Bono (müzisyen)

Bono, Dünya Ekonomik Forumu'nda (24 Ocak 2008)

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Paul David Hewson  NICKNAME: "Bono Vox"


10 Mayıs 1960 (53 yaşında)  Dublinİrlanda


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RockPost-punkAlternatif rock

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Paul David Hewson (d. 10 Mayıs1960Dublinİrlandaİrlandalı rock grubu U2'nin solisti ve şarkı sözü yazarıAfrika'daki gelir seviyesi düşük ülkeler için birçok organizasyonlar düzenledi. Bunun sonucunda aldığı çok sayıda ödülün yanında 2005 yılında Time Dergisi tarafından "Yılın Adamı" seçildi,İngiltere hükümeti tarafından şövalye ilan edildi, ve "Nobel Barış Ödülü"ne aday gösterildi. Rolling Stone dergisinin hazırladığı Tüm Zamanların En İyi 100 Şarkıcısı listesinde 32. sırada yer aldı.

Zenginlerin dergisi olarak bilinen ABD`li Forbes`a 2006 yılının Ağustos ayında ortak oldu. Bono`nun Forbes`a, kurulan Elevation adlı yatırım şirketi aracılığıyla ortak olduğu belirtildi. Müziğin yanı sıra, başta Afrika olmak üzere, dünyadaki yoksul insanların sayısını azaltmak gibi sosyal projelere de imza atan Bono`nun, daha önce iki kez ABD Başkanlığı için adaylığını açıklayan Steve Forbes`a ait, 89 yıllık köklü bir geçmişe sahip olan dergiye ortak olması piyasalarda büyük yankı uyandırdı. Açıklamada Elevation Partners adlı fon şirketi, Türkiye`de de yayınlanan derginin yayıncısı Forbes Media`nın azınlık hisselerini satın aldığı belirtildi. Resmi rakam açıklanmazken, piyasa analistleri Elevation`un Forbes hisselerinin yüzde 40`lık bölümüne 400 milyon dolarlık ödeme yapıldığını kaydediyor. Hisse satışını değerlendiren Forbes CEO`su Steve Forbes, `Yeni ortağımız büyüme konusunda bizlere yeni fırsatlar verecek` dedi. Elevation isimli fon şirketinin ortakları arasında Apple Computer`in eski Finans Müdürü Fred Anderson, Blackstone Başkan Yardımcısı Bret Pearlman da bulunuyor. Forbes dergisi özellikle yaptığı zengin işadamları sıralamasıyla tanınıyor.


Bono is the frontman of the Irish rock band U2. He's also known for participating in global charity efforts.

Bono was born Paul David Hewson on May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland. He joined U2 while still in high school. Their sixth album The Joshua Tree, made them international stars. Bono has used his celebrity to call attention to global problems, including world poverty, and AIDS. Bono was named a "Person of the Year" by TIME magazine in 2005, and Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary knight in 2007.

Early Life

Born Paul David Hewson on May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland, Bono is the son of a Roman Catholic postal worker and a Protestant mother—who died when the boy was just 14. He joined the band U2 in October 1976, when he was in high school, and was dubbed "Bono Vox" (good voice). He was made frontman for the Irish rock band though his singing at the time was less compelling than his stage presence.

Success With U2

U2 began touring almost immediately and released its first album, Boy, in 1980. In 1987, they released the Grammy-winning The Joshua Tree, their sixth album and the one that catapulted the band—and its outspoken frontman—to stardom. Subsequent albums secured U2's reputation for range and innovation, including 1991's industrial-sounding Achtung Baby, 1993's funkier-edged Zooropa and the techno-influenced Pop (1997). U2 has returned to its modern rock roots with 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. Creating simple but powerful music, the group scored with such tracks as the soaring "Beautiful Day," which won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of Year. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004) also fared well, both commercially and critically. Its two leading singles, "Vertigo" and "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," made strong showings on the charts and won several Grammys. In March 2009, the band released No Line on the Horizon, which reached the top of the American pop charts. It featured such popular songs as "Get On Your Boots" and "Magnificent." To support the album, Bono and the rest of the group toured extensively.

Music for Activism

Throughout U2's career, Bono has written most of the band's lyrics, often focusing on untraditional themes like politics and religion. In fact, social activism has always been close to the singer's heart, and he has used his music to raise consciousness with performances at Band Aid, Live 8 and Net Aid, among others.

In 2006, U2 joined forces with the punk-influenced band Green Day to record a cover of the Skids' "The Saints Are Coming" to benefit the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The next year, Bono and the rest of U2 contributed the title track to Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.


Starting the Organization One

Outside of music, Bono has used his celebrity to generate awareness about many global problems. Over the years, he has met with world leaders and many U.S. politicians to discuss such issues as debt relief for developing countries, world poverty and AIDS. Bono has also lobbied tirelessly on behalf of many causes, including two he helped create. DATA, which stands for Debt AIDS Trade Africa, is dedicated to fighting AIDS and ending poverty in Africa. Started in 2004, One is a nonpartisan campaign to "Make Poverty History" and is supported by more than 100 nonprofit organizations as well as millions of individuals, including celebrities like Ben AffleckGwyneth Paltrowand Brad Pitt. In 2005, Bono and his wife Ali Hewson established EDUN, a socially responsible clothing line. While it is a for-profit enterprise, its mission is to foster "sustainable employment in developing areas of the world, particularly Africa," according to its website. Bono was named a "Person of the Year" by TIME magazine for his charitable work that same year, along with Bill and Melinda Gates. Across the Atlantic, Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary knight of the British Empire in 2007.


Composer, Producer for 'Spider-Man'

Bono eventually turned his sights towards Broadway. Along with U2 band mate The Edge, he worked on music and lyrics while serving as producer for the live theatrical show, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which opened in 2011. The musical, originally directed by Julie Taymor, had a tumultuous road to its opening, with Bono and Taymor falling out and later becoming embroiled in legal battles over copyright infringement and contractual stipulations.

In early 2013, Bono elicited more media buzz over his non-musical work, giving a TED talk on being a "factivist" when it comes to ending global poverty. It has been announced that he and his band have also been working on another album tentatively called 10 Reasons to Exist.

Bono and his wife, Ali, have been married since 1982. They have two daughters, Jordan and Memphis Eve, and two sons, Elijah and John Abraham.


Bono at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

Birth name

Paul David Hewson

Also known as

Bono, Bono Vox


10 May 1960 (age 53) Dublin, Ireland


Finglas,[1] County Dublin, Ireland


Rockpost-punkalternative rock


Musician, singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist

Years active


Associated acts




Gretsch Irish Falcon / Gretsch Country Club

Bono's signature

Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono (/ˈbɒn/, is an Irish singer, musician, venture capitalist, businessman and activist.[2] He is best recognized as the frontman, primary vocalist and lyricist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, and the future members of U2.[3][4][5] Bono writes almost all U2 lyrics, frequently using religious, social and political themes.[6][7] During U2's early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to their rebellious and spiritual tone.[6] As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members.[4][6]

Outside the band, he has collaborated and recorded with numerous artists,[8][9][10] is managing director and a managing partner of Elevation Partners,[11] and has refurbished and owns The Clarence Hotel in Dublin with The Edge.[12][13] Bono is also widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATAEDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red.[4][14] He has organised and played in several benefit concerts and has met with influential politicians.[14][15][16] Bono has been praised and criticised for his activism and involvement with U2.[17][18][19] He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, and, with Bill and Melinda Gates, was named Time Person of the Year in 2005,[17][20][21] among other awards and nominations. On 17 July 2013, the BBC announced that Bono had been made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters).

Early life

Bono was born in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, on 10 May 1960.[22] He was raised in the Northside suburb of Finglas[1] with his brother, Norman Robert Hewson (who is eight years older than Bono), by their mother Iris (née Rankin), a member of the Church of Ireland and their father, Brendan Robert "Bob" Hewson, a Roman Catholic.[3][4] His parents initially agreed that the first child would be raised Anglican and the second Catholic.[23]Although Bono was the second child, he also attended Church of Ireland services with his mother and brother.[23]

The hearing aid shop, Bonavox, that provided Hewson with the nickname "Bono Vox".

He went to the local primary Glasnevin National School.[24] Bono was 14 when his mother died on 10 September 1974 after suffering a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral.[4] Many U2 songs, including "I Will Follow", "Mofo", "Out of Control", "Lemon" and "Tomorrow" focus on the loss of his mother.[4][25][26]Other songs focus on the theme of childhood vs. maturity, such as "Into the Heart", "Twilight" and "Stories for Boys".[citation needed]

Bono attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School, a multi denominational school in Clontarf. During his childhood and adolescence, Bono and his friends were part of a surrealist street gang called "Lypton Village". Bono met one of his closest friends, Guggi, in Lypton Village.[27] The gang had a ritual of nickname-giving. Bono had several names: first, he was "Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang",[27] then just "Huyseman", followed by "Houseman", "Bon Murray", "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street", and finally just "Bono".[4]

After he left school, his father Bob Hewson, gave him a time limit telling him he could live at home for one year but if he wasn't able to pay his own way, he would have to get a job or leave the house.[27]

"Bono Vox" is an alteration of Bonavox, a Latin phrase which translates to "good voice". It is said he was nicknamed "Bono Vox" by his friend Gavin Friday. He initially disliked the name; however, when he learned it translated to "good voice", he accepted it. Hewson has been known as "Bono" since the late 1970s. Although he uses Bono as his stage name, close family and friends also refer to him as Bono, including fellow band members.[4] While his wife refers to him as Bono, when speaking to him she calls him 'B' according to Bono.[citation needed]

Personal life

Bono and Ali Hewson at their daughter's graduation ceremony at Columbia College, Columbia University in May 2012

Bono is married to Alison Hewson (née Stewart).[5] The couple has four children: daughters Jordan (b. 10 May 1989) and Memphis Eve (b. 7 July 1991) and sons Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (b. 17 August 1999) and John Abraham (b. 20 May 2001).[28]

Bono is almost never seen in public without sunglasses. During a Rolling Stone interview he stated:

[I have] very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.[29]

In 2002, he was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a poll conducted among the general public,[30] despite the fact he is Irish. In May 2010, Bono suffered a spinal injury while preparing for a U2 tour, and was taken to a German clinic in Munich for emergency neurosurgery.[31][32] The entire North American leg was postponed and rescheduled for 2011.[33][34] In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania.[35] Bono was named one of the 17 Irish artists to be proud of by the Irish Post on April 9, 2013.[36] Forbes magazine ranked him at the 8th place on its list of the "Most Influential Celebrities" in 2013; he was the only person from the music industry in the Top 10.[37]

Musical career


Bono on stage in 1983

Main article: U2

On 25 September 1976, Bono, David Evans ("The Edge"), his brother Dik and Adam Clayton responded to an advertisement on a bulletin board at Mount Temple posted by fellow student Larry Mullen Jr. to form a rock band. The band had occasional jam sessions in which they did covers of other bands. Tired of long guitar solos and hard rock, Bono wanted to play Rolling Stones and Beach Boys songs. Unfortunately the band could not play covers very well, so they started writing their own songs.

The band went by the name "Feedback" for a few months, before changing to "The Hype" later on. After Dik Evans left the group to join another local band, the Virgin Prunes, the remaining four officially changed the name from "The Hype" to "U2". Initially Bono sang, played guitar and wrote the band's songs. He said of his early guitar playing in a 1982 interview, "When we started out I was the guitar player, along with the Edge—except I couldn't play guitar. I still can't. I was such a lousy guitar player that one day they broke it to me that maybe I should sing instead. I had tried before, but I had no voice at all. I remember the day I found I could sing. I said, 'Oh, that's how you do it.'".[38] When The Edge's guitar playing improved, Bono was relegated mostly to the microphone, although he occasionally still plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. As of 2006, Bono has taken piano lessons from his children's piano teacher as a means to improve his songwriting.[39]

Bono writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, which are often rich in social and political themes.[6] His lyrics frequently allude to a religious connection or meaning, evident in songs such as "Gloria" from the band's album October and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from The Joshua Tree.[7] During the band's early years, Bono was known for his rebellious tone which turned to political anger and rage during the band's WarThe Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum eras.[6] Following the Enniskillen bombing that left 11 dead and 63 injured on 8 November 1987, theProvisional IRA paramilitaries threatened to kidnap Bono.[4] IRA supporters also attacked a vehicle carrying the band members.[4] These acts were in response to his speech condemning theRemembrance Day Bombing during a live performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday".[4] The singer had been advised to cut his on-stage outburst from the Rattle and Hum film, but it was left in.[40]Also featured in the film is footage of Bono spray-painting a monument during an outdoor performance; Bono was forced to pay a fine.

Bono as his alter-ego "The Fly" on the Zoo TV Tour in 1992

U2's sound and focus dramatically changed with their 1991 album, Achtung Baby. Bono's lyrics became more personal, inspired by experiences related to the private lives of the members of the band.[4][6] During the band's Zoo TV Tour several of his stage personas were showcased; these included "The Fly", a stereotypical rock star, the "Mirror Ball Man", a parody of American televangelists, and "Mr. MacPhisto", a combination of a corrupted rock star and theDevil.[4][6]

During performances he attempts to interact with the crowd as often as possible and is known for pulling audience members onto the stage or moving himself down to the physical level of the audience.[4] This has happened on several occasions including at the Live Aid concert in 1985 where he leapt off the stage and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her as the band played "Bad", and in 2005 during U2's Vertigo Tour stop in Chicago, where he pulled a boy onto the stage during the song "An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart".[4][41] Bono has often allowed fans to come on stage and perform songs with the band.

Bono has won numerous awards with U2, including 22 Grammy awards and the 2003 Golden Globe award for best original song, "The Hands That Built America", for the film Gangs of New York.[18][42] During the live broadcast of the ceremony, Bono called the award "really, really fucking brilliant!".[43] In response, the Parents Television Council condemned Bono for his profanity and started a campaign for its members to file complaints with the FCC.[44] Although Bono's use of "fuck" violated FCC indecency standards, the FCC refused to fine NBC because the network did not receive advance notice of the consequences of broadcasting such profanity and the profanity in question was not used in its literal sexual meaning.[45]

U2 performing at Madison Square Garden in November 2005.

In 2005, the U2 band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year of eligibility.[46] In November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Bono the 32nd-greatest singer of all-time.[47]

Bono and his bandmates were criticised in 2007 for moving part of their multi-million euro song catalogue from Ireland to Amsterdam six months before Ireland ended a tax exemption on musicians' royalties.[19][48] Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low to non-existent tax rates.[19] U2's manager,Paul McGuinness, stated that the arrangement is legal and customary and businesses often seek to minimise their tax burdens.[19] The move prompted criticisms in the Irish parliament.[49][50] The band later responded by stating that approximately 95% of their business took place outside Ireland, and that they were taxed globally because of this.[51] Bono was one of several super-rich figures whose tax arrangements were singled out for criticism in a report by the charity Christian Aid in 2008.[52]


In addition to his work with U2, he has collaborated with Frank Sinatra,[8] Johnny Cash,[9] Willie Nelson,[53] Luciano Pavarotti,[54] Sinéad O'Connor,[55]Green DayRoy Orbison,[56] Bob Dylan,[10] Tina Turner,[57] B.B. King and Zucchero.[58][59][60] 

He has recorded with Ray Charles,[61] Quincy Jones,Kirk Franklin,[62] Bruce Springsteen,[63] Tony Bennett,[64] Clannad,[65] The Corrs,[66] Wyclef Jean,[67] Kylie Minogue,[68] Carl Perkins,[69] Jay-Z and Rihanna, as well as reportedly completing an unreleased duet with Jennifer Lopez.[70] On Robbie Robertson's 1987 eponymous album, he plays bass guitar and vocals.[71] On Michael Hutchence's 1999 posthumous eponymous album, Bono completed a recording of "Slide Away" as a duet with Hutchence.[72]

Bono and The Edge also wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. On 25 May 2011, a single titled "Rise Above 1" by Reeve Carney featuring Bono and The Edge was released digitally.[73] The music video was released on 28 July 2011.[74]

Philanthropic work

Bono with then President Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2006

Bono has become one of the world's best-known philanthropic performers and was named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by theNational Journal.[75][76][77] He has been dubbed, "the face of fusion philanthropy",[78] both for his success enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum of leaders in government, religious institutions, philanthropic organisations, popular media, and the business world, as well as for spearheading new organizational networks that bind global humanitarian relief with geopolitical activism and corporate commercial enterprise.[79]

In a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono explained that he was motivated to become involved in social and political causes by seeing one of the Secret Policeman's Ball benefit shows, staged by John Cleese and producer Martin Lewis for the human-rights organisation Amnesty Internationalin 1979.[80] "I saw 'The Secret Policeman’s Ball' and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed...". In 2001, Bono arranged for U2 to videotape a special live performance for that year's Amnesty benefit show.

In 1984, Bono sang on the Band Aid single "Do They Know it's Christmas?/Feed the World" (a role that was reprised on the 2004 Band Aid 20 single of the same name).[81] Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organise the 2005 Live 8[S2]  project, where U2 also performed.[16] Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy Of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting.[15] U2 also performed in the Band Aid[S3]  and Live Aid projects, organised by Bob Geldof.[82]

Bono and then-U.S. President George W. Bush in 2006

Since 1999, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic.

