U2 guitarist The Edge makes history as he rocks Sistine Chapel for cancer

Sun May 1, 2016 9:30am EDT
 
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By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Edge, lead guitarist with the Irish band U2, has become the first rock star to play in the Sistine Chapel, a venue he described as "the most beautiful parish hall in the world".

The performer, whose real name is David Evans, sang four songs on Saturday night for about 200 doctors, researchers and philanthropists who attended a conference at the Vatican on regenerative medicine called Cellular Horizons.

Backed by a choir of seven Irish teenagers, and wearing his trademark black beanie cap, he played acoustic guitar and sang a cover of Leonard Cohen's "If it be your will", and versions of U2 songs "Yahweh", "Ordinary love" and "Walk on".

The Edge, whose father died last month from cancer and whose daughter overcame leukemia, is on the board of foundations working for cancer prevention.

He joked with his audience, telling them he was stunned when asked to play in the chapel which was painted by Renaissance master Michelangelo in the 16th century.

"When they asked me if I wanted to become the first contemporary artist to play in the Sistine Chapel, I didn't know what to say because usually there's this other guy who sings," the musician said, referring to U2 front man Bono.

"Being Irish you learn very early that if you want to be asked to come back it's very important to thank the local parish priest for the loan of the hall," he said.

He then thanked Pope Francis and other Vatican officials "for allowing us to use the most beautiful parish hall in the world".   Continued...

 
U2 guitarist David Evans, also known by his stage name The Edge, poses with Irish bishop Paul Tighe (R) before listening to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Paul VI hall at the Vatican April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo