Published 12: 47 PM EDT May 10, 2020
In celebration of his 60th birthday, Bono is looking back on the music that shaped him.
The U2 frontman rang in a new decade Sunday in an appropriately musical way: He shared a playlist of 60 songs that he “couldn’t have lived without.”
Bono paid tribute to the songs “that got me from there to here, 0 to 60” in a series of letters shared on the band’s connection. “I wanted to thank the artists, try to explain my fascination,” he wrote, thanking them for creating content that got him “through all the scrapes, all manner of nuisance, from the serious to the silly. And the joy, mostly joy.”
The list includes classic oldies, like The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and David Bowie’s “Heroes,” plus newer hits like Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Billie Eilish’s “everything i wanted.”
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“My ears long for such empty spaces to wander, to sneak away from the density of digital surfaces with too much information,” he wrote in a letter addressed to Eilish (and brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell). “I step inside your song and it’s a black beauty, achingly, awesomely vulnerable and terrifying, fearless and worrisome, but you are not worried by all that… I think of Carole King. I think of Roy Orbison. But just like them, this never existed before you did.”
Other artists featured in the playlist include The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Andrea Bocelli, Elvis Presley, Prince, Madonna, Adele, R.E.M, Beyonce, Simon and Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen.
Check out the full Spotify playlist below: