They were two of the biggest rockstars of the ’90s, but Bono and Michael Hutchence’s friendship met a sad end during that decade.
Bono had initially been close friends with the INXS icon and his partner, Paula Yates, who infamously started their relationship while the latter was still married to Bob Geldof (himself a good friend of Bono’s).
“Paula worshipped Michael at a time when he needed all the adoration he could get, things not going well on- and offstage for INXS,” Bono recalls in his memoir.
However, things didn’t go well for long. Bono says that he and his wife, Ali, soon realised that Yates and Hutchence’s relationship was “going to wrong, and that this intensity could not last a lifetime.”
According to Bono, the couple were soon in “free fall – spiralling down the vortex of a recreational drug use that had become hard for everyone, especially their family especially the younger ones.”
“As their behaviour changed, our friendship became strained, and we grew uncomfortable during their visits,” he writes.
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After the birth of their daughter, the wonderfully-named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence, in 1996, Hutchence and Yates asked Bono and Ali to be her godparents, but the offer was purposefully refused.
As Bono explains, he thought their rejection of being godparents would make the couple realise that the way they were living their life was unsustainable. “Friendship is not a sentimental business,” Bono writes.
It’s wasn’t meant to be, though, and their rejection only led to the two couples growing even further apart. Hutchence eventually died by suicide one year later at the age of 37, with Yates dying of a drug overdose in 2000 at the age of 41.
“Neither of us dreamed they’d both end up dead so soon,” Bono writes in his memoir. “Even now, I can’t believe I’ve just written that.”