The founding member of U2 turns 51 years old tomorrow.

David Howell "The Edge" Evans was born August 8, 1961 in Essex, England and raised in Ireland.

He's the guitarist for U2 as well as the backing vocalist and keyboardist.

Well-known for the distinctive sound to his guitar playing due to a delay effect that can perhaps best be described as a ringing, shimmering, chiming sound, The Edge has created the signature sound of U2 with it.

Rolling Stone magazine placed him at number 38 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in 2011.

In 1991, The Edge had this to say about his distinct minimalist approach to guitar playing:

"Notes actually do mean something. They have power. I think of notes as being expensive. You don't just throw them around".

And like a certain other member of the band (and in fact like all the members of U2), The Edge has worked for human rights and philanthropic causes to address issues of poverty, disease and social injustice.

He co-founded Music Rising to support musicians who were victims of Hurricane Katrina.

U2 fans should be psyched that last month it was announced that U2 will release a new album in 2013.

Happy birthday to a unique artist who continues to create his magic in his own special way.


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