Ali Claims Royalties for “The Sweetest Thing”

Irish Independent by Dan McGinn (1998-09-21)

WRITING a song, staging a carnival through the centre of Dublin and saying sorry in front of U2’s fans was not enough for Ali Hewson, it emerged today. The Dublin band’s lead singer Bono has revealed U2 is also giving over the rights to its forthcoming single `The Sweetest Thing’ to Ali Hewson’s favourite charity – the Children of Chernobyl.

Royalties for the song, which was written by Bono by way of an apology to his wife Ali for missing her birthday because of recording commitments, will go to the Cork-based charity which brings children from the nuclear contaminated city to stay with Irish families.

A video for `The Sweetest Thing’ was shot in the centre of Dublin on Sunday in brilliant Indian summer sunshine with Bono and the band staging a carnival through the centre of the city in front of Kevin Godley’s cameras.

And speaking to RTE television from the shoot against the backdrop of a street banner bearing the incription `I’m So Sorry,’ Bono revealed to reporters Ali insisted when he wrote the song for her that the royalties
should go to the charity headed by former Irish Presidential candidate and close friend, Adi Roche.

But he also revealed U2 exacted its own price in return.

“Well we insisted if the song is written for her and the royalties are going to the charity of her choice which is the Children of Chernobyl, then she better appear in the video.”

Taking part in the U2 carnival were Dublin boy band Boyzone, Riverdance star Jean Butler, former world champion boxer Steve Collins, acclaimed Galway street troupe Macnas (resurrecting the U2 figures that appeared on the Zooropa tour), a circus elephant and the Artane Boys marching Band.

The video for The Sweetest Thing will be aired on Irish television within the next fortnight.

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