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Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen (R) performs with The Edge from U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening

Bruce Springsteen (R) performs with The Edge from U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs with Adam Clayton of U2 (R) during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs with Adam Clayton of U2 (R) during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening

The Edge and Bruce Springsteen (R) perform during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)

The Edge and Bruce Springsteen (R) perform during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York December 1, 2014. Springsteen filled in for U2's injured lead singer Bono on Monday evening. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEALTH)

Chris Martin performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Chris Martin performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

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Bruce Springsteen performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014

BONO may have been too ill to attend the New York concert marking World Aids Day, but he had some top-notch understudies.

"The Boss" Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin of Coldplay stepped in for the U2 frontman, who is recovering from a serious bike accident, at the Times Square concert.

Springsteen performed Where The Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For alongside Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr, all in front of several hundred fans who stood in the rain in Times Square.

Coldplay frontman Martin, who wore a T-shirt that read "Substitu2," sang Beautiful Day and With Or Without You, and told the crowd he was: "sending my love to Bono."

Springsteen said he hoped he was recovering in Dublin.

But despite his absence, Bono managed to convince former US president Bill Clinton to attend with an email.

Clinton read an email Bono had sent him earlier in the day:

"I got this email from Bono today recuperating in Dublin, and he said I had to come here tonight to do this intro," Mr Clinton said.

"Twenty-six years ago it wouldn't have been possible to have a concert in Times Square on World AIDS Day because to be diagnosed with AIDS was a death sentence. A few years ago when Secretary of State Clinton said that we could end AIDS, a lot of people didn't believe it.

"But this year, for the first time ever, more people were put on life-saving medicine than were diagnosed with AIDS. We are going to win this fight."

The concert, billed U2 Minus 1 - Live in New York Tonight, also featured a pregnant Carrie Underwood and Kanye West, who was energetic when he performed hits including Jesus Walks, Power, and Stronger.

President Barack Obama appeared in a video that played on a large screen.

hnews@herald.ie


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