In the past decade Bono has met with several influential politicians, including former United States President George W. Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.[83] During a March 2002 visit to the White House, after President Bush unveiled a $5 billion aid package, he accompanied the President for a speech on the White House lawn where he stated, "This is an important first step, and a serious and impressive new level of commitment. "...This must happen urgently, because this is a crisis.".[83] In May of that year, Bono took US Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. In contrast, in 2005, Bono spoke on CBC Radio, alleging then Prime Minister Martin was being slow about increasing Canada's foreign aid.[84] He was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, 2005, and 2006 for his philanthropy.[17][85][86]

In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour[S4]  from the Government of Chile.[87] Time Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most Influential People" in its May 2004 special issue[88] and again in the 2006 Time 100 special issue.[89] In 2005, Time, named Bono, with Bill and Melinda Gates, a Persons of the Year.[21] Also in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work.[90] That year Bono was also among the first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants each winner "A wish to change the world".[91] Bono made three wishes,[92] the first two related to the ONE campaign and the third that every hospital, health clinic and school in Ethiopia should be connected to the Internet. TED rejected the third wish as being a sub-optimal way for TED to help Africa[92] and instead organised a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007.

In 2005 he recorded a version of Don't Give Up with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive[S5] .[93] 

On 3 April 2005, Bono paid a personal tribute to John Paul II and called him "a street fighter and a wily campaigner on behalf of the world's poor. We would never have gotten the debts of 23 countries completely cancelled without him.".[94] Bono spoke in advance of President Bush at the 54th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Hilton Washington Hotel on 2 February 2006. In a speech containing biblical references, Bono encouraged the care of the socially and economically depressed. His comments included a call for an extra one percent tithe of the United States' national budget. He brought his Christian views into harmony with other faiths by noting that Christian, Jewish, and Muslim writings all call for the care of the widow, orphan, and stranger. President Bush received praise from the singer-activist for the United States' increase in aid for the African continent. Bono continued by saying much work is left to be done to be a part of God's ongoing purposes.[14]

Also in 2005, Bono, Ali Hewson and designer Rogan Gregory co-founded the Edun fashion label ("nude" spelled backwards, to suggest both "natural" and the Garden of Eden).[95] It was intended to help bring about positive change in Africa through a fair trade-based relationship rather than by direct aid.[96][97]

On 15 December 2005, Paul Theroux published an op-ed in the New York Times called The Rock Star's Burden (cf. Kipling's The White Man's Burden) that criticised stars such as Bono, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, labelling them as "mythomaniacs, people who wish to convince the world of their worth.". Theroux, who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer, added that "the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help—not to mention celebrities and charity concerts—is a destructive and misleading conceit.".[98] Elsewhere, Bono has been criticised, along with other celebrities, for "[ignoring] the legitimate voices of Africa and [turning] a global movement for justice into a grand orgy of narcissistic philanthropy".[99]

Bono at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, 2008.

In 2007, Bono was named in the UK's New Years Honours List as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[20][100] He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland.[101]

Bono also received the NAACP Image Award's Chairman's Award in 2007.[102] On 24 May 2007, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia announced that Bono would receive the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 27 September 2007 for his work to end world poverty and hunger.[103] On 28 September 2007, in accepting the Liberty Medal, Bono said, "When you are trapped by poverty, you are not free. When trade laws prevent you from selling the food you grew, you are not free ... When you are a monk in Burma this very week, barred from entering a temple because of your gospel of peace ... well, then none of us are truly free". Bono donated the $100,000 prize to the organisation. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award for theWashington-based Debt AIDS Trade Africa.[104]

Bono meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010.

The organisation DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) was established in 2002 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, along with activists from the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt Campaign.[105] DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.[105] DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions.[105]

Bono after accepting the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on 27 September 2007.

Bono was a special guest editor of the July 2007 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. The issue was named "The Africa Issue: Politics & Power" and featured an assortment of 20 different covers, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz of a number of prominent celebrities, political leaders, and philanthropists. Each one showcased in the issue for their contributions to the humanitarian relief in Africa.[106]

In an article in Bloomberg Markets in March 2007, journalists Richard Tomlinson and Fergal O’Brien noted that Bono used his band's 2006 Vertigo world tour to promote his ONE Campaign while at the same time "U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time, according to Billboard magazine ... Revenue from the Vertigo tour is funnelled through companies that are mostly registered in Ireland and structured to minimise taxes.".[107]

Further criticism came in November 2007, when Bono's various charity campaigns were targeted by Jobs Selasie, head of African Aid Action. Selasie claimed that these charities had increased corruption and dependency in Africa because they failed to work with African entrepreneurs and grassroots organisations, and as a result, Africa has become more dependent on international handouts.[108] Bono responded to his critics in Times Online on 19 February 2006, calling them "cranks carping from the sidelines. A lot of them wouldn’t know what to do if they were on the field. They’re the party who will always be in opposition so they’ll never have to take responsibility for decisions because they know they’ll never be able to implement them.".[109]

In November 2007, Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone "making a difference" in the world.[110] He and anchor Brian Williams had travelled to Africa in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis on the continent.[111] On 11 December 2008, Bono was given the annual Man of Peace prize, awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.[112]

Product Red is another initiative begun by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.[113] Bobby Shriver has been announced as theCEO of Product Red, whilst Bono is currently an active public spokesperson for the brand. Product Red is a brand that is licensed to partner companies, such as American ExpressApple,ConverseMotorolaMicrosoftDellThe Gap and Giorgio Armani.[114] Each company creates a product with the Product Red logo and a percentage of the profits from the sale of these labelled products will go to the Global Fund.[115]

Other endeavours

Bono performing with U2 in 2011

In 1992, Bono, along with the Edge, bought and refurbished Dublin's two-star 70-bedroom Clarence Hotel, and converted it into a five-star 49-bedroom hotel.[13] The Edge and Bono have recorded several songs together, exclusive of the band. They also worked on the score for the 2011 rock musicalSpider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.[116]

In May 2007, MTV reported that Bono was writing the foreword for a collection of poetry entitled "Third Rail".[117] The book's foreword details the meanings of its poetry, stating "The poets who fill the pews here have come to testify, to bear witness to the mysterious power of rock and roll...Rock and roll is truly a broad church, but each lights a candle to their vision of what it is.".[117] The collection, edited by poet Jonathan Wells, contains titles such as "Punk rock You're My Big Crybaby""Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake" and "Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu(After Ezra Pound).".[117]

Bono is on the board of the Elevation Partners private-equity firm, which attempted to purchase Eidos Interactive in 2005 and has since gone on to invest in other entertainment businesses.[12][118] Bono has invested in the Forbes Media group in the US through Elevation Partners. Elevation Partners became the first outsider to invest in the company, taking a minority stake in Forbes Media LLC, a new company encompassing the 89-year-old business which includes Forbes magazine, the website and other assets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports said the stake was worth about €194 million ($250m).[119][120][121] The firm also owns a 1.5% stake in social networking site Facebook, originally purchased for $210m.[11] Bono's stake was valued at approximately US$ 1 billion in February 2012.[122]


For U2 concert releases and music videos, see U2 videography.







Rattle and Hum





The Simpsons

TV series; one episode, "Trash of the Titans"



Classic Albums

TV series; one episode, "The Joshua Tree"





The Million Dollar Hotel

Man in hotel lobby

Uncredited cameo appearance Original storywriter Producer


Sightings of Bono


Short film




TV series; one episode, "I Love You Too"



Across the Universe



American Idol


TV series; "Idol Gives Back"


U2 3D




TV series; one episode, "Give a Little Bit"



From the Sky Down




Anton Corbijn Inside Out





The Resurrection of Victor Jara


In addition to his acting credits Bono has contributed music to films, as part of U2 and other collaborations. In Across the Universe he sang The Beatles songs "I Am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".



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ONE Campaign—Advocacy and campaigning organization cofounded by Bono

On 2 July 2005, millions attended 10 Live 8 concerts in cities across the globe to push for a new initiative to fight African poverty at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagle.

ONE's origins go back to 2002 and the founding of DATA (debt, AIDS, trade Africa), the anti-poverty advocacy organisation with which ONE merged in 2008.

Following their work together during the Jubilee "Drop the Debt" movement, Bono, Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew joined together in March, 2002 to create a new advocacy organisation called DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa). As its name implies, DATA was created to press the governments of developed nations to do their part in the fight against extreme poverty in Africa, with a focus on debt relief, AIDS treatment and prevention and reform of unfair trade rules. DATA also advocated for increased democracy, accountability and transparency in government so civil society in poor countries had a greater say in how those resources were deployed. Introduced to the world via a TIME magazine cover story, DATA established offices in Washington, DC and London to advocate for its policy priorities at the top levels of government in the US, the UK, Germany and across the G8.

In 2004, DATA and ten other leading anti-poverty organisations (Bread for the World Institute, CARE USA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children, World Concern, World Vision) joined together to create a new, non-partisan campaign to mobilise a movement of Americans from all walks of life in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable global disease. ONE was launched at a kick-off event in Philadelphia, USA in May, 2004 attended by faith leaders, heads of leading anti-poverty organisations, celebrities, African activists and policymakers from the right and left.

Working closely with DATA and the other co-founding organisations, ONE quickly got to work, via global online actions, development of an iconic ad campaign and support for the Live 8 concerts, to push for a new initiative to fight African poverty at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles. That push, in conjunction with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, succeeded in helping to secure a pledge by the G8 to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010. In less than a year, ONE signed up more than 2 million members and created a powerful, grassroots political force in support of better policies for combating poverty.

In 2007, ONE and DATA decided to join their complementary strengths into a united global anti-poverty organisation, and in January 2008, they formally merged under the name ONE. The new ONE combines DATA's high-level global advocacy and policy depth with ONE's grassroots mobilisation expertise. Like its predecessors, ONE's mission is to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in the poorest places on the planet, particularly in Africa, where the challenges are the greatest.


Real Progress in Fighting Poverty

ONE and its more than 3 million members, along with ONE’s predecessor organization DATA and other non-profit partners, have played an important role in persuading political leaders to create and fund smart, effective programs and policies that have saved lives and improved futures in poor countries. Examples of what has been achieved include:

  • In Europe, ONE has been a key part of several victories shoring up support for development. In March 2013, the UK become the first G8 country to reach the 43-year-old 0.7% target for international aid as a share of national income, which meets the commitment made by the coalition government after the general election of May 2010.
  • ONE helped pass historic legislation in the US and the EU, requiring better transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries – an important step to ending backhanded deals between energy companies and corrupt politicians that hurt people in poor countries. The Cardin-Lugar amendment became law in the US in 2010. In 2012, the SEC adopted a very strong rule to implement the Cardin-Lugar, citing all the input they had heard from ONE members – 143,000 people petitioned them. Following success in the US, ONE continued to campaign on this issue in Europe.  A provisional EU deal was reached in April 2013 and will be formally adopted this June.
  • In January 2013, ONE launched "You Choose," a pilot program in South Africa, Malawi and Zambia allowing some of the world’s poorest people to use mobile technology like SMS text messaging to let us know what they believe should be included in the next set of goals to eradicate extreme poverty. So far, nearly 200,000 responses have been received, which we are sharing with the UN’s High Level Panel, a group tasked with setting the post-2015 development agenda. Running through May 2013, “You Choose” is a contribution to the United Nations (UN) “MY World” campaign.
  • In 2012, ONE lobbied successfully for the passage in the US House and Senate of an extension to a key provision of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) that increases mutually beneficial trade ties between the US and Africa and promises to lift people out of poverty and into employment and prosperity.
  • At the 2012 G8 Summit, ONE encouraged President Obama to announce the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which showed a bold commitment to food security that tackles the root causes of hunger and extreme poverty.
  • ONE’s EU offices successfully campaign for the passage of SHARE – a European initiative to boost the prevention of hunger and famine in the Horn of Africa, thanks in part to more than 400,000 members who signed ONE’s petition urging leaders to break the cycle of famine.
  • In March of 2012, ONE and other African partners delivered a petition signed by 16,000 Africans to President Jakaya Kikwete in Tanzania. As a result, President Kikwete recommitted to the Maputo protocol and announced that he would urge his fellow African leaders to do the same in a transparent and accountable manner.
  • In 2010, ONE successfully pushed for passage of $1 billion in debt relief for Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake
  • In 2010 ONE’s Germany team successfully campaigned to prevent the German government from cutting funds to the highly effective Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
  • In 2012 ONE successfully campaigned for the IMF to sell some of its undervalued Gold reserves to provide emergency funding to poor countries that were being buffeted by the financial crisis. This resulted in $2.7 billion that helped protect critical health, education and other expenditures for the world’s poorest.
  • In the UK, ONE/DATA lobbied for the creation of, and were a key contributor to, the Commission for Africa, which produced a rigorous analysis and detailed programme for economic development in Africa.
  • In 2008, in the wake of the global food price shock, ONE successfully lobbied the European Union to deliver an emergency food initiative for developing countries.
  • ONE/DATA worked closely with US officials on the creation of the AIDS program PEPFAR and on winning funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria from across the G8; together these programs have helped provide life-saving AIDS medications to more than 6 million Africans, up from only 50,000 people in 2002. The Global Fund has also helped cut malaria deaths in half in 10 sub-Saharan African countries and malaria mortality rates have fallen by 33% in sub-Saharan African since 2000.
  • ONE/DATA helped persuade US President Bush’s Administration to create the multi-billion dollar Millennium Challenge Account which funds smart, targeted development programs in well-governed poor countries that meet specific governance and transparency tests.
  • ONE/DATA played a crucial role in the global campaign that successfully pressed the G8 to make historic commitments to fight poverty and disease in Africa in 2005; the G8 agreed to double funding to Africa at that meeting and ONE has been holding leaders feet to the fire on those commitments ever since.

·         Where does ONE get its name from?

1 MAY 2013

Contrary to popular belief, ONE is not named after the song of the same name by the band U2, of which ONE’s co-founder Bono is a member. The name was inspired by the belief that one voice, coming together with many others – the political left and right, business leaders, activists, faith leaders and students  - can change the world for the better. The name was also influenced by ONE’s first US campaign in 2004, which called on the US government to allocate an additional 1% of its budget towards the fight against extreme poverty.

·         What is ONE’s mission?

10 OCT. 2011

ONE's mission is to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in the poorest places on the planet, particularly in Africa. We hold world leaders to account for the commitments they've made to fight extreme poverty, and we campaign for better policies, increased and more effective aid, and trade reform. We also work closely with leaders in Africa to support greater democracy, accountability and transparency in how these resources are deployed. 

·         How does ONE work with leaders and hold them accountable?

10 OCT. 2011

ONE works to harness the strength and energy of its membership to press government officials and policy makers to deliver results in the fight against extreme poverty and disease. ONE's members mobilise at key moments - when a critical global meeting takes place, when a piece of legislation is being developed or when an emergency occurs, such as the global food crisis. ONE members take action to draw attention to the plight of millions of people living in extreme poverty and dying of preventable, treatable diseases. While ONE's membership presses from the outside, ONE's policy and government relations teams work on the inside, sharing ideas and on-the-ground intelligence from Africa and across the G8 with policymakers and providing their staff with the in-depth research necessary to strengthen our arguments. We also work with leaders of developed countries to ensure the fight against poverty is on the agenda at key international summits, including the G8, G20 and other international gatherings. In anticipation of the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, for example, ONE and DATA (now part of ONE) worked with other leading organisations to push the G8 to approve a concrete proposal to attack extreme poverty in Africa. ONE employed online actions, ad campaigns and the Live 8 concerts as part of a multi-faceted campaign.  At that summit, participating countries pledged to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010.

·         Who are ONE’s members?

10 OCT. 2011

ONE is a broad movement of more than 3 million people from around the world and every walk of life who have lent their voices to call for a more effective, focused and determined response to help those struggling against extreme poverty and preventable diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.  ONE's members are from left, right and centre. They're artists and activists, faith and business leaders, students and sportspeople, all walks of life coming together because something can and should be done about poverty and injustice. To learn more, visit WWW.ONE.ORG/ABOUT

·         Why should I join ONE?

10 OCT. 2011

By joining ONE, you have the opportunity to take action to support effective, proven initiatives that are delivering results in the poorest places on the planet: protecting families from preventable diseases like AIDS and malaria, putting kids in school, providing economic opportunity and stabilising communities.  When you join ONE you are joining with millions of people from the left, right and centre who believe that where you live shouldn't determine whether you live. ONE is asking for your voice to help in the movement of people and organisations working to end poverty throughout the world. 

·         Can I donate to ONE?

10 OCT. 2011

At ONE, we aren't asking for your money, we're asking for your voice. If you want to make a financial contribution to help fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, we encourage you to consider one of our partner organizations, the vast majority of which are providing direct services on the ground in Africa and around the world.

·         Is ONE a celebrity campaign?

23 NOV. 2010

·         Does ONE work with other organisations?

