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U2 Singer Bono Has Emergency Back Surgery Before Tour

Musician Bono
Recording artist Bono of the band U2 performs during the "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" event in Washington on Jan. 18, 2009. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Bono, the singer in U2, has had emergency back surgery, according to a statement on the band’s website.

The operation was needed for an injury sustained during tour preparation training, the statement said.

“He was admitted to a specialist neurosurgery unit in a Munich hospital,” and will spend the next few days there before returning home to recuperate, the statement said.

Bono, 50, whose real name is Paul Hewson, has led the Irish rock group for more than 30 years. U2 has sold more than 150 million records.

Concert promoter Live Nation, in a separate statement, said the Salt Lake City show planned for June 3 had been postponed. The group’s 360-Degree tour had been due to resume there and move across North America next month, with another appearance at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival also in June. The tour had other concerts planned across Europe through October. The only confirmed postponement is the June 3 gig, and the Live Nation statement said fans are encouraged to keep tickets until updated information can be provided.

The 360-Degree tour made more than $311 million from 44 shows in 2009, making it the highest-grossing of the year, according to Billboard.com. U2’s revenue exceeded the $222 million made by Madonna’s shows. Artists have been turning to live performances as revenue drops from CD sales.

“The band were really looking forward to getting back out on the road,” U2 manager Paul McGuinness said in an audio statement. “We hope to get things resolved as soon as possible.”

For more information, see http://www.U2.com.

To contact the writer on the story: Mark Beech in London at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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