following Bono and The Edge around Dublin – alongside US talkshow royalty David Letterman – is set to be released on Disney+ today.

Bono and the Edge: A Sort of Homecoming shows the American talk show host wrapped up against the elements while Bono and the Edge take him across the Ha’penny Bridge, through Templebar, and beyond.

They take him through their time in Dublin before hosting a gig in McDaid’s pup in the capital.

Their newest recent album U2: Songs of Surrender was also released today.

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