23 NOV. 2010

ONE works closely with some of the top organisations providing development assistance and relief to millions of people in Africa and around the world.  Together we work to raise awareness, recruit more people to the effort and take action to end extreme global poverty and disease. Currently, ONE works in partnership with a number of organisations on specific projects or actions, relating to clean water, education, hunger, trade and preventable diseases. ONE is proud to be part of a movement that encompasses so many organisations and individuals around the world.

·         Does ONE fund programmes on the ground in Africa?

23 NOV. 2010

  1.   To learn more visit WWW.ONE.ORG/INTERNATIONAL/ABOUT

·         Do petitions really work?

16 OCT. 2010

It’s a fair question, and after years of working on different campaigns, we can say without a doubt that the answer is yes.

·         How is ONE funded?

15 OCT. 2010

ONE does not fundraise from the general public, and we do not receive any government funding. We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs.

·         What does the white band mean?

11 MAY 2009

Adopted as part of the GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY (GCAP), the white band is an international symbol that is recognised around the world.  By wearing a band, individuals demonstrate their support for the movement to end extreme poverty. 

·         How is ONE related to international agreements such as the Millennium Development Goals?

10 MAY 2009

ONE is a grassroots campaign that, along with many other partners, supports the international effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The eight Millennium Development Goals, agreed to in September 2000 by 189 nations, set a framework for how nations can work together to dramatically reduce extreme poverty while improving health, education, gender equality and other important living standards. 

·         What is ONE’s relationship with (RED)?

6 MAY 2009

ONE and (RED) are close allies in the fight against AIDS in Africa and both organisations were cofounded by ONE board members Bono and Bobby Shriver. While ONE is an advocacy organisation dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, (RED) is a business model created to raise awareness and money specifically for the fight against AIDS in Africa. (RED) works by teaming up with the world's most iconic brands, including Apple, Gap and Starbucks, to produce (PRODUCT) RED-branded products.  Up to 50% of the profits from the (PRODUCT) RED products goes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa, with a focus on women and children. As of March, 2009 (RED) had generated more than $125 million for the Global Fund, making it the largest private sector donor to the Fund. To learn more about (RED) please go to WWW.JOINRED.COM . 

·         Does ONE endorse any candidates or specific political party?

5 MAY 2009

·         What is ONE’s relationship with Deine Stimme gegen Armut?

4 MAY 2009

ONE and Deine Stimme gegen Armut (DSGA) - even though different organisations and not officially affiliated to each other - are close allies in raising awareness and advocating for more and better aid to fight extreme poverty. DSGA is the German Chapter of the "GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY" (GCAP), an international campaign which is rallying in 112 countries to fight extreme poverty. It is endorsed by the Association of developmental non-governmental organizations in Germany (VENRO) and Herbert Grönemeyer.

·         What is the ONE Blog?

21 MARCH 2009

The ONE BLOG is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with frequent contributions from volunteers, members and partner organizations. The ONE Blog updates readers daily with the latest in global development news and analysis and what ONE members and our partners are doing around the world to influence world leaders in the fight against global poverty. The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE.

Bono More at IMDbPro »

Date of Birth: 10 May 1960Dublin, Ireland 
Birth Name: Paul David Hewson 
Nickname: Bon, B-Man, The Mirrorball Man
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m) 

Born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland on May 10, 1960 Bono has been the lead singer of the rock band U2 since 1976. U2 has won 22 Grammy Awards to date, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Lauded by fans and critics as an outstanding performer and songwriter, Bono has also been praised by world leaders as an accomplished activist due to his powers of persuasion and knowledge of the issues. He travels extensively to give speeches and lobby politicians. Bono's career as a socially conscious musician has been shaped by childhood experiences in Ireland as well as volunteer work in Africa and South America. He married his childhood sweetheart Ali Hewson in 1982. An accomplished activist in her own right, Ali Hewson once declined an invitation to run for President of Ireland because her husband "would not move to a smaller house". They live in Dublin with their four children: Jordan, Memphis Eve, Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q and John Abraham. Bono was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for his successful efforts to relieve third world debt and promote AIDS awareness in Africa. He received the rank of Chevalier dans I'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honor) from French PresidentJacques Chirac on February 28, 2003.


Ali Hewson

(21 August 1982 - present) 4 children

Trade Mark

Wears goggle-like sunglasses

Often wears black clothes

Religious symbolism in songs

Often wears a rosary given to him by Pope John Paul II

Songs about politics

Gretsch Irish Falcon Guitar

High vocal range

Runs around the stage at live concerts


At one point in in their career, less than ten paying customers were on hand for a U2 show. In the early 1990s, U2 was the biggest export in all of Ireland.

Luciano Pavarotti called Bono's father relentlessly, so that he would try and convince his son to write a song for him.

He has written songs either for, or with, Frank SinatraJohnny CashKeith RichardsLuciano PavarottiSinéad O'Connor and Howie B. among several others.

Wrote the song "The Sweetest Thing" after missing his wife's birthday. When the song was rerecorded, his wife, Ali Hewson, received all the proceeds of its sale. She gave them, in turn to a charity for victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of the rock band U2.

His father, Robert Hewson, died of cancer in Dublin. [21 August 2001]

Wrote a song with The Edge for Roy Orbison, "She's a Mystery to Me". It is included on Orbison's last album "Mystery Girl" (1989).

His stage name comes from Bono Vox, a hearing aid retailer. Bono Vox is Latin for "good voice"

Bono was a member of Band Aid but was absent when the ensemble came to perform "Do They Know It's Christmas?" on BBC TV's "Top of the Pops" (1964) leaving Paul Weller to mime the line Bono had sang on the record.

He is the only person, who has been nominated for an Oscar[S6] , Grammy[S7] , Golden Globe[S8] , and for the Nobel Prize.

Co-wrote (with The Edge) the theme song to GoldenEye (1995), performed by Tina Turner. [1995]

Along with his wife Ali Hewson and New York designer Rogan, he created the high-fashion casual wear line called "Edun" (which is "nude" spelled backwards and pronounced Eden). It was designed as a socially conscious company to support developing countries.

In 2005, he was one of 166 people nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on Third World debt relief and increasing AIDS awareness.

Was a school boy chess champion.

Voted the most powerful personality in the music industry by music execs.

His mother, Iris, died of a brain hemorrhage in 1974. Bono was just 14 years old.

Illustrated the children's book "Peter and the Wolf" with his daughters, Jordan Hewson and Eve Hewson, in 2003. The royalties went to the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Was named by TIME Magazine as one of their 'Persons of the Year' for 2005 along with Bill Gates and Melinda Gates.

U2 won the Brit Award for International Group in 1990.

U2 won the Brit Award for International Group in 1989.

U2 won the British Phonographic Industry Award for International Group in 1988.

U2 won the 2001 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution.

U2 won the 2004 Q Icon Award.

Was named in the annual honor list as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).

Initiated "Product Red" along with Robert Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The U2 songs "I Will Follow", "Mofo", "Out of Control" and "Tomorrow" focus on his mother's death.

Is a huge fan of Elvis Presley. [on Elvis Presley] Elvis' music has been my greatest inspiration.

U2 were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture. [11 November 2004]

He gives millions of dollars every year to charity.

Personal Quotes

It costs a fortune to look this trashy.

Overcoming my dad telling me that I could never amount to anything is what has made me the megalomaniac that you see today" - recalling his late father's influence

I love art too much to call these anything other than marks on paper - on his paintings

U2 is sort of song writing by accident really. We don't really know what we're doing and when we do, it doesn't seem to help.

It would be wrong for me to say, 'Yes, we can change the world with a song.' But every time I try writing, that's where I'm at. I'm not stupid. I'm aware of the futility of rock & roll music, but I'm also aware of its power.

I represent a lot of people [in Africa] who have no voice at all... They haven't asked me to represent them. It's cheeky [S9] but I hope they're glad I do.

The world is more malleable [S10] than you think. We can bend it into a better shape. Ask big questions, demand big answers.

I hate the idea of being in the UK Hall of Fame to be honest with you. We don't want to be in any Hall of Fame until we're retired or dead.

Great music is written by people who are either running toward or away from God.

On wearing his trademark sunglasses: Without them, I'm an amorphous mass.

What about this idea of liberty? Not liberty for its own sake, but liberty for some larger end - not just freedom from oppression, but freedom of expression and worship. Freedom from want, and freedom from fear because when you are trapped by poverty, you are not free. When trade laws prevent you from selling the food you grow, you are not free. When you are dying of a mosquito bite for lack of a bed net, you are not free. When you are hungry in a world of plenty, you are not free. And when you are a monk in Burma this very week, barred from entering a temple because of your gospel of peace, it is an affront to the thug regime, well then none of us are truly free.

I'm the Fidel Castro of speechifying. We've got a few hours, don't we?

(On Live Aid (1985) (TV)) That day changed my life and started me on this incredible adventure, that is the possibility that our generation could be remembered for something other than the Internet ... the first generation to eradicate extreme poverty ... I want to spend the rest of my life doing that, the band mouth off and complain, but they support me.

I'm representing the poorest and the most vulnerable people. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent.

We're delighted, of course, that people are owning up to being U2 fans.

We pay millions and millions of dollars in tax. The thing that stung us was the accusation of hypocrisy for my work as an activist. I can understand how people outside the country wouldn't understand how Ireland got to its prosperity but everybody in Ireland knows that there are some very clever people in the Government and in the Revenue who created a financial architecture that prospered the entire nation. It was a way of attracting people to this country who wouldn't normally do business here and the financial services brought billions of dollars every year directly to the Exchequer. What's actually hypocritical is the idea that then you don't use a financial services center in Holland. The real question people need to ask about Ireland's tax policy is: 'Was the nation a net gain benefactor?' and of course it was - hugely so. So there was no hypocrisy for me. We're just part of a system that has benefited the nation greatly and that's a system that will be closed down in time. Ireland will have to find other ways of being competitive and attractive. (On criticisms of tax avoidance made against U2)

We were like the bastard children of The Clash who actually believed that music could change the world.

Where Are They Now

(March 2007) Awarded an honorary knighthood, therefore not allowed to have the title 'Sir' Bono


by Maddy Fry

Paul David "Bono" HewsonBorn: May 10, 1960Instrument: Vocals, guitar

As the lead singer of U2, one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the last 30 years, Bono is a figure adored and admired both within and outside of the music industry. As a rock star, his music with U2 has earned him legions of devoted fans across the world, whilst as a humanitarian and crusader for the world's poor, co-founder of organisations such as DATA and the ONE Campaign, he has gained deep respect from politicians and global statesmen as well as music fans. His rare ability to effectively straddle the spheres of both entertainment and politics remains rivaled by few in the realm of popular culture, and his determination to change the world for the better continues to inspire millions on both sides of the political divide.

It's perhaps unsurprising that Bono's unusual adult existence was preceded by a less-than-ordinary upbringing. Born in the north Dublin suburb of Ballymun, Paul Hewson was the second child of Catholic father Brendan Robert Hewson (always called Bobby), and Protestant mother Iris Elizabeth Rankin – a highly unusual arrangement in then deeply sectarian Ireland. As a child Paul Hewson was a precocious, outspoken and thoughtful boy whose early experiences did much to shape his later life as one of the most important figures in Irish history.

As a child, his education started at The Inkwell, a small Protestant Church of Ireland junior school, before eventually continuing on to St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir School. But his time there was unsuccessful; as Bono put it, "I spent a year at St. Patrick's, not being happy, and basically they asked me to leave." This was largely a result of the young Paul throwing dog feces at his Spanish teacher, which subsequently led to his enrollment in 1972 at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, a controversial establishment that was Ireland's first co-educational, non-denominational high school. Paul settled in very quickly and soon became well-adjusted and happy in his new environment.

But at the age of 14, he suffered a tragic and devastating loss when his mother died of a brain hemorrhage whilst attending the funeral of her own father.

From this point onwards, Paul's home life became considerably traumatic. Despite his father's attempts to hold the family together, Bono claims that he and Bob Hewson "didn't get on very well." As a result, father and son never enjoyed a particularly close relationship. In fact, Bono would later claim that the inarticulate Bob Hewson's unspoken message to his children was "to dream is to be disappointed." The singer has often cited this as a key reason for his forming such big ambitions and becoming even more determined to follow his dreams.

It was not long after his mother's death that Paul also got his new name. Originally 'Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang,' it evolved to 'Bonavox of O'Connell Street' after a hearing aid store in the centre of Dublin, before eventually being shortened to 'Bonavox,' 'Bono Vox' – cockeyed Latin for 'good voice' – and finally 'Bono.' Credit for this goes to his mate Guggi (real name Derek Rowan), a childhood friend, who along with Bono was a member of the group Lypton Village. This was a gang of disaffected-but-creative youths that included Gavin Friday (real name Fionan Hanvey), the man who would eventually go on to form the avant-garde rock band the Virgin Prunes. Bono has often cited Lypton Village as a key source of inspiration and support both before and during his time with U2. At Mount Temple, Bono describes himself as being "a bit wide-awake, a bit bright, a bit experimental." Although he was far from exceptional as a student, he had a flair for history and art, and became a keen and expert chess player. However, he was perhaps the most adept at navigating the field of romance, entertaining many girlfriends. In 1976, he started dating Alison Stewart (b. March 23, 1961), commonly known as Ali, with the two eventually marrying on August 21, 1982. They went on to have four children: Jordan (b. May 10, 1989), Memphis Eve (b. July 7, 1991), Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (b. August 17, 1999), and John Abraham (b. May 20, 2001). To this day, the family continues to make their home in Dublin.

Despite his initial ambition to be an actor, it was arguably Bono's tendency to be, in his own words, "promiscuous with my ambitions, flirting with all kinds of things" which led him to respond to a notice posted on the Mount Temple bulletin board appealing for musicians. Those interested were told to assemble at 60 Rosemount Avenue, Artane, the house of 14-year-old drummer Larry Mullen Jnr.

As well as Bono, the other boys who made it to that first session were 15-year-old guitarist David Evans (later nicknamed The Edge), 16-year-old Adam Clayton, who couldn't actually play bass guitar but certainly knew how to talk as though he did, Larry's friend Peter Martin, Ivan McCormick, and David Evans' brother Dick. Ivan and Peter were, to quote Adam, "weeded out" early on, whilst Dick eventually left the band to study engineering at Trinity College Dublin. The four remaining boys were initially named Feedback (supposedly after the ear-splitting wailing that always seemed to emanate from the guitar amps), before becoming the Hype, and then eventually U2.

Shortly after the band's formation, Bono, Edge and Larry became involved in the Dublin-based Christian group Shalom. From an early age, the controversy caused by the marriage between his Protestant mother and Catholic father had made Bono extremely suspicious of organised religion, with him later describing it as having "cut my people in two." Therefore, the non-denominational nature of the Shalom group provided Bono and the two other believing members of U2 with solace, harmony and strength.

However, Bono, Edge and Larry's involvement with Shalom later caused friction within U2, as the non-believing Adam felt that the latter three's more devout friends were trying to make them prioritise their faith over the band. The three believers did eventually leave Shalom, as they felt that the group was trying to force upon them the false assertion that a commitment to rock n' roll and a commitment to God were mutually excludable principles. Since then, Bono's Christian faith has played a big role in his life, but in a way that has largely been free from the influence of the mainstream church.


Right from the beginning of his time with U2, Bono cultivated a reputation for being able to connect physically and emotionally with fans to an astonishing degree during the band's performances. He honed his technique initially during U2's earliest gigs in small pubs and clubs across America and Europe, where as he put it, he would "walk out on tables, kissing people's girlfriends and drinking their wine." Later on, in the 1983 War tour, the singer would regularly climb the stage tresses in order to prevent the crowds' attention from wandering.

However, perhaps the most well-known example of Bono's on-stage theatrics was during Live Aid in 1985, when mid-way through "Bad" he leapt off the stage and over a security barricade to the floor of the stadium, pulling a girl from the crowd to dance with her. Since then, he has brought girls (and occasionally boys) up on stage to be sprayed with champagne and filmed with handicams (Zoo TV), danced with (PopMart), to play songs (Elevation) and even just to be hugged (Vertigo). Over the years, these exploits have sealed Bono's reputation as one of the all-time great performers, as well as U2's reputation as a band with a heartfelt and profound love for its audience.

But his on-stage antics were not always received positively. At the end of the '80s, Bono had become something akin to a Messiah figure, with his often politically-charged, on-stage sermonizing causing U2 to suffer a considerable amount of ridicule from detractors, who accused them of earnestness, pomposity and egotism. Their decision to relocate to Berlin in order to re-tool their sound and image produced some startling changes in Bono's public persona.

The first of these, appearing on the Zoo TV tour in 1992, was The Fly, a character described by Bono as a man making "a phone call from hell, but liking it there." Others emerged, including the infamous MacPhisto. The latter was an incarnation meant for the European crowds during the 1993 Zooropa tour, apparently intended as a depiction of the Devil as a tired, old pop star who's been reduced to playing the Las Vegas circuit.

These fun and frivolous experiments with various alter-egos did not last the decade, though. On the 2001 and 2005 Elevation and Vertigo tours, Bono became a more low-key version of his late-'80s onstage self, seeking to educate audiences politically and spiritually as well as to entertain.


