U2 freebie rakes in $3 million to combat AIDS

Musician and activist Bono speaks during a discussion on ending poverty on November 14, 2012 in the atrium of the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN

LOS ANGELES: Rock group U2's new single "Invisible" raised more than $3 million for the fight against AIDS during the 36 hours it was available for free on iTunes, it was revealed Tuesday.

It scored more than one million downloads in the hour after it premiered in a Bank of America commercial during Sunday's Super Bowl, then picked up two million more until the free offer ended Monday midnight (0500 GMT Tuesday.)

With the second-biggest bank in the United States pledging one dollar for every download, "Invisible" raised more than $3 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The song now is selling on iTunes for $1.29 with all proceeds going to the Global Fund, said (RED), a charity co-founded in 2006 by U2 frontman Bono to engage big consumer brands in AIDS fund-raising, in a statement.

"We are very thrilled with this, 'Invisible', it sounds great and it feels good," Bono told Britain's BBC Radio One pop music station Monday. "We're just delighted there are still people very interested in us."

The Bank of America, which made $3.4 billion last year, has committed $10 million over two years to fight AIDS in a partnership with (RED) and U2 announced in January.

(RED) chief executive Deborah Dugan said: "These are much-needed funds for the fight to end the AIDS pandemic in our lifetime and to get closer to the goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015."





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