Irish rock superstars U2 were recognised for their contributions to American culture and the performing arts with a lifetime achievement award at the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors, held in Washington DC on December 4.
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder was among the stars paying tribute to the quartet on the night, performing a stunning cover of the band’s emotional anthem One, released in 1992 as the third single from U2’s hugely successful Achtung Baby album, and Elevation, from 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
And you can now watch newly-released official footage of Vedder’s powerful take on One, a version which earned a standing ovation from U2 members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.
Watch the footage below:
Vedder’s respectful salute was markedly different from the ‘tribute’ paid to U2 on the night by Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy character Borat.
Telling the star-studded audience that he was in attendance “to make congratulation to Irish rocking roll band by the name of Me Too”, Borat informed the band that he had “a message for you from my Premiere, hot off the fax.”
Reading out a message in the Kazakh language, Borat helpfully translated the fax into English, revealing that it said: ‘Please remove your wretched album from my new iPhone 6.’
“Your band fight oppression around the world,” Borat continued. “Stop it! Do not come to Kazakhstan with your goody two shoes meddling or you will be placed on our new stretching machines and your bodies will move in mysterious ways.”
US President Joe Biden paid a rather more sincere tribute to the Dublin quartet.
“For more than 40 years, U2 has changed the world,” he stated. “Anthems about civil rights, solidarity of workers, the struggle for peace. Ballads about love and family. Concerts dedicated to ending poverty and disease. From this Irish American president in a White House designed by … Irish hands, who built this and designed it, I want to thank U2 for all you’ve done and the way you lift people up.”