U2 to receive Sonny Bono Visionary Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival this weekend

The group will receive the award for their soundtrack to Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

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U2 are set to receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival this weekend for their track ‘Ordinary Love’, which is featured on the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

The award is traditionally given to directors, however, in its 25th year, the festival has decided to bestow the honour upon the Irish rock group to reward their humanitarian work and other charitable actions.

Speaking about the decision, festival chairman Harold Matzner said the following: "We normally present the Sonny Bono Visionary Award to a director, but for our 25th anniversary we wanted to take the occasion to celebrate U2, a visionary group and the world's premier rock band, for their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice. Their latest song 'Ordinary Love' . . . is an ode to Nelson Mandela, who had such a powerful impact on our world, and a man whom the band worked with in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa."

The Sonny Bono Visionary Award – named after the late performer, actor and politician who passed away in 1998 – has previously been given to filmmakers including Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino and Baz Lurhman, while other people due to be recognized at this year’s ceremony include Tom Hanks, Steve McQueen and Sandra Bullock. ‘Ordinary Love’, meanwhile, has also been nominated for a Golden Globe award.

It was recently reported that U2 would return to their “spiritual home” of Island Records to release their forthcoming new album. The label discovered the quartet in the 1970s, but U2 moved to Mercury just over seven years ago after a change in staffing. A source, however, has claimed that the band will return to their former home for their next release, which is rumoured to be due in April 2014.

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