“The Boss” stepped into the breach as Bono is recovering from a serious bike accident in Central Park last month. Bono is currently recovering from surgery in Dublin. His injuries include a facial fracture involving his left eye socket, plus a broken left shoulder blade and left elbow. He underwent a five-hour operation.
Former US president Bill Clinton opened the concert at Bono’s request.
Clinton said, “I got this email from Bono today recuperating in Dublin, and he said I had to come here tonight to do this intro.
He continued, “Twenty-six years ago we could have never had an event like this on World Aids Day because to be diagnosed with AIDS was the death sentence. A few years ago when Secretary of State Clinton said that we could end AIDS, a lot of people didn’t believe it. But this year for the first time ever, more people were put on life saving medicine than were diagnosed with AIDS.”
The crowd cheered loudly when he said “We are going to win this fight.”
Via a video message President Barack Obama said, “We’re closer than we’ve ever been to achieving the extraordinary – an AIDS-free generation,” he said.
“We got to keep fighting, all of us.”
Martin told the crowds, “Sending my love to Bono.”
Springsteen sang “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with backing from U2 boys The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. Despite the rain, hundreds gathered to watch the one off show. Martin took the lead for “Beautiful Day” and “With or Without You.”
The show, dubbed “U2 Minus 1 – Live in New York Tonight” also included Carrie Underwood and Kanye West, who performed “Jesus Walks,” “Power,” and “Stronger.”
In a statement from Dublin Bono said, “This year is a World AIDS Day like no other. The world reached a tipping point in the fight against AIDS – more people were newly added to life-saving treatment than were newly infected with the virus. A lot of people are calling it the beginning of the end of AIDS.”
The website also said Bruce and Chris “graciously donated their time and talents to save the World AIDS Day event from cancellation.”