U2 and Bono named ‘least influential figures of 2014’ by GQ

Free release of band's controversial new album puts them ahead of Barack Obama and racist Donald Sterling

U2 and Bono have been named as GQ’s ‘least influential’ people of 2014, beating US President Barack Obama and former LA Lakers owner Donald Sterling to the dubious title.

The US magazine selected U2 after the release of their latest album ‘Songs Of Innocence’ led to many criticising the band. Justifying their first place spot, GQ referenced the rumoured fee that the band received from Apple to use their album in such a way. “Yes, $100 million to turn U2’s socially conscious dad-rock into a piece of direct mail.”

U2 and Apple ‘gifted’ 500 million iTunes users with their new album in September. Following complaints over the unconventional release, Apple released a tool to allow its customers to remove ‘Songs Of Innocence’ from their devices with just one click.

Other names on the list include actor Johnny Depp, who has endured a series of box office flops in the past 12 months, plus CNN, Ferguson, Missouri governor Jay Nixon and the writers of How I Met Your Mother.

U2’s decision to release their album for free drew a large amount of criticism from musicians and music lovers alike. The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney said that U2 “devalued their music completely” while Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters said the album “sounded like a fart”.

News of their decreased influence arrives as Bono recovers from a recent bike accident as well as an incident in which the rear door of his private jet fell off midway though a flight from Dublin to Berlin.

As reported, the U2 frontman was on board his £50 million Learjet 60 D-CGEO with four friends heading to the Bambi International Music awards when the incident took place on November 12.