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U2 Will Be Jimmy Fallon's First Musical Guests on 'The Tonight Show'

Will Smith will also join the host for his debut

Bono of U2 performs in Beverly Hills, California.
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization
January 19, 2014 8:47 PM ET

Jimmy Fallon is starting his new gig off with a bang: U2 will be the talk show host's first musical guests when he takes over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno next month. Fallon's music booker, Jonathan Cohen, announced the news on Twitter Sunday evening.

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According to Variety, Will Smith will also join Fallon as he makes his debut in the role on February 17th. The show will air at midnight on NBC, following the Winter Olympics broadcast.

U2 just received an Oscar nomination for their song "Ordinary Love" from the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, a few days after taking home the Best Original Song Golden Globe. The Irish rockers have spent much of the past year recording and are rumored to be releasing their first studio album in nearly five years this coming April.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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