| 18.8°C Dublin

U2's three-decade long record of No 1s smashed by 'miracle' Hozier

Close

Hozier’s self-titled debut album has held the top spot for a fourth consecutive week

Hozier’s self-titled debut album has held the top spot for a fourth consecutive week

Hozier’s self-titled debut album has held the top spot for a fourth consecutive week

BRAY singer Hozier has beaten U2 to the top of the charts, dramatically smashing the supergroup's record of Number 1 albums in Ireland on the first week of their release.

And in an ironic twist, the record-breaking news comes in the same week that Bono admitted to not knowing the Take me to Church singer is a fellow Irish man.

Hozier's self-titled debut album has held the top spot for a fourth consecutive week, leaving U2's Songs of Innocence shafted to the Number 2 spot - their first time not to debut at No 1 in Ireland since the release of The Joshua Tree in 1987.

U2 gave away Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes last month.

According to the UK's Official Charts Company midweek update, U2 are poised to enter the British charts at number four tomorrow - their lowest UK chart position for three decades. Since 1983, all of the band's studio albums have shot straight to the top, except for Achtung Baby, which was pipped by Michael Jackson's Dangerous in 1991.

Speaking about rapidly rising star Hozier during a BBC radio interview this week, Bono said: "I stopped in my car to listen to him and I was raving about him over the weekend, when someone said to me: 'You know he's from a mile down the road?'

"I'd no idea he was Irish."

In fact the 24-year-old Wicklow musician, whose debut album is currently at No 2 on the US Billboard charts, lives just 5km away from Bono's Killiney home. Although Bono has never met Hozier, he said he is a "big fan" of the singer-songwriter and even described his talent as "a miracle".

Speaking to BBC's Jo Whiley last week, Bono and The Edge rejected criticism on their decision to sell their album to Apple for free on iTunes. "We wanted to make sure the songs were heard. We were trying to think of ways to break through the noise. The charts are broken - they are a record of what good people who are paying for music are listening to, but they're not a record of what people are listening to," said Bono, who also revealed this weekend that he always wears dark shades because he has glaucoma.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show on Friday night, the singer said he didn't want people thinking, "ah, poor old blind Bono". He said he has had the condition for 20 years and is going "to be fine".

Sunday Independent