Bono has long been involved in a variety of causes outside of U2. His work as an activist, due largely to his Christian beliefs, began in earnest when, inspired by Live Aid, he traveled to Ethiopia to work in a feeding camp with his wife Ali and the charity World Vision. Bono also went to Central America in 1985 to see the damage wrought by US-backed operations in Nicaragua and El Salvador, after which he and U2 toured as part of the Amnesty International benefit tour, A Conspiracy of Hope[S11]  in 1986.

In the 1990s, he campaigned with Greenpeace against the nuclear power plant Sellafield in the north of England, and drew attention to the conflict raging in Bosnia by collaborating with the US journalist Bill Carter during the Zoo TV tour to create the award-winning documentary, Miss Sarajevo.

Since the millennium, he has rallied numerous actors, artists and campaigners to the cause of ending Third World debt in his role as spokesman for the Jubilee 2000 project, as well as trying to end AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa by co-founding the lobbying organisation DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade, Africa) in 2002, the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History (USA) in 2004, and the Make Poverty History movement (UK) in 2005. The latter two are coalitions of NGOs, faith groups and individuals working to end extreme poverty. Bono was equally key in performing in and helping to organise (along with friend Bob Geldof) the Live 8 concerts in 2005, a series of events across the globe designed to pressure world leaders to increase aid, cancel Third World debt and improve the terms of trade with the world's poorest countries.

Also in 2005, Bono and Ali, along with fashion designer Rogan Gregory, created the socially conscious clothing line EDUN. This range of clothes for men and women seeks to promote fair trade and sustainable growth by basing their means of production in poor communities, without the use of sweatshop-like conditions, encouraging them to use their skills in an environmentally friendly way to create garments that can be sold at a fair price. They are a for-profit contemporary fashion brand that aims to raise awareness of the possibilities in Africa and promotes the African fashion industry. Ninety percent of the clothes are made in developing countries like Peru, Çin, Tunisia and Lesotho.[1]In 2008, Edun established the Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda (CCIU), which provides funding, training and enterprise support to cotton farmers to help build sustainable businesses in Northern Uganda.[20]

In 2006, Bobby Shriver and Bono co-founded the Product (RED) campaign. This initiative seeks to persuade large companies with global brands to sell specific lines of products from which a portion of the profits will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria.

As well as illustrating Bono's staggering amount of energy and commitment, these initiatives have earned Bono numerous honours and awards. He was presented with the Free Your Mind Award at the MTV Europe Awards in Dublin, in acknowledgement of his work on behalf of the Jubilee 2000 project; he received a knighthood in Britain, the Légion d'honneur in France, and at least two nominations on separate occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has also had various degrees bestowed on him from some of the world's top universities, and has sat as the editor for the publications Vanity Fair (USA) and the Independent newspaper (UK).


Beyond politics, Bono's activities outside of U2 have included dabbling in the film industry. In 1999 he composed and performed the music for the Wim Wenders film The Million Dollar Hotel, which he co-wrote with screenwriter Nicholas Klein. Bono also made a brief appearance in the movie, his second film role after having previously appeared as himself in Entropy, an indie flick made by Rattle and Hum director Phil Joanou. He also appeared in Julie Taymor's 2007 film Across the Universe, playing Dr. Robert, a psychedelic guru from the Beatles song of the same name. In addition, he starred alongside his band mates in U2 3D, a movie of the band's Vertigo tour concerts in South America filmed in a ground-breaking 3D format, and Daniel Lanois's musical explorationHere Is What Is.

On top of this, Bono has dipped his toe into the literary world, writing the intros for American economist Jeffrey Sachs's 2005 book The End of Poverty, Irish Christian author Adam Harbinson's 2002 critique of the established church They've Hijacked God, and an edition of the Psalms for the 1998 Pocket Canons series. He has also had a book published, 2007's On the Move, in which he lays out his vision, in a single speech, for the changes that could be brought about in the Third World by minor increases in aid provision on the part of the West. Yet despite all his influence among the wealthy and famous, Bono's greatest impact arguably lies with the millions of ordinary individuals whose lives he has touched and transformed, many of whom have been inspired by him to try and make the world a better place. His capacity for action, his unwavering belief in the potential for individuals to change the world, and his extraordinary powers of persuasion when faced with those hostile to his cause remain unrivalled both within and outside of the music industry. His life has been, and still is, a remarkable example of the triumph of optimism in the face of cynicism and indifference, not to mention how to resist the rock n' roll cliches.


The world's biggest rock star is also Africa's biggest advocate. But Bono knows he has to make the case for aid with his head, not his heart

Time magazine, February 23, 2002 By: Josh Tyrangiel


Bono is an egomaniac. He knows this and frequently apologizes for it. When he disobeys the instructions of his manager, he scolds himself -- "Naughty pop star" -- which allows him to comment on the ridiculousness of pop stardom while reminding himself that he is indeed a pop star. He would be a megalomaniac if his preoccupation with power were delusional, but it's not. Less than a month ago, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, he sat on a dais with Bill Gates and discussed ways to save a continent; two days later he sang for a TV audience of 130 million at the Super Bowl half-time show. Not a bad week. Can you blame the guy for being a little full of himself?  With the merest twitch of his head, Bono can command the undivided attention of a sold-out stadium. But when he works a smaller room, his charisma acclimatizes itself; he turns smooth, dexterous. Late one night, during the forum in New York City, a dozen officials from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Episcopal Church, MTV and DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade for Africa) gathered for a strategy session in the back room of a Manhattan restaurant. The group was brainstorming on ways to convince Americans that saving Africa from financial ruin is in America's best interest. As is frequently the case with debate on Africa, the discussion eventually sagged into weary frustration. By midnight, the air had leaked out of the room and, with it, any glimmer of productivity.  Then U2's singer Bono strolled in.  Wearing a black leather jacket, his trademark blue-tinted shades and a roguish smile, he glided around the table, shaking hands and kissing cheeks. Like Superman turning into Clark Kent, the earnest political operative took over. Before the shy types could mumble about a brief previous encounter, he set them at ease, reciting their names and the circumstances of their last meeting: "Of course! The forum in Boston!" With his glad-handing complete, Bono -- founder, spokesman and chief benefactor of DATA, a nonprofit, debt-relief advocacy group -- sat down at the edge of the table and, at 1 a.m., recounted the details of his early-morning session with 30 G.O.P. Congressmen. "I am not willing to give up on the Republicans," he said of his efforts to convert the Congressmen on debt relief and increased aid to Africa. "They're tough, but they're willing to listen."  With the energy in the room reignited, Bono the rock god disappeared. As the ideas flowed, he nodded along quietly, just another wonk occasionally spitting out acronyms. This lasted for the better part of an hour until Trevor Neilson, director of special projects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, complained, "Look, we have to give away, by IRS law, $1.2 billion a year."  "Trevor," said Bono, reinflating himself to pop-star proportions to better deliver his punch line, "we can help."  U2 is up for eight Grammy awards this week for All That You Can't Leave Behind. The album and the band's live concerts -- still the best in rock -- became cultural touchstones following Sept. 11. U2 has, with a few bumps along the way, managed the nearly unprecedented feat of being musically -- and politically -- relevant for 22 years. Yet as big a rock star as Bono is -- and he has no rival -- he has grown even larger over the past three years, molding himself into a shrewd, dedicated political advocate, transforming himself into the most secular of saints, becoming a worldwide symbol of rock 'n' roll activism. Part poet, part pol, he has taken his cause -- solving the financial and health crisis in Africa -- and helped put it onto the agenda of the world's most powerful people.  "I refused to meet him at first," says Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill[o12] , who last year joined Pope John Paul II, Bill Clinton, Jean Chretien, George Soros, Jesse Helms and Colin Powell on Bono's all-star chat list. "I thought he was just some pop star who wanted to use me." After their scheduled half-hour session went 90 minutes, O'Neill changed his mind. "He's a serious person. He cares deeply about these issues, and you know what? He knows a lot about them."  Rock stars tend to cast themselves as emotional savants, folks who feel the plight of vanishing rain forests and anguished Tibetans more acutely than the rest of humanity. Bono's involvement with Africa began in typical celebrity-dilettante fashion. In 1984, U2 took part in Band Aid and Live Aid, Bob Geldof's Ethiopian famine-relief efforts. While many of Live Aid's participants played their sets and moved on to the next cause, Bono and his wife Alison Stewart decided to find out just how bad the African famine was. They traveled to Wello, Ethiopia, and spent six weeks working at an orphanage. "You'd wake up in the morning, and mist would be lifting," Bono recalls. "You'd walk out of your tent, and you'd count bodies of dead and abandoned children. Or worse, the father of a child would walk up to you and try to give you his living child and say, 'You take it, because if this is your child, it won't die.' " The experience remained with him through 1999, when he joined the Jubilee 2000 [o13] movement. Citing the Book of Leviticus ("Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year...and ye shall return every man unto his possessions"), Jubilee 2000's aim was to get the U.S. and other wealthy nations, as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to erase the public debt of 52 of the world's poorest countries, most of them in Africa. By wiping $350 billion from their books, these countries would be free to spend money on health care and education, rather than pay down the principal on loans floated by corrupt and sometimes long-gone governments. "We have squeezed these countries to the point where their health systems are absolutely unable to function," says Jeffrey Sachs, the Harvard economist who negotiated a debt-relief package for Bolivia in 1986. "Education systems are broken down, and there's a lot of death associated with the collapse of public health and the lack of access to medicine. I don't think any American wants that."  Though Bono knew the basics of debt relief, he consulted with Sachs when he began his unofficial tenure as a Jubilee ambassador. "He gave a call and said he'd like to meet and talk about foreign debts," says Sachs. "And he said to bring a conservative colleague with me, because he wanted to hear the other side." Armed with his quick grad-school tutorial on debt relief, Bono began using his fame to lobby politicians, even those who may not have known exactly who he was. "I'll never forget one day during my Administration," says former President Bill Clinton, "[Treasury] Secretary [Lawrence] Summers comes in to my office and says, 'You know, some guy just came in to see me in jeans and a T-shirt, and he just had one name, but he sure was smart. Do you know anything about him?' " Last year[o14]  Jubilee 2000 was renamed Drop the Debt, and Bono stayed on as the group's most persuasive and high-profile spokesman. He founded DATA, which he hopes to officially launch in mid-March, as a vehicle to expand his African agenda to include short-term economic aid, lowered trade embargoes and money to fight aids, in return for democracy, accountability and transparency in governments across that continent. "I know how absurd it is to have a rock star talk about the World Health Organization or debt relief or HIV/AIDS in Africa," Bono says. But he also knows that no one else with his kind of access to media and money has taken on the job. In an effort to keep the discussion serious and avoid the appearance of being just another rocker against bad things, he refrains from treating Africa as an emotional issue. "We don't argue compassion," he says. His argument is pragmatic, not preachy. "We put it in the most crass terms possible; we argue it as a financial and security issue for America...There are potentially another 10 Afghanistans in Africa, and it is cheaper by a factor of 100 to prevent the fires from happening than to put them out."  The DATA Agenda is loosely modeled on the Marshall Plan, which provided Europeans with foreign assistance, debt cancellation and trade incentives to rebuild their economies after World War II, so that they could act as a bulwark against Soviet expansion. When Bono met with Colin Powell in January 2001, he brought a gift, a signed note from George C. Marshall, another military man turned Secretary of State. The rock star turns lyrical when talking about the Marshall Plan: "You still find people my parents' age in Europe who talk about the Marshall Plan. That was where Europe felt the grace of America, in a way more than just stepping in with its military might." Bono wants his vision for Africa to be as effective and as enduring for future generations as the Marshall Plan was for earlier ones. "Can we do something that people will be proud of in generations?" he asks.  At 1:30 a.m., exactly five hours after his bravura Super Bowl show, Bono is exercising the rock star's fundamental right to be ridiculous. At a celebratory post-game dinner in the French Quarter with his band mates, the U2 management team and actress Ashley Judd (an old friend), he throws back some red wine, tells a few stories about Frank Sinatra, leaves a rambling cell-phone message for Judd's husband gently informing him that his wife has been kidnapped by a rock band, and then sneaks off to the bathroom for a cigarette. (Bono thinks the rest of U2 doesn't know he smokes; they know.) After 15 minutes, guitarist the Edge, who adopts a kind, paternalistic role toward his childhood friend and band mate, glances toward the bathroom and says nervously, "Bono's allergic to red wine." Sure enough, Bono has passed out on the bathroom floor. U2's deputy manager, Sheila Roche, is unconcerned and continues sipping her drink. "He's probably just taking a nap. He's an excellent napper," she says.  A few minutes later, Bono emerges rumpled but renewed. As he exits the restaurant and makes his way through the mob on Bourbon Street, he throws his hands in the air and screams to no one in particular, "No, I will not do the snake dance for you!"  Bono is in full rock-star mode, and he has good reason to savor the moment. U2 nearly called it quits a few years ago. After putting out Pop, the first dud of their 10-album career, in 1997, the band members -- all in their 40s, all with relationships, side interests and more money than they could ever spend -- had to decide whether there was a compelling reason to continue being a band. "Why are you still around?" asks the Edge rhetorically. "You know, you made some great records. But why are you still making records? Part of what we decided is that we had a sense or belief that we can still make the album of the year."  On All That You Can't Leave Behind, which has received eight Grammy nominations, including one for Album of the Year -- U2 dispensed with the drum loops and DJs it had toyed with on Pop and got back to the hard business of writing big, straightforward songs. Lyrically, Bono was struggling with his father's terminal illness (his father Bob Hewson died of cancer last year), but specificity can be the plague of pop. Songs like "One," "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Stay (Faraway, So Close)" and "Walk On" from All That You Can't Leave Behind achieve the impossible -- becoming meaningful to millions of people -- precisely because they are beautifully vague. "Bono did something recently that he probably shouldn't have done," says drummer Larry Mullen Jr. "He did a book as a favor for a friend of his in Ireland that 'explained' all the lyrics. I think that was a mistake because one of the most valuable things about his lyrics is that you can adapt them to any particular situation."  It turns out that millions of listeners adapted All That You Can't Leave Behind to cope with the trauma of Sept. 11. After the lead single, "Beautiful Day," won three awards at last year's Grammys -- prompting Bono to declare immodestly, "[We're] reapplying for the job. What job? The best band in the world job" -- the album slowly sank on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, bottoming out at 108 in August 2001. But in the months after 9/11, as people looked for comfort, escape or both, the album picked up momentum, rising as high as 25 after the Super Bowl, in its 67th week of release. The album is not prescient, just elastic. On "Walk On," the album's best track, Bono sings, "I know it aches/And your heart it breaks/And you can only take so much/Walk on." And on "Peace on Earth," he mourns, "Sick of sorrow/I'm sick of the pain/I'm sick of hearing again and again/That there's gonna be peace on Earth."  U2's Elevation tour, which played in excess of 100 sold-out nights to more than 2 million people in 2001, also took on a completely different feel after Sept. 11. "There was anger, rage, patriotism, sadness," says Mullen. "Everything became frighteningly extreme." In recognition of the tragedy, U2 began projecting the names of fallen members of the New York City police and fire departments and the victims of the four fatal flights on screens and arena walls while they played "One." "I have to say I wasn't sure about it at first," says bassist Adam Clayton. "It seemed like we were really pushing a button. But Bono is a pretty unique individual, and he's got great judgment. He's able to perform open-heart surgery and zap people with a bit of brain surgery at the same time."  U2 incorporated the names into their half-time set at the Super Bowl (projecting them during the songs "MLK" and "Where the Streets Have No Name"). It was not a political statement, just an emotional one. By design, it said nothing in particular and yet somehow conveyed something profound. It was exactly the kind of soaring, impossible moment Bono believes U2 exists to achieve. Wandering around New Orleans after the game, Bono relived each of the set's 11 minutes in something close to real time. "I hope it played well on television, because it felt -- ah! -- it felt just amazing."  The buzz of impossible moments is what rock stars live for, but it's impractical for a political advocate. Two weeks after the Super Bowl performance, Bono is in Los Angeles to accept a $100,000 donation from the Entertainment Industry Foundation for DATA. He calls a meeting on the porch of his suite at the Chateau Marmont with Michael Stipe, Quincy Jones, Bobby Shriver (the record-producing and fund-raising son of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver) and Jamie Drummond, DATA's director. It's a new-ideas meeting, and Bono hopes to tap some of the music industry's sharpest philanthropic minds to raise public awareness for DATA's core issues. "Don't send money. You already have," announces Stipe, trying out copy for a debt-relief mass-mailing postcard. The room loves it.  While Stipe scribbles away, Jones wonders aloud which part of the DATA Agenda -- dropping the debt, making trade rules more advantageous for poor countries or getting more funding for AIDS drugs and health care -- Bono wants the world to focus on. "I think you've got too many issues. That's how we blew it before," says Jones, who raised money for famine relief in 1985 as part of USA for Africa. "Americans don't know about f___ing Philadelphia, let alone Africa. Trade is some very sophisticated politics. You have to particularize the drama for them. You've got to have a melody line."  Bono's not so sure.  The meeting breaks up when Bono leaves for a photo shoot. Driving across Los Angeles, he discusses Jones' notion of a melody line. "What we're all on about is: Africa. Seventy percent of the problem of HIV/AIDS is in Africa. We're talking about the continent bursting into flames while we stand around with watering cans. That's our one idea. But the closer you get to the policymakers, you need specificity, and you need to know what you're talking about. I'd go in and talk about debt relief, debt relief, debt relief, and people would say, 'But that's only part of the picture here.' "  At 41, Bono says, he has given up on music as a political force. He believes his work negotiating in political back rooms is more vital and effective than singing in sold-out stadiums. "Poetry makes nothing happen," the poet W.H. Auden once wrote, and Bono wistfully agrees. "I'm tired of dreaming. I'm into doing at the moment. It's, like, let's only have goals that we can go after. U2 is about the impossible. Politics is the art of the possible. They're very different, and I'm resigned to that now. Music's the thing that stopped me from falling asleep in the comfort of my freedom. I learned about South America from listening to the Clash. I learned about Situationism from the Sex Pistols. But that's a long way from budget caps and dealing with a Congress that is suspicious of aid because it has been so misused."  Music does make a difference in one way; it sways people emotionally. But for Bono that is no longer enough: "When you sing, you make people vulnerable to change in their lives. You make yourself vulnerable to change in your life. But in the end, you've got to become the change you want to see in the world. I'm actually not a very good example of that -- I'm too selfish, and the right to be ridiculous is something I hold too dear -- but still, I know it's true."  With reporting by Benjamin Nugent/New York


