U2 and MLK

Chris Higgins
YouTube / YouTube

In 1984, Irish rockers U2 released The Unforgettable Fire, an album featuring two prominent tributes to Martin Luther King, Jr. The songs were called "MLK" and "Pride (in the Name of Love)." Those songs (along with his humanitarian work) earned singer Bono the King Center's "Salute to Greatness Award" in 2004. As we celebrate King's life today, let's look back at these songs.

First up, "MLK." An odd bit of historical trivia: "MLK" was supposed to be the closing credits music to the movie Donnie Darko. The production couldn't afford the rights to the song, so instead used a now-iconic cover version of the Tears for Fears track "Mad World" instead, featuring Gary Jules. Now, if you've seen Donnie Darko, imagine this is happening instead of "Mad World":

And now, "Pride (in the Name of Love)," another MLK-inspired song from The Unforgettable Fire. Note that "early morning, April 4" is an incorrect reference to the time of King's assassination; the shooting actually occurred around 6pm that evening. In live performances, Bono often swaps out "early evening" instead.

U2 also performed "Pride (in the Name of Love)" at the huge "We Are One" concert leading up to Barack Obama's first inauguration.

If you don't have The Unforgettable Fire, there's a gigantic "Super Deluxe Edition" with two discs of remastered audio and a DVD of extras.