Saturday, May 25, 2024

Full Stop: Bono, U2 Have Left Madonna’s Manager for Harry Styles’ (Also The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, John Mayer)


Bono and U2 have ended their relationship with Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary. They were with him for nine years.

(I must have missed this announcement, which was made a month ago on Yom Kippur. All that fasting…)

Wisely, U2 has moved on to the legendary auspices of Irving Azoff and his son Jeffrey, credited with turning Harry Styles into a superstar. Azoff, a rock and roll titan, also counts The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayer, and Earth Wind & Fire among his knockout clients.

U2 was ready for a refresh. Their last few albums — while terrific — have been sales busts. Some of this is credited to the group’s collaboration with Apple eight years ago when the iPhone came with a U2 album no one asked for. The result was very bad publicity. Bono takes full responsibility for the project in his new book, absolving Oseary.

Since then, Oseary has signed, apart from his longterm friend Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers. But they are hardly U2, which could fill a huge void in 2023 with a new album and world tour.

Signing with the Azoffs’ Full Stop is a no brainer. I have never seen anything like the Harry Styles situation in decades. The Azoffs signed Styles when he was in One Direction, and have moved him only in one direction since — UP. They deserve an award for genius in this matter.

So that’s why Oseary was not on hand last night for Bono’s “Surrender” book launch, which has been marketed and merched to the nth degree. No stone left unturned. Bravo!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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