The Observer, September 26, 2004   By: Sean O'Hagan

He's as big a campaigner for the poor and hungry as he is a rock star, but what really singles him out is that when he speaks, as he will at this week's Labour Party conference, world leaders listen  Bill Cllinton likes to tell a story about the first time the world's biggest rock star visited the White House. "I'll never forget one day, during my administration, (Treasury) Secretary (Lawrence) Summers comes into my office and says, 'You know, some guy came to just see me in jeans and a T-shirt, and he just had one name, but he sure is smart. Do you know anything about him'?" These days, Lawrence Summers holds court at Harvard, and remains one of America's foremost economists. Having served his time with Clinton, he is now, ironically, an unofficial adviser to the scruffy guy in the jeans and T-shirt, who still has has only one name. He is called Bono, and there is not one person on Capitol Hill who does not now know who he is, or what he is attempting to do. According to President George W. Bush, whom, one suspects, is less enamoured of the cult of rock celebrity than his wayward predecessor, "Bono has a willingness to lead, to achieve what his heart tells him, and that is nobody -- nobody -- should be living in poverty and hopelessness." To this end, Bono is now a global figurehead for the campaign to rid Africa of AIDS, and free the continent from debt. Even the extreme right of the Republican Party have been swayed by Bono's charisma and integrity. "You can see the halo over his head," said Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, a man not given to irony or overstatement. In rock 'n' roll terms, that halo once meant that Bono, and his group U2, were initially greeted by a degree of suspicion by the critical cognoscenti, who prefer their icons to be tarnished or, better still, dead. But 25 years on, Bono has broken the rules, not just of rock 'n' roll, but of modern celebrity, being neither a dabbler in good causes, nor simply a famous fund raiser, but by becoming an effective and dedicated long-term campaigner, and one whose knowledge of the minutiae of the global economy and debt relief has astonished many politicians. "I refused to meet him at first," admitted former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who alongside Colin Powell and, even more surprisingly, right winger Jesse Helms, is now one of Bono's many sympathetic Republican contacts. "I thought he was just some pop star who wanted to use me." Their scheduled half-hour session overran by an hour. "He's a serious person," O'Neill said. "He cares deeply about these issues, and you know what? He knows a lot about them." In the past few years, Bono has met and won over two American Presidents, as well as the Pope, President Putin, multi-millionaire George Soros and U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan. According to Oxfam's Adrian Lovett, who helped form Jubilee 2000, the Bono-driven debt relief campaign that preceded Data (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), "the decisive moment on debt was June 1999 at the G8 Summit in Cologne where an extra �50 billion was promised. It wasn't all down to Bono, of course, but it would never have happened without him." Bono will make history again this week when he follows Nelson Mandela and Clinton in addressing the Labour Party conference on Wednesday. The subject once again will be Africa, and more specifically the three issues that currently dog the continent's destiny: AIDS, unpayable debts, and unfair trade. Issues that Bono has made his own, and that he, more than any other global icon, including Mandela, has brought to world attention in recent years. "I believe that Bono has used his celebrity status for more good than anyone who has ever used their celebrity for any cause," says Jim Leach, the moderate Republican congressman for Iowa. "He has, in effect, tackled the biggest issue of our time, which is not war, but disease control: 20 million people have died of AIDS in Africa, 40-60m are affected...he has used his position to rivet the world's attention to this pandemic. That has taken real dedication and a commitment of the kind we are not used to expecting from even the most concerned celebrities." At a time, then, when we seem mesmerised by the empty lives of the rich and famous, Bono seems single-handedly to have grasped the idea that fame can be a means to a bigger, more morally honourable, end, his undimmed idealism now tempered by a very real and hard-earned understanding of global economics and the politics of aid. "He has effectively become an extremely successful political operator," attests Lucy Matthew, one of the cofounders of DATA, the organisation for which he is both main player and figurehead. "Bono has a big heart but he also has political acumen. This is a guy who can hold his own among the big players. It's a 24-hour-a-day job, and somehow he still finds time to be a rock singer." The extent to which Bono's recent commitment to campaigning has impinged on his other calling as leader of the world's biggest rock group can be measured by the fact that U2's last album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, was delivered late to the record company. Likewise their new album, the intriguingly titled How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, set for release next month. What hasn't suffered is U2's popularity and earning power: their last record sold 11m copies, making it their second biggest release after 1987's The Joshua Tree. When they re-signed to Island Records in the early Nineties, manager Paul McGuinness, often referred to as the fifth member of U2, negotiated a then unprecedented deal giving the group ownership of their own publishing. That alone makes them them one of richest rock groups on the planet. And, while few other rock bands of their generation have even survived into the new millennium, U2 have continued to make challenging music, reinventing themselves more than once, most notably with the extraordinary state-of-the-art visuals of the Zoo TV live tour in 1992. In short, U2 have remained the benchmark for global rock success for almost three decades -- an eternity in pop terms. From the beginning, though, U2 were different, out of step with the prevailing pop-cultural trends. For a start, they were definably and recognisably Irish, both in the unbridled emotionalism of their songs and, initially at least, their utter lack of cool. Interestingly, their trajectory from rock wannabes to global icons has directly reflected Ireland's transformation from a parochialism to a modern European state. The four band members met at Dublin's progressive Mount Temple school, and, from the off, Paul Hewson (Bono), a child of a Protestant mother and a Roman Catholic father, was the group's natural and charismatic leader. Though born in the white heat of the immediate post-punk explosion of the late Seventies, U2's music had a soaring, idealistic undertow that flew in the face of post-punk nihilism. Crucially, it was also ideally suited to the stadium venues that defined Eighties rock. U2's first defining moment in Europe was their performance at Live Aid, organised by Bono's long-term friend and associate, Bob Geldof, with whom he still campaigns. Bono married young to his teenage sweetheart, Ali Stewart, now herself a seasoned campaigner on behalf of the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. Together they visited Ethiopia a few months after Live Aid, staying for six months to work in an orphanage, an experience that informed Bono's subsequent commitment to debt relief in Africa. Their marriage has lasted for more than 20 years, and has produced four children, Eve, Jordan, Elijah and John, their names a testament to the broad-based Christian spirituality of their father. For a while, just as the group were poised on for global success following the release of their acclaimed third album, War, in 1983, it seemed as if that same spirituality was incompatible with a rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Both Bono and lead guitarist Dave "the Edge" Evans were intent on leaving the group until McGuinness persuaded them otherwise. That same faith, though seldom articulated outside their songs, remains Bono's creative and moral raison d'�tre, and may be the defining element in why he is the biggest rock star on the planet and, perversely, why rock alone cannot contain him. Already, those in the know are calling the new album U2's masterpiece. It is a highly charged affair, full of guitar-driven songs about big emotional, rather than political, issues, and foreshadowed by the death of Bono's father, Robert Hewson, in 2001. The title song, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," is actually an ode to his late father, who was a strong and forceful presence in his son's life. "I should have called it How to Dismantle the Atomic Bob," he quipped recently. Thus, Bono's big adventure continues apace both in music that continues to resonate and fascinate, and in an extracurricular life that, if anything, is even more remarkable. "I don't say this lightly," says Congressman Leach, "but I think Bono is the only celebrity who should seriously be considered for the Nobel Prize for his humanitarianism. He has a depth of vision that is rare in these times, but he also possesses what I call the common man appeal. He's neither left or right, he cuts through all that to get to the core of things. He's the real deal." How long Bono can juggle two interlocking, but demanding, careers as a global pop icon and a global campaigner is anyone's guess, but, as yet, there are no signs that the incredible energy and commitment he brings to both shows any sign of letting up. On Wednesday, at the Labour Party conference, he faces one of the hardest and, ironically, smallest audiences of his performing career, but there is little doubt that he will steal the show from the likes of Blair and Brown, who would kill for one ounce of his charisma. "U2 is about the impossible," Bono once remarked, "Politics is about the art of the possible. I'm resigned to that now." We'll see. BONO AKA: Paul David Hewson DOB: 10 May, 1960 (Ballymun, Dublin) Family: Married Alison Stewart in 1982 (two daughters, two sons) Interests: Rock 'n' roll, activist, screenwriting, orating, amateur acting, friend of Bob Geldof


New York Times, September 18, 2005 / By: James Traub

At 1:45 in the morning one day this past July, Bono, the lead singer for U2 and the world's foremost agitator for aid to Africa, was in a van heading back to his hotel in Edinburgh from Murrayfield Stadium; he had just performed in, and expounded at, a concert designed to coincide with the beginning of the summit meeting of the major industrialized nations, held nearby at the Gleneagles resort. Despite the hour, practically everybody in the van was on a cellphone. The bodyguard in the front seat was calling the hotel to see if a huge crowd would still be camped outside hoping to catch a glimpse of their world-straddling hero. (Roger that.) Lucy Matthew, the head of the London office of DATA, Bono's policy and advocacy body - the acronym stands for Debt AIDS Trade Africa - was whispering to some contact in the States. And Bono, who had been conferring 12 hours earlier at Gleneagles with President George Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gerhard Schr�der, was sharing an anxiety attack with a friend. The leaders of the G-8, as the group is known, were going to offer far less in aid and trade to developing nations in Africa than the activists had led their followers to expect. Thousands of bright-eyed young recruits to the cause were going to go home in disgust.

Bono, normally the most courteous of men, shouted an obscenity in Matthew's general direction, though the intended target was himself, or perhaps fate. "What's the point of coming back to talk to Chirac?" he said. "It's going to be too late then." The French president had reached Gleneagles late, and was probably sullen given that Paris had just lost out to London in its bid for the 2012 Olympics. (This was several hours before the terrorist bombings in London.) Bono was leaving later that day for a concert in Berlin and so would be unable to see Chirac until the day after. The thought was making him desperate: "Lucy, is it too late to call somebody with Chirac?" Matthew gently pointed out that it was, after all, the middle of the night for most people. Bono digested this unwelcome news and then said, "Look, let's call them tomorrow morning and say I'd be happy to meet with him any time he wants. I'll bring him breakfast.. . .I guess I won't bring him an English breakfast." (Chirac had notoriously declared English food the worst cuisine in Europe, save Finnish.)

Bono did not, in fact, talk to the French president until the third and final day of the conference. But by then his despair had lifted. The summit meeting's final communiqu� offered significant pledges on aid and debt relief for Africa, as well as new proposals on education and malaria eradication. Bono's own embrace of the package was treated with a solemnity worthy of a Security Council resolution. When I saw him the day after the summit ended, over tea in the courtyard of the H�tel Plaza Ath�n�e in Paris, he said, "I feel like I've got a right to punch the air."

And so he did. Bono had moved the debate on Africa, as five years ago he moved the debate on debt cancellation. This past week he was trying to move the debate set to take place at the big United Nations summit meeting, which he says he hopes will consolidate the gains made at Gleneagles, or at least not erode them. He's a strange sort of entity, this euphoric rock star with the chin stubble and the tinted glasses - a new and heretofore undescribed planet in an emerging galaxy filled with transnational, multinational and subnational bodies. He's a kind of one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame. He is also, of course, an emanation of the celebrity culture. But it is Bono's willingness to invest his fame, and to do so with a steady sense of purpose and a tolerance for detail, that has made him the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture.

I first met Bono last January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering that answers almost perfectly to the conspiracy-theory view of global domination by a corporate-political-cultural elite. A core function of Davos is to mix different kinds of authority, which makes it the site par excellence of the Celebrity Prince and the one-man state. Bill Gates was there, as was George Soros - figures whose global currency, of course, is currency, and who deploy their philanthropy strategically, just as states deploy their aid budgets. Angelina Jolie, roving ambassador for the United Nation's refugee agency, showed up, too. Bill Clinton came, as did Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia professor and unofficial economist to the third world. And a giddy nimbus of wannabes surrounded these regal figures and basked in their company.

When I went to meet Bono at the bar of his hotel, I saw Richard Gere seated at a table with a gorgeous woman in a little fur jacket and a leather cap. Bono, on the other hand, had removed himself to a quiet back room, where he was keeping company with a plump, middle-aged white guy in a suit and tie. (Bono was wearing a T-shirt and a fuzzy sweater whose sleeve needed mending.) This was Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's AIDS program. The administration had just announced that the program was providing antiretroviral drugs to 155,000 Africans with AIDS. Another kind of activist might have said, "That leaves 25 million more to go." But not Bono: he looked his cornfed interlocutor in the eye and said, "You should know what an incredible difference your work is going to make in their lives." Tobias looked embarrassed. Bono said various wonderful things about President Bush. Tobias beamed.

The glamour event of the following day, indeed of the whole forum, was a symposium on efforts to end poverty in Africa. The guests were Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Bill Gates and Bono. The heads of state, leading off, candidly acknowledged the obstacles to development - violent conflict, poor governance, corruption, lack of political will in the donor states and so on. It was all terribly somber and Davos. Then Bono was asked what he would like to see changed. "The tone of the debate," he shot back. The Celebrity Prince was wearing a black T-shirt under a black leather jacket, and he appeared to have shaved the stubble off his jutting, bellicose jaw. "Here we are," he went on, "reasonable men talking about a reasonable situation. I walk down the street and people say: 'I love what you're doing. Love your cause, Bon.' And I don't think 6,000 Africans a day dying from AIDS is a cause; it's an emergency. And 3,000 children dying every day of malaria isn't a cause; it's an emergency."

The crowd of C.F.O.'s and executive directors, silent until then, burst into applause. Bono had put music to the words; that's one of the things the rock-star activist can do. Moments later, an inspired Bill Clinton, throwing reason to the winds, cried: "The whole corruption and incompetence issue is bogus! And whoever raises it should be thrown in the closet." (Clinton later calmed down and said he meant that the corruption and incompetence of many African governments should not be used as a pretext to withhold aid.)

Bono gave Davos its music; but he also operated in prose. His chief goal was to win commitments, or the possibility of commitments, to be redeemed six months later at Gleneagles. A major item on the agenda for Gleneagles would be canceling $40 billion of debt that the poorest countries owe to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions; and in Davos, Bono met with John Taylor, an under secretary of the treasury, to try to move the Bush administration's position on the issue. He huddled with Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the Exchequer and heir apparent to the British prime ministership, to strategize on financial mechanisms to "front load" the increased aid that donor states had promised. When Chancellor Schr�der arrived to deliver a speech on aid to Africa as well as on the German economy, he met beforehand with Bill Gates and afterward with Bono.

As soon as the Schr�der meeting ended, I was summoned to the war room in which Bono and his troops were camped. "Schr�der just agreed to .7 by 2015," Bono cried. "It's fantastic!" In 2002, the industrialized states pledged to increase foreign-aid spending to 0.7 percent of G.N.P. by 2015, but the German economy was tanking, and Schr�der, who faced a political challenge from the right, had been loath to lay out a timetable for increased spending. Now, to Bono, he had done just that. Of course, a skeptic might have noted that since Schr�der was unlikely to be in power in 2006, much less 2015, this was not a pledge he would have to honor, but Bono is not a skeptic.

One night I went out to dinner with Bono and the gang. Richard Curtis, the British screenwriter responsible for "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Love Actually" and a prominent activist on poverty issues as well, told Bono that he and Bob Geldof had been talking about arranging simultaneous mega-concerts in major world cities for July 2, to focus attention on the Gleneagles summit - the germ of what would become Live 8. Bono, who was carving up a large steak, got more and more excited. Those eight leaders, he suggested, should think that the whole world will be watching. It wouldn't be, of course; but it should feel that way. "I'm a salesmen," he told Curtis. "And I know I can sell this to NBC or CBS." Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sachs was crouched over in the corner, trying to make himself heard on his BlackBerry. Jamie Drummond, the head of DATA's Washington office, was running down a list of stars - George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Mos Def - who had agreed to appear in a commercial for the One Campaign, a confederation of major development organizations that was assembling an army of activists to fight for increased aid.

Bono had started with a glass of white wine, but when I said I was drinking red, he switched over and ordered a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino. U2's manager, Paul McGuinness, is a wine nut, and Bono caught the bug from him. Bono has unabashedly bourgeois tastes, and he spends his money on the kinds of things most of us would spend our money on if we had as much as he does - a family-size Maserati, a house on the Riviera, a charming hotel in Dublin, great food and wine. I was raving about the Brunello, which was many stations above the norm for me. Bono was less impressed, but he didn't want to dampen my enthusiasm. "It is," he said, after some consideration, "a not immodestly great wine." This dash of wine snobbery, which would have been insufferable from a London banker, became somehow endearing when delivered from behind pink sunglasses in an Irish publican brogue.

When he is not lobbying heads of state on multilateral debt relief, Bono, who is now 45, still earns his keep as one of the most famous rock stars in the world. And in order to understand how he has come by his Celebrity Prince status, it's helpful to attend a U2 concert. In May, a few months after Davos, I saw the band perform in Madison Square Garden. First, the entire arena went dark, and then, in a cone of white light through which innumerable bits of confetti fluttered and danced, Bono materialized, twirling slowly, ecstatically, his arms raised to the light as if asking to be drawn up to the heavens. It was a gesture with intimations of the messianic. And yet what you felt, throughout the evening, as Bono pranced and hopped along the catwalk that extended out into the crowd in the pit, inviting girls up to dance with him, was that he was beckoning his fans to join him in the ecstatic place where the music came from. Even his political appeals, which he generally kept in check, felt like an invitation to the transcendent. Invoking the spirit of American courage and enterprise that once put a man on the moon, he called on President Bush to increase aid to Africa and thus "put mankind back on earth" (whatever that meant).

Bono may be a one-man state, but he is not a one-man band. U2 is a rock phenomenon because the Edge, the lead guitarist, the drummer, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton, who plays bass guitar, are very talented musicians who share Bono's gift for conjuring a sense of rapture. But the voice of U2 is Bono's voice, which seems to rise up out of a great pool of naked yearning. It takes the form sometimes of an arena-enveloping shout, sometimes of a keening wail and sometimes of a piercing falsetto. The voice, like the stage presence, is easy to spoof, for as a performer, Bono generally does without the irony that he deploys as a bantering citizen. The ironist will not, however, touch a stadium full of hearts, as Bono does.

Bono, who was born Paul Hewson, had more than enough unhappiness and loss growing up to give a sharp edge to that wail, but not too much to kill his sense of delight. He was reared by a Catholic father and a Protestant mother in Dublin's ragged middle class, a smart boy who was playing in international chess tournaments at 12. But when Bono was 14, his beloved mother suddenly died, leaving him with an older brother and a father who, he has said, "would always pour salt - and vinegar - onto the wound." He was a very angry teenager, but at 16, he and some of his angry, barely middle-class school chums began noodling around on instruments. By the following year, 1977, they were performing in local clubs. They weren't very good, but even then there was something fiercely affirmative in their music. At a time when many performers looked as if they'd just emerged from electroshock therapy and were wont to incite a crowd by pelting it with offal, U2 had a bond, a benevolent relationship, with the audience. "We were never adversarial," Adam Clayton says. "We were much more Irish."

The band has been together ever since. Even Paul McGuinness, their manager, has been with them from the beginning. This is not only rare in the rock business; it is just about unheard-of. U2 is also one of the very few bands in which all revenue is shared equally; Bono and the Edge could have claimed the songwriting revenue but didn't. Nor do any of them appear to have succumbed to drugs, alcohol or raging ego. Religion played an important role in the band members' lives, if not always in their music; indeed, the band's survival was threatened only when, early on, Bono, the Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. thought of leaving to join a Christian fellowship. Bono remains religious, and not in the cosmic, New Age sense you expect from rock stars. He describes himself as a "meandering Christian," and his four children attend the Church of Ireland, which is Episcopalian (and thus splits the difference between his mother and father).

Unlike his dyspeptic fellow activist Sir Bob Geldof, Bono is a hugger, a giver and seeker of affection. Geldof himself has compared the two by saying: "He is in love with the world . . . he wants to give it a cuddle. I want to punch its lights out" - as if Bono were an Irish John Denver. Bono understandably hates this crack, but in fact he doesn't want to punch the lights out of life. He's an extremely courteous, minutely attentive person who signs every object thrust at him by delirious fans and never forgets to thank everyone for everything. Though he has, over the years, written a great many aching ballads about women with "Spanish eyes" and so forth, he has stayed married to his first wife, Ali, whom he met at age 12 and started dating at 16.

From the outset, the members of U2 have been committed to rescuing the planet from various evils. Back in the 1980's, when the band was building its reputation, every tour seemed to come with its own moral sponsor - Amnesty International, Nelson Mandela, Greenpeace. Bono has since come to think of this as the era of Rock Against Bad Things. Should he ever want to mortify himself utterly, Bono need only cue up the incantation at the end of his 1987 song "Silver and Gold": "This is a song about a man . . .who's sick of looking down the barrel of white South Africa. A man who has lost faith in the peacekeepers of the West while they argue.. . .Am I buggin' ya? I don't mean to bug ya." But Bono has the saving grace of self-awareness; he keeps close track of his own absurdities. Like any pop star, he sorted through various personae over the years - brother of the oppressed, Christian visionary, ironic trickster, devoted husband and father - and ultimately arrived at the soulful, watchful, perpetually unsatisfied grown-up that he is. And at that point he was ready to take up issues that other rock stars were unlikely to bother with, since they couldn't be reduced to a songwriter's hook.

In 1997, Bono was approached by Jamie Drummond, then working with a church-sponsored campaign to cancel the debts that the most impoverished nations owed to the industrialized nations. (This was "bilateral debt," owed by one state to another, as opposed to the "multilateral debt" debated at Gleneagles.) Many countries, especially in Africa, were so crushed by foreign debt, often run up by long-gone tyrants with the happy connivance of Western banks, that scarcely anything was left over for schools, health care and the like. The movement made real headway in England, but was virtually unknown in the U.S. U2 played in the Live Aid concert to raise money for Ethiopia back in 1985. So did everyone else, of course. But Bono actually wanted to understand the problem he was sloganeering about, so the following year he and Ali spent several months living and working in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He was ripe for a deeper involvement.

Bono agreed to spearhead the American debt-relief effort and began by educating himself on the subject. As a superstar, Bono had the advantage of being able to conduct his education at a very high level. Bobby Shriver, a record producer and member of the Kennedy clan, set up meetings for him with James Wolfensohn, who was the head of the World Bank, and with Paul Volcker, David Rockefeller and other colossi of the financial establishment. Bono traveled to Cambridge, Mass., to meet with Jeffrey Sachs, then at Harvard. But he also asked Sachs to find him an academic who opposed debt cancellation, a very peculiar request for a graduate of the school of Rock Agitprop. "I'm always attentive to the bearers of bad news," Bono told me, "because they're a little more reliable." They also, of course, sharpen your debating skills.

By the summer of 1999, Bono was ready to take on Washington. The Clinton administration was already committed to canceling two-thirds or so of the $6 billion that the poorest African countries owed the United States, but Bono wanted 100 percent cancellation - not only because he thought it was right, but also because you can't sing about two-thirds of something. "It has to feel like history," he says. "Incrementalism [S15] leaves the audience in a snooze." Shriver arranged for Bono to meet with Gene Sperling, President Clinton's chief economic adviser, and with Sheryl Sandberg, chief of staff to Lawrence Summers, who had just been named secretary of the treasury. Summers himself was not about to waste precious time meeting with a rock star. He did agree, however, to "drop by" while Bono spoke to Sperling. Bono laid out his argument. "He was deeply versed in the substance," Sandberg recalls. "He understood capital markets, debt instruments, who the decision makers were."

Summers tried to give Bono the polite brushoff. "These are complicated issues," Summers told him. "I'll have to take it up with the G-7 finance ministers." And now this earnest, impassioned rock star with the accent of a racetrack tout issued a call to destiny. "You know what," he told Summers, "I've been all over the world, and I've talked to all the major players, and everyone said, 'If you get Larry Summers, you can get this done.' " It was, Sandberg says, "a really important moment. I think we were all inspired and motivated."

It wasn't Bono's belief in the issue that was so effective; it was his belief in others. One Sunday morning that fall, Bono called to ask Sperling if he could come to his office in the West Wing. There he put his hand on top of a giant stack of papers Sperling was working through and said: "I bet that most of the things in this pile feel more urgent than debt relief. But I want you to think of one thing: Ten years from now, is there anything you'll feel more proud of than getting debt relief for the poorest countries?" Bono understood something about people like Sperling: that in their heart of hearts, the chastened New Democrats of the Clinton administration yearned for morally resounding acts, but that they needed political cover, and they needed permission - the feeling that the thing could and must be done. When Bono left, Sperling called a treasury official and said that he wanted to insert something on debt relief into a speech Clinton was about to give at the World Bank. He and Summers got a few minutes in the presidential limo. Clinton instantly agreed to call for 100 percent cancellation of the debts owed to the United States by 33 impoverished countries.

But it wasn't enough just to pierce the hearts of guilty ex-liberals, for there was still the Republican-controlled Congress to attend to. In late 1999, Bono arranged to meet John Kasich, a wild-man rock-fan conservative from Ohio who was chairman of the House Budget Committee. Kasich might not have been the most obvious candidate for the job; one of his obsessions was getting rid of foreign aid, most of which he considered, he says, "a joke." But Kasich says he was impressed by the force of Bono's argument. The congressman was also a Christian, and Bono spoke of Biblical injunctions to succor the poor and downtrodden. Kasich enlisted. And this became a pattern: Bono was able to dislodge conservatives from their isolationist or free-market reflexes by reaching them as Christians. Conservative Christians in and out of Congress - mostly out - are now a key constituency in the debates over aid to Africa; Bono was among the first outsiders to help them across the ideological divide.

In mid-2000, Bono received an audience with Senator Jesse Helms, viewed by Bono's fellow lefties, including members of the band, as the archfiend himself. Bono quickly realized that his usual spiel about debt service and so on wasn't making a dent. So, he recalls: "I started talking about Scripture. I talked about AIDS as the leprosy of our age." Married women and children were dying of AIDS, he told the senator, and governments burdened by debt couldn't do a thing about it. Helms listened, and his eyes began to well up. Finally the flinty old Southerner rose to his feet, grabbed for his cane and said, "I want to give you a blessing." He embraced the singer, saying, "I want to do anything I can to help you." Kasich, who was watching from a couch, says, "I thought somebody had spiked my coffee." Bono later invited Senator Helms to a U2 concert, and Helms sat through the evening with his hearing aid turned down. Afterward he said to Bono, "I saw them all standing there with their arms in the air, blowin' like a field of corn."

During this period, Bono flew to Washington eight times, meeting not only legislators but also their aides - even though U2 was then in the last stages of recording a new album. The key holdout in the House was Sonny Callahan, a congressman from Alabama, and Bono and his little band ginned up the clergy members in Callahan's district. Callahan himself later said: "Priests and pastors sermonizing on debt relief on Sundays, telling their congregations to tell Callahan to take care of this, including my own bishop. Eventually I gave in." In late October 2000, Congress appropriated the additional $435 million needed for 100 percent debt relief.

Why Africa? Why not, say, global warming? Part of the answer is happenstance: Africa is what Bono got swept up into. But Africa, or so Bono feels, needs what only a certain kind of world figure can give - a call to conscience, an appeal to the imagination, a melody or a lyric you won't forget. The cause of ending extreme poverty in Africa speaks to Bono's prophetic impulse. Rock music, for him, is a form of advocacy, but advocacy is also a form of rock music. His definition of "sing" includes speeches and press conferences, and his arenas include Davos and Capitol Hill. Among his best work is the rallying cry. He often says, "My generation wants to be the generation that ended extreme poverty." There's not much evidence that this is so; but Bono has helped make it so, in part by repeating such resonant phrases.

God knows Africa could use a song or two. The reason that debt relief required such an excruciating effort is that foreign aid has virtually no constituency; a politician is only going to hurt himself by vowing to spend more money helping poor people in Africa. By the time the Bush administration took office, the percentage of G.N.P. devoted to development assistance had been shrinking for more than three decades. And the case for aid had dwindled just as drastically. Countries like Nigeria and Kenya had received tens of billions of dollars over the years with scarcely anything to show for it. Not only conservatives like John Kasich but also Clinton administration "neoliberals" argued that aid was powerless, perhaps even harmful, in the face of corruption, civil conflict, weak governance, self-defeating economic policies.

Whatever its merits, the neoliberal argument began to feel morally unsustainable as much of Africa retrogressed throughout the 90's. Was the West to offer nothing more than pious advice about free markets and small government while whole portions of the globe slid into misery? Did all African countries suffer from bad values, bad governance and bad policies? Liberal economists and activists formulated an alternative argument: a combination of "natural" factors - poor soil, high incidence of infectious disease, lack of access to ports - along with disadvantageous trade conditions and wrongheaded neoliberal policies had gotten many countries stuck in what Jeffrey Sachs called "the poverty trap." They could not escape, absent outside help. This view, which was widely accepted outside the United States, was given a global endorsement in 2000, when the U.N. adopted the Millennium Development Goals, pledging to radically reduce such problems as extreme poverty, child mortality and infectious disease over the next 15 years. Recipient countries pledged to reduce corruption and improve accountability; donor countries pledged to increase aid, lower trade barriers and grant further debt relief.

Bono passionately embraced this expansive view of the obligations of the industrialized world, and of the possibilities of Africa. In 2001, he went to Bill Gates and others to finance an organization that would lobby for action on Africa. DATA has offices in London, Los Angeles and Washington, but it was plain from the outset that the real challenge lay in Washington, both because historically the U.S. spent so small a fraction of its budget on aid - one-tenth of 1 percent of G.N.P. as of 2000 - and because the incoming Bush administration believed so single-mindedly in free-market solutions to problems of development. At the G-8 summit in Genoa in the summer of 2001, Bono managed to wangle a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, who was then the president's national security adviser. Rice is only a few years older than Bono, but her training in classical music and her rather forbidding public persona do not exactly suggest an affinity for rock music or rock musicians. Apparently, this is a misconception. "I'm a baby boomer," Rice pointed out to me when we met in her office in July. "I love rock music." She is, she says, "a U2 fan." And in Bono she discovered a potential partner. The administration, she says, was grappling with ways to "rebuild a consensus about foreign assistance." Rice was surprised to learn that Bono took the hard-headed view that "there's a responsibility for the recipient" as well as for the donor. In fact, Bono championed a new paradigm in which aid would be conditioned not only on need but on demonstrated capacity to use that aid effectively - which was precisely the kind of reform the administration had been thinking of. After the meeting with Rice, the policy wonks at what would become DATA (it had not yet been formally organized) produced a proposal for a two-pronged strategy to "reward success" in six to nine well-governed countries and to keep others from "falling back" through major increases in funding on AIDS, TB and malaria. The proposal might have gone nowhere, but then 9/11 changed all contexts, including the context of development assistance. Aid became a national-security issue (if a rather marginal one), for it was clear that fragile states could not be allowed to become failed states, as Afghanistan had been. And as the administration geared up for war, it needed to prove that its new foreign policy would not be limited to routing terrorists. In early 2002, Jamie Drummond recalls, he was "summoned to Washington and asked not to leave." In a series of closed-door meetings, he says, he worked with White House officials on the details of an aid program based on the principles Bono had proposed. (These officials bridle at the suggestion of Bono's authorship: Joshua Bolten, then Bush's deputy chief of staff for policy, will say only that Bono "was working with the president at a time when he was considering" such a program.) The administration vowed to put real money behind the Millennium Challenge Account, as the program came to be called. By the third year of operation, it was to be dispensing $5 billion, which all by itself would increase the aid budget by nearly half. But the administration wanted something from Bono in return - his imprimatur. The idea seems laughable on the surface, but the fact is that Bono had enormous credibility in an area where the administration had virtually none; or, as Secretary Rice put it to me, "It's great to have a person who would not normally be identified with the president's development agenda as a part of it." Bono had bargaining power, and he now used it. Jeffrey Sachs had long argued that the AIDS epidemic was wrecking the economy and social order of the most affected states, so that development assistance could not work without a major AIDS campaign. Bono told Rice that he would appear with Bush at an event promoting the president's development-assistance program if Bush would also commit to "a historic AIDS initiative." The day before the planned appearance, in March, Bono learned that the president would not do so. He was now playing for dizzyingly high stakes. Virtually everyone around Bono despised Bush; and now some of his most trusted advisers urged him to deny the administration his precious gift of legitimacy. And Bono, in an uncharacteristic act of confrontation, called Rice and said he was pulling out of the joint appearance. Rice was very unhappy. She recalls telling him, "Bono, this president cares about AIDS, too, and let me tell you that he is going to figure out something dramatic to do about AIDS." But, she added, "You're going to have to trust us." Bono accepted her pledge. According to Scott Hatch, a former aide to the Republican House leadership whom Bono hired to help him gain access to conservatives, "Bono really took it on the chin from the left for dealing with a Republican president." But Bono says he felt that the administration deserved praise for the aid package; and he trusted the Bush White House, though his friends thought him ludicrously na�ve. He says that he has not regretted his trust. "I have found personally that I have never been overpromised," he says. "In fact, the opposite - they tell me they won't do something, and finally they do it." As he was being taken to meet Bush, Bono recalls, he told the driver to circle the block a few times while he sat with a Bible in his lap, hunting frantically for a verse about shepherds and the poor. He was getting later and later. Finally he found a passage to his liking, and he went into the Oval Office. There he recited the passage he had chosen from the Gospel of Matthew: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in.. . ." Bono then presented Bush with an edition of the Psalms for which he had written the foreword. Bono's most celebrated collaboration with the Bush administration was his African caravansary with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill in May 2002. The two men, so oddly matched, had a striking effect on each other. In the course of the trip, O'Neill, a highly successful corporate leader who preached the gospel of "value for your money," came to conclude that small investments of public money could produce extraordinary value, at least in the exemplary countries on their itinerary - Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia. He became obsessed with the idea that donors could create a supply of clean drinking water for a entire country for a pittance. But he also tried to impress on Bono the liberating power of the global market. Bono was accustomed to prating about the evils of the I.M.F. and the stinginess of donors; he was taken aback when O'Neill escorted him through factory floors and explained that Africa would benefit more from even a modest expansion of trade than from a radical increase in aid. An account in The Washington Post suggested that a "momentous. . .alliance between liberals and conservatives to launch a fresh assault on global poverty" was in the offing. O'Neill returned to Washington with the fervor of a convert - and ran into a brick wall. The trip had provided great publicity for the White House, but nobody wanted to hear about water projects. When O'Neill took advantage of a one-on-one meeting with Bush to propose a $25 million demonstration project to provide clean water to Ghana, the president "looked blankly at him," according to "The Price of Loyalty," an account of O'Neill's time in Washington written by Ron Suskind with O'Neill's extensive cooperation. O'Neill's impolitic enthusiasms and intellectual honesty marked him as a hopeless outsider in the Bush White House; he was fired at the end of 2002. And with him went hopes for a historic conjunction of soft hearts and hard heads. The Millennium Challenge Account, announced with such fanfare, now proceeded to sink to the bottom of the administration's priority list. Only in early 2004, two years from the announcement, did the president sign the law creating the body. The first executive director, Paul Applegarth, was a complete unknown who impressed scarcely anyone. Congress appropriated only $1.3 billion for the first year and $1.5 billion for the second. This year President Bush asked for $3 billion rather than the $5 billion he had once promised; and Congress may appropriate little more than half that. Why should legislators do otherwise? Since the corporation has disbursed a grand total of $400,000 to date, there's no evidence that it works. Administration officials and legislators give various explanations, none terribly persuasive, for the dilatory pace. Senator Rick Santorum, who has been one of Bono's key conservative allies, says that he has tried to persuade White House officials that the M.C.A. is "part of our war on terror" and should be financed accordingly. But when Santorum tries to push the budget director, Joshua Bolten, he says, he hears "the 'Jerry Maguire' answer: 'Show me the money.' " Bolten is another White House Friend of Bono, and he, too, speaks of aid as "an integral part of the national-security strategy." But when I asked him what happened to the Millennium Challenge Account, he said that it fell between budget cycles. The Bush administration, critics say, has fumbled the opportunity to transform the aid debate. In March, Paul O'Neill said that he found it "unforgivable that we and other mature nations" have refused to do something as simple as providing clean drinking water. Many of Bono's own allies have lost what little patience they had. Jeffrey Sachs, whose moral sensibilities are comparable to those of U2 circa 1985, calls the operation of the M.C.A. "a disgrace." When I asked Sachs if he thought that Bono should stop cultivating the president and start denouncing him, he said, "Even aside from him saying it publicly, I'd just like him to say it to himself." I saw Bono soon after my conversation with his mentor and sometime foil. In late May, U2 made a swing through New York for the Madison Square Garden concert. Bono insisted on having lunch at Balthazar, the downtown bistro, where the staff welcomed him as an old friend. He ordered half a dozen oysters, the filet mignon and a half-bottle - and then, sometime later, another half-bottle - of a Clos de Vougeot. When my lunch came, he ate the French fries off my plate, Bill Clinton-style. I told him about my talk with Sachs. Bono frowned and said: "I understand his rage; I share it. What I will not agree with is the belief that we can do this just by the moral force of our argument. We need the right as well as the left. We have achieved an enormous amount this way." Bono will not say anything that will drive the administration away, but it is not wholly a matter of tactics; he continues to believe, with what can only be described as a touching faith, that President Bush, while utterly indifferent to the political value of aid, is deeply committed to helping Africa according to his own lights. And the proof, for Bono, is AIDS. Condoleezza Rice had promised him a historic AIDS initiative. Throughout 2002, Bono pressured the administration, lobbying key representatives, White House officials and, above all, leaders in the conservative Christian community. In the first week of December that year, he organized a bus tour through Middle America - the Heart of America tour - to demonstrate that ordinary Americans wanted action on AIDS. And the administration made good its pledge: in his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush proposed a five-year, $15 billion effort to combat AIDS in 15 hard-hit countries, 12 of them in Africa. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar, has been fully financed every year. And because, unlike the M.C.A., it was built on existing programs, the AIDS initiative began operating on the ground within months - which is why Bono heaped praise on Randall Tobias at Davos. Bono did not, however, see fit to remonstrate with Tobias over the damage that may have been done by the AIDS program's ideologically inspired guidelines: a requirement that one-third of prevention funds go to programs promoting abstinence and sexual fidelity, stringent restrictions on the use of condoms and even a demand that groups receiving funds must formally oppose prostitution. An editorial in The Economist characterized Pepfar as "too much morality, too little sense." And the administration has been far less generous with international approaches to AIDS. When, in 2001, Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations announced the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, President Bush offered only $200 million as the American contribution. Congress has agreed to finance up to one-third of the fund's budget, but in each of the last three years, the administration submitted a lower figure and then Congress raised it. Rick Santorum offers only a middling grade to the administration on AIDS: "The president put up a very good number for bilateral aid, but didn't put up a good number for multilateral aid." Had Congress approved the administration's most recent budget request, Santorum says, thousands of people would have lost their supply of antiretroviral drugs. The leader who deserves the greatest credit for placing Africa at the top of the world's agenda, or at least near it, is Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. It was Blair, who, at the urging of Bob Geldof, impaneled the Commission for Africa, whose report, released earlier this year, painstakingly laid out the case for an enormous increase in aid to Africa. Blair seems actually to believe what the Bush administration only says, for he uses the same ringing tones to talk about the West's responsibility to Africa that he does to discuss the war on terrorism. But Blair also knows that his crusade enjoys broad political support. And for this he has Bono and Geldof, among others, to thank. Justin Forsyth, Blair's special adviser on development, credits Bono with making Africa an urgent issue in Britain, and with helping Blair "keep the bar very high" by insisting on big, breakthrough goals. The Gleneagles momentum began building in the spring. In May, European Union development ministers pledged to double global aid from $60 billion to $120 billion by 2010. The following month, Paul Wolfowitz, the hawkish former Pentagon official who had just left the administration to become head of the World Bank, embraced the 0.7 percent target. The Americans and the Brits had worked out their differences on multilateral debt relief. But the Bush administration remained a conspicuous holdout. White House officials were mystified that they hadn't gotten the credit they felt they deserved for reversing decades of indifference to aid, and felt no pressure to do more. When I saw Bono in late May, he was close to despair about Bush's intransigence. The next day he was going to Washington to see Rice, Bolten and the political mastermind Karl Rove. He planned to say, "I know that important programs are being cut, but this kind of momentum doesn't come along every year." He was going to suggest a major initiative on malaria, and another on girls' education. Blair and Bono speak regularly, and the week before Gleneagles, Bono hatched a plan to visit 10 Downing Street when the eight "sherpas," who map out the summit for their heads of state, would be meeting there. Lobbying sherpas is simply not done, but Bono dropped in on their meeting as if he just happened to have been in the neighborhood. Once he was in the door, he started talking for all he was worth. "First I tried to get them to laugh," he told me. "And I did get them to laugh. Then I tried to inspire them. I think I inspired them." The Bono operation in Scotland, quartered in a spacious suite in the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, was far larger than it had been in Davos. A planning meeting on Day 1 of the summit meeting included all sorts of unfamiliar young men in fashionable glasses, as well as George Clooney. Jamie Drummond was trying to come up with a crisp sound bite on debt relief for Clooney to use on the American morning talk shows. Bob Geldof, his ginger locks tucked under Andy Capp headgear, wandered into the meeting trailed by a TV crew and talking on the cellphone to a senior British treasury official. Geldof held out the phone so everyone could hear, if barely. The official was saying that Chancellor Schr�der was balking at an airlines tax to be used to raise money earmarked for aid. Bono said that he was trying to persuade Angela Merkel, Schr�der's electoral opponent, to give the chancellor political space by agreeing not to raise the issue - a stupefying proposition. "We'll be working on that all day," he said blandly. (The idea was eventually dropped.) Bono, Geldof and the key aides then choppered over to Gleneagles. Bono spoke with Schr�der and Blair about the issues that were still up in the air - financing mechanisms and trade reform. He met with Bush, who had announced new initiatives on malaria and access to education the week before - the two issues Bono raised with the White House in late May. It was good, but it was all done in prose. "They keep saying, 'We're spending this much, and it's this much of a share of world spending,' " he told me the next morning. "I want them to say: 'Malaria just can't be allowed. We're going to get rid of malaria.' " That was how the president talked about terrorism; Bono conceded that if he didn't talk about aid that way, it was probably because he didn't feel that way. The Live 8 concerts on July 2 had been crowded, star-studded and distinctly upbeat - Rock in Favor of Good Things. One last concert was staged on July 6, the first day of the G-8, in the Murrayfield Stadium. It was a fabulously bizarre event. One dressing room had been set aside for George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Claudia Schiffer and the archbishop of Canterbury (who did not show, alas). The concert lasted five and a half hours, including inspirational addresses by Clooney, Schiffer, Bono and others, and was finally closed down, with magnificent incongruity, by James Brown himself, driving the crowd insane with "I Got You (I Feel Good)." At some point during the endless evening, I sat down with George Clooney and quite a few vodka-and-cranberries. Bono has enlisted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Clooney. For all his effortless charm, Clooney has serious aspirations, and he spoke of Bono with a respect that bordered on reverence. "He calls on everyone to be their best," Clooney told me. "If you fall short, you feel embarrassed. That's a unique thing. And we all want to be that person." Clooney had been tasked to buttonhole Paul Wolfowitz and get him to press the administration to finance the World Bank's program to provide free public education. As Clooney and I were talking, the glass door separating our V.I.P. lounge from the roar of the stadium slid open, and who should emerge but the president of the World Bank himself. Wolfowitz, who had rolled up the sleeves of his dress shirt, seemed to be delighted, or at least amused, by this extraterrestrial environment. He and Clooney held a brief palaver and agreed to speak at greater length.

The next day, Bono flew to Berlin to rejoin the band for a gig at the arena Albert Speer built for the 1936 Olympics. There, standing in front of U2's towering electronic screen, with a vast crowd spread out before him on the playing field, Bono praised Chancellor Schr�der's "leadership" on debt cancellation and fair trade but added that leadership also required committing an additional $50 billion a year in aid. "We are watching," he shouted. "We are waiting. If he can deliver this by 4 tomorrow, I believe you should welcome your chancellor back home a hero." He implored the crowd to send e-mail and text messages demanding action that very moment. Bono flew back to Edinburgh that night in order to be at Gleneagles for the third and final day, when the communiqu� would be issued. He finally met with Chirac and with Kofi Annan. During the afternoon, he started seeing leaks of the communiqu�, which was drawing ever closer to his own agenda, the agenda he had tirelessly, and often fruitlessly, championed since 1999. After worrying for months, and as recently as a day or two before, that the summit would fail, and that he would look like a fool, the relief and the gratification had the force of epiphany. He remembers thinking, Oh, my God, this is really happening - and in real time. And he had one last coup de th��tre in him: he persuaded Blair, against G-8 tradition, to hold a formal signing ceremony so that each head signed a document with his own pen. The "movement" did not, in general, share Bono's enthusiasm. Activists bitterly complained that the communiqu� included no real progress on trade, no expansion of debt relief to additional countries, no movement by the Bush administration toward 0.7 percent. But when I saw Bono the following day in Paris, he was ebullient. The heads of state had promised that by 2010 they would increase aid to Africa by $25 billion a year, and aid worldwide by $50 billion a year. Schr�der hadn't agreed to the airlines tax, but he had promised - perhaps not the world's most binding promise - that he would find a way to raise the money. They had extended debt relief to Nigeria, a goal activists had long sought. They had added to President Bush's commitment on malaria, so that the number of victims should be reduced by 85 percent by 2010. They had vowed to ensure that all children had free access to school by 2015. "I know how big this is," Bono said. "Even Jeff Sachs was emotional about it." The next five years will offer Bono and Geldof and Sachs and Action Against Hunger and all the other activists the laboratory experiment they've been seeking. It's an experiment that needs to be tried, even if it seems likely to disappoint the advocates' hopes. In years past, aid has proved extraordinarily effective on issues like disease eradication (which makes the malaria initiative, for example, so important); the same cannot be said for promoting growth. In a recent article in Foreign Affairs, Nancy Birdsall, head of the generally liberal Center for Global Development, and two co-authors, asked why it was that Vietnam, long isolated from the West, has been growing so much faster than Nicaragua, a major recipient of aid. "The answers are internal," they wrote. "History and economic and political institutions have trumped other factors in determining economic success." The activists and the Bush administration now agree that large-scale aid should be directed not only at highly impoverished but also well-governed countries - those with strong "internals." But how many such countries are there? Quite a few, argues Sachs, who insists that it is poverty that causes corruption rather than the other way around. This debatable hypothesis will now receive its road test. Bono left Gleneagles to meet the band in Paris. That night, before a sellout crowd of 80,000 in the Stade de France, he read a text, in French - a language he does not speak - listing the brave commitments of President Chirac, a figure few in the audience were likely to admire. The next morning, as motorcycle cops were leading Bono's van on a slalom ride through the Paris traffic, he turned to me and said, "Guess who called this morning to say he had seen the reviews?" "I don't know. Blair?" "No." "Clinton?" "No. Think what country we're in." "Chirac?" "Yeah. A lot of his people were at the concert last night. He said that he had heard about what I had said. He wants to work with us very closely." No doubt he meant it. But then along came the grande vacance, and a few days after returning to Paris, Chirac was stricken with a mysterious illness that confined him to the hospital. It appeared that Chirac would not attend the United Nations summit meeting; nor could Chancellor Schr�der, who was facing the fight of his political life in an election this weekend. With them went Bono's hopes for immediate progress on an airlines tax, or perhaps on trade. Things went from bad to worse. By the first week in September, Bono's friends in the Bush administration seemed fully prepared, even eager, to scuttle the long and windy statement on development prepared for the summit meeting. The White House prepared an edited draft that proposed to eliminate practically every pledge made by donor countries - even the very words "Millennium Development Goals." And then Hurricane Katrina scrambled everything. When Bono called from his house on the Riviera in early September, he said, "I have to be sensitive about putting my hand in America's pocket at a time like this." He would, he said, be keeping a low profile in New York. He was feeling a bit more hopeful about the White House. The administration had climbed down just a bit from its rhetorical high horse, and it appeared that a face-saving compromise might be in the works. Jamie Drummond and his colleagues at DATA had also gotten a few choice bits about AIDS and education inserted into the American draft. But the whole episode was a reminder of how far the Bush administration remains from the rough consensus on development issues that obtains in much of the world. "I'm really bleak about the next six months," Bono said. "There could be a few black eyes for us and for our work, and criticism of working too close with these characters. But I'm sure it was the right thing to do." It has been a frantic time, this year of Africa. The other members of the band love the cause, but they fret that Bono's hobby is eclipsing his day job. "The band has survived," Adam Clayton told me, "but there's been a price in terms of relationships." Bono has promised to let the world spin on its own axis for a while. But it can't be left alone for long; there's so much proselytizing still to do. Bono's next target is the American people: he expects to have an army of 10 million activists signed up for the One Campaign by 2008. He believes - he knows - that the American people would demand action on Africa if only someone would tell them the facts. "Middle America," he said to me one day. "Don't get me started. I love it." James Traub, a contributing writer for the magazine, is at work on a book about the United Nations.


Time, December 19, 2005 By: Josh Tyrangiel

The inside story of how the world's biggest rock star mastered the political game and persuaded the world's leaders to take on global poverty. And he's not done yet The G-8 Summit is an annual gathering of the world's most powerful people at which two things are always accomplished: an awkward group photo is taken and no one has any fun. On the July night that this year's summit began in Gleneagles, Scotland, Bono thought it might be nice to change things up a bit. U2 had scheduled a concert at a stadium in nearby Edinburgh, and Bono, as is his custom, invited pretty much everyone he thought would be interesting to drop by, which explains how George Clooney, Hollywood's leading lefty, and Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and an architect of the Iraq war, ended up in the same room backstage. "It could have been a little uncomfortable," says Clooney. "In fact, I was kind of expecting it to be." A few minutes before U2 was due to perform, Bono strolled in and plopped himself down -- not on the couch or near it but on top of it, like a household pet. Then he began talking about the one interest that Clooney, Wolfowitz and almost everyone else who had come to Scotland that day had in common: persuading developed nations to help lift 1 billion people out of extreme poverty. Bono's precise words on the subject are lost to history. "I couldn't stop looking at him," says Clooney. "He's so affectless. You felt like you're in the living room with your buddy who just happens to be a global rock star and has the world's best interests at heart." Says Wolfowitz: "Pomposity and arrogance are the enemies of getting things done. And Bono knows how to get things done." Those kinds of pleasant collisions happen a lot when Bono is around. Ashley Judd mixes in the greenroom at a U2 show with Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway scooter and an aborning machine that makes even the filthiest water drinkable. Bill Gates goes to a nightclub, gets called a "bad mother______" by Diddy and understands that it is intended as a compliment. Of course, if Bono were to rely solely on his ability to get powerful people in a room with famous people and then hit them with a speech about moral obligations, he would be little more than the lead singer in the war on global poverty--a nice title but limited in its power. "If you really want to be effective, you have to bring something to the table beyond just charisma," says Rick Santorum, a conservative Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. "The important thing is, Bono understands his issues better than 99% of members of Congress." Knowing the facts is crucial -- "Everybody hates a dilettante," says Bono -- but so is knowing your audience. When he lunches with President Bush, as he did most recently in October, Bono quotes Scripture and talks about small projects in Africa that have specific metrics for success. Then he asks for more money to fund them. In the office of Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, he speaks of multilateralism and how development aid reminds the rest of the world of America's greatness. Then he asks for more money. In stadiums, he tells people that if they join together, they have a chance to make poverty history. Then U2 plays "One." Bono's great gift is to take what has made him famous -- charm, clarity of voice, an ability to touch people in their secret heart -- combine those traits with a keen grasp of the political game and obsessive attention to detail, and channel it all toward getting everyone, from world leaders to music lovers, to engage with something overwhelming in its complexity. Although it's tempting for some to cast his global road show as the vanity project of a pampered celebrity, the fact is that Bono gets results. At Gleneagles -- where Bono and his policy-and-advocacy body, DATA, met with five of the eight heads of state at the summit -- the G-8 approved an unprecedented $50 billion aid package -- including $25 billion for Africa -- and pledged near universal access to antiretroviral drugs for almost 10 million impoverished people with HIV. Bono technically didn't achieve any of those things on his own, "but it's hard to imagine much of it would have been done without him," says Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. Although politicians, academics and activists continue to differ over the best way to tackle poverty and disease in the developing world, Bono's contribution has been to forge, over the past decade, a surprisingly durable consensus on the need to do something. "The only thing that balances how preposterous it is to have to listen to an Irish rock star talk about these subjects," says Bono, "is the weight of the subjects themselves." Ballast is not an attribute commonly attributed to pop stars. Bono, 45, spends his evenings lifting people to their feet, but offstage, he can be almost aggressively grounded. One morning a few days before the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death, Bono stands on the balcony of his New York City apartment overlooking Central Park. "You know what my least favorite John Lennon song is?" he says. "'Imagine.' At the root of it is some rigorous thinking about the way things could be, but people have stolen the idea and made it an anthem for wishful thinking. I'm against wishful thinking. I hate it." Bono is prone to large pronouncements, but a significant part of his charisma stems from the fact that it isn't intimidating. There are rock stars who enter a room with the kind of sex display the Discovery Channel saves for sweeps weeks, but Bono is not one of them. He's handsome but short -- 5 ft. 7 in. in thick-soled shoes -- and swings his arms wide when he walks, so he looks open and soft, like a pillow in a cowboy hat. It's not at all what people expect, and it sets them at ease. Today, with U2 in town for a show at Madison Square Garden, Bono has the rare treat of staying in one of his homes, a three-story penthouse he purchased from Steve Jobs. (He also has places in Dublin and the south of France.) He lounges beneath a giant Christo drawing of The Gates (not Bill and Melinda but the Central Park installation), surrounded by art books. It's a lovely day to do nothing, but that's not really an option."I get very little time entirely alone," he says, moments before six people appear in the living room with videoconferencing equipment to discuss a soon-to-be-announced consumer campaign for African development. Tom Lantos, a Democratic Representative from California, swings by with his granddaughter. Bono and Lantos are close enough that the Congressman, a Holocaust survivor, has encouraged Bono to reference worldwide indifference to the genocide when describing governments' apathetic response to the spread of AIDS across Africa. "I am very sensitive to people abusing the analogy," says Lantos. "He's convinced me it's legitimate." More than two decades since Bono entered the world stage as a mullet-haired front man, he commands attention like no other cultural figure alive. When he visits Capitol Hill, his movement through the halls is split-timed. His lobbyists feed him tips so he knows, for instance, that Kentucky's Mitch McConnell has a thing for Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who inspired U2's song "Walk On." The rest is intuitive. Bono arrives with no security, takes gifts (a leather-bound volume of Seamus Heaney for Patrick Leahy, a framed copy of the Marshall Plan speech for Colin Powell) to suit his host's taste. He poses for every staff picture, and his thank-you notes are handwritten and prompt. He wears whatever he pleases. "I refuse to be anything other than what I am," he says. "I literally get into the clothes at the end of the bed. If somebody doesn't take them off and wash them, things would probably get a bit high." Twenty years ago, the notion of Bono as a political player was almost unimaginable. In 1985, U2 played Live Aid, the Bob Geldof -- organized concert for African famine relief. At the time, it was hailed as a massive success, and in the sense that it got people to briefly engage with another part of the world while watching Tina Turner dance with Mick Jagger, it was. After the concert, Bono and his wife Ali Hewson spent six weeks working at an orphanage in Wello, Ethiopia. The weight of famine, war and corruption -- as well as the resentment many capable Africans feel toward uninformed foreigners with messiah complexes -- overwhelmed him. As did the foolishness of thinking a day of singing was enough. But U2 was on its way to becoming the biggest band in the world, and Bono stuffed a deeper engagement with Africa into the warehouse of good intentions. Then in 1997 he received a brief from a development advocate, Jamie Drummond, that pointed out that although Live Aid raised $200 million, Ethiopia alone paid $500 million in annual debt service to the world's lending institutions. After contacting Drummond, Bono signed on as a spokesman for Jubilee 2000, a church-based campaign born in England that asked governments to use the millennium as an occasion to cancel Third World debt. Bono, who spends most of his nontouring time in Dublin with Hewson and their four children, started flying to Washington for weekends at the World Bank with his friend Bobby Shriver, a son of Eunice and Sargent Shriver. Eventually, Bono's education was taken over by economist Jeffrey Sachs. After Bono's understanding of the issue went from fluency to mastery, he started speaking out, lobbying Bill Clinton's Administration to make debt relief a core aim of U.S. policy toward the developing world. It worked: midway through his presidency, Clinton agreed to erase $6 billion in debt. Bono was very pleased with himself until he learned that he hadn't actually accomplished anything. Congress hadn't signed off[S16] . "When I first arrived in Washington," says Bono, "I asked, Who's Elvis here? Who do I have to speak to to change the world? Then I find out that even though the President says yes and even though he speaks with a twang, he's not Elvis. Congress is Elvis in America. No, Congress is Colonel Parker." Through Shriver's brother-in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bono met Ohio Republican John Kasich, a fiscal conservative known for his love of jam bands. "Our first rabbi on the right" is how Bono describes Kasich. Still, it took dozens of visits to the Hill for Bono to gain influence. At first, even Democrats wouldn't clear their schedules. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi offered some time while she waited for a flight at the mordantly depressing Dulles Airport. "In a short period, I saw a depth of knowledge that was hugely impressive and a depth of commitment to match," says Pelosi. "I mean, he came to Dulles." Republicans tended to be more skeptical, so Bono courted their staff members, most of whom were his age or younger and had grown up loving U2. "Washington is very hierarchical," he says. "It's all principal-to-principal meetings, but I'm from rock 'n' roll. If I want to have a drink with someone, they sound interesting, they're fun, I'm going to have a drink." At that point, Bono was relying on an improvised staff of Drummond and Lucy Matthew, another Brit from the nonprofit world, who would meet him wherever U2 was playing and open a policy desk at the local Kinko's. "He told us he was in this cause for life," says Matthew, "and it was time to become a real organization." Bob Geldof, one of Bono's closest friends, came up with the name DATA, a double acronym meant to position the group as a nexus between the nonprofit development world (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa) and the results-oriented political world (democracy, accountability, transparency in Africa.) The name was also directed inward: no wishful thinking, just facts in all their nasty complexity. To ensure that DATA was divorced from the stigma of vanity, Bono refused to bankroll it. After coaxing $1 million grants out of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, George Soros and software businessman Ed Scott, DATA got real office space and hired lobbyists -- Tom Sheridan, a Democrat who had been a star of the domestic AIDS lobby, and Scott Hatch, a former Tom DeLay aide who ran the National Republican Campaign Committee. DATA employees churned out policy papers, while Hatch, Sheridan and Shriver organized intimate, bipartisan dinner parties (sample guest list: Senators Jesse Helms, Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch; former World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn; Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers) to cement relationships and encourage the sense that at least on one issue, everyone could break bread. Spouses were invited, and to spice things up, Bono might ask a friend from another sphere, like Jordan's Queen Noor, to drop by. "Your first responsibility is not to be dull," he says. "Why don't the poor deserve flash in their representation?" All that helped prepare Bono for the most daunting challenge to his powers of persuasion: the Administration of George W. Bush. When Bush took office in 2001, development groups presumed that debt, AIDS and trade for Africa would be at the bottom of his agenda, largely because Bush said they would be. But Bono had forged too many productive odd pairings to simply give up. And as it turned out, a few White House doors were already open. "The key to some extent is faith," says Mike Gerson, the President's assistant for policy and strategic planning. Gerson and Budget Director Josh Bolten are evangelical Christians who believe there's a biblical imperative to help the world's poor. Along with then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, they opened a dialogue with Bono and ultimately persuaded Bush to meet him. "I took my boys, 8 and 10, to their first rock concert -- U2 here in Washington," says Gerson. "We met Bono beforehand, and he says, 'I'm so honored that you would pick me for your first concert. I'm a little hoarse tonight. I need you to do me a favor. If you hear my voice going out, I want you to pray for me.' He's just obviously a good guy." Born to a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, Bono describes his faith as "promiscuous." He quotes Scripture and counts meetings with Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham among the most significant of his life. "I try to live it rather than talk about it because there are enough secondhand-car salesmen for God," he says. "But I cannot escape my conviction that God is interested in the progress of mankind, individually and collectively." Even as he softened Bush by appealing to his religiosity, Bono also began to talk about debt relief and poverty eradication in hardheaded, national-interest terms. After 9/11, DATA seized the opportunity to lobby for new policy. Africa is 40% Muslim, and Tom Hart, DATA's director of government relations, argued that it might be nice to make some friends there. When the Administration said money was tight, the policy experts scoured the NGO world and came back touting small programs with clear ways to measure progress. When the issue of corruption was raised, DATA proposed a scheme to nurture good governance. ("Start-up funds for new democracies, sir," was how Bono pitched it to the President.) In its relentlessness and flexibility, DATA had assumed the personality of its founder. Bono's network of contacts didn't hurt either. In 2003, when President Bush visited an AIDS clinic in Entebbe, Uganda, he was welcomed by a children's choir singing "America the Beautiful." Then a woman named Agnes Nyamayarwo told the story of how she was unknowingly infected with HIV and passed the virus on to her son during his birth. AIDS drugs cost $40 a month in Uganda, but the government spends just $7 per person per year on health care; Nyamayarwo, a nurse, could not afford to keep her son alive. When she finished speaking, Bush embraced her. Nyamayarwo, it turns out, has been close friends with Bono since they met several years ago. Says Bono: "We've got people jumping out of the bushes at the Bushes!" With advocates on the inside and in Congress, and not-so-gentle prodding elsewhere, the Bush Administration in 2003 launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In two years, PEPFAR has paid for antiretroviral drugs for 400,000 Africans with HIV, while the MCC aims to dispense foreign aid by rewarding countries for being accountable. Bono stood by the President when he unveiled the MCC, and complained loudly when he thought it was underfunded. (Soon after, MCC administrator Paul Applegarth was replaced; DATA swears it played no role.) "These are more than baby steps," says Bono, "but to get them to be strides we need more than applause or hisses from me. We need a movement." One of the ways to spark a movement is to create a defining moment. "We've been doing this now for a few years -- pretending this is the one, this is the leap. And in fact, this year was the one. We've had 2005 in mind for quite a while," he says. As early as 2003, Bono and others had picked out a number of unrelated political events -- a G-8 meeting that was to have as hosts British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown (dubbed by Bono the "John and Paul of global development"), a meeting of the World Trade Organization, a U.N. summit to review progress toward the Millennium Development Goals -- all relevant to lifting people out of poverty. But they needed to be tied together and pitched as potentially world changing. "Politicians are performers of a kind, but they're not great at dramatizing a situation," says Bono. "These issues need tension, jeopardy and a sense of what-might-be to succeed. All of that is much more from our language than from theirs." What followed was a tour de force of syndicalism. Several NGOs in the habitually backbiting development community put aside their differences and launched integrated awareness campaigns (Make Poverty History in Britain, the ONE Campaign in the U.S.) aimed at educating people about global poverty and registering millions of supporters online. Blair announced a G-8 agenda with a goal of getting $50 billion in aid and 100% debt cancellation, and DATA lobbied the White House to be an active partner, reminding it that Blair had stood by the Administration in the past. To their surprise, they didn't have to do much pitching. Over beers with some friends from the Treasury Department, Drummond, Hart and policy director Erin Thornton actually heard the words "So, tell us why can't we do 100% debt cancellation?" Debt had been presumed a dead issue -- "but all of a sudden these guys are telling us they think they've figured it out," says Hart. "We'd completely flipped roles. Very weird." There were details to iron out, and the Treasury guys insisted Bono not be told for a while (he is a poor secret keeper), but willingness proved 95% of the battle. To cap it off, the G-8 would fall almost precisely on the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, and Bono wanted a concert to prove how far the movement had come. Bob Geldof "didn't want to repeat himself," says Bono, but six weeks before the summit he hit upon the idea of staging free concerts in each G-8 country. After a frenzy of persuasion, cities were lined up, sponsors found and bands, many of which already had concerts scheduled for the day, were persuaded to divert from their itineraries and play for free. "Charm, handsomeness and the fact that [Bono] wrote Where the Streets Have No Name goes you a long way," says Coldplay's Chris Martin, one of the headliners in London's Hyde Park. Bono, meanwhile, launched a final burst of back-room politicking, greasing countless surreal encounters with people who had no business being in the same room together. Days before the summit, he visited 10 Downing Street and learned that the G-8's civil-servant negotiators, or "sherpas," who put deals into precise language, were feuding over how to pay for the proposed $50 billion aid package. "We were having a beer," Blair told Time, "and just decided we would talk to these people who'd done an incredible amount of work, to give them a sense of the importance of this." After introducing himself, Bono asked them to "please go that bit further," reminding them that "in 20 years, this week is one of the things you'll be most proud of in your lives." Says Blair: "These are all pretty hard-bitten people who have worked in international relations a long time, but they were very, very enthused by that spirit." Just before the end of the summit -- which was disrupted by the July 7 terrorist attacks in London -- Bono dropped by President Bush's suite for a final nudge. "On so many issues it's difficult to know what God wants from us," Bono told Bush, "but on this issue, helping the desperately poor, we know God will bless it." On July 8, the leaders agreed to cancel the debt of the 18 poorest African countries and to increase aid by $50 billion by 2010. But some activists say it's not nearly enough. Dr. Kumi Naidoo, the South African who chaired Make Poverty History's international umbrella, felt that Geldof -- who called the debt deal a "10 out of 10" -- was too exuberant and pointed out that all the deal meant was that 50,000, the number of people dying unnecessarily each day, would drop to 37,000. Naidoo's skepticism underlines the limits of Bono's approach: all that was achieved at Gleneagles was a series of commitments -- signed checks, not cashed ones. What would help get some of those checks cashed is a sustainable political movement, and Bono knows that. "I once asked Bill Gates what his long-term goal was for DATA," says Bono. "He said that one day he hoped people could run for office on this stuff." Bono anticipates that the celebrity-studded ONE Campaign, which gained pledges of support to ending global poverty from 2 million people, will someday become "the N.R.A. for the world's poor," but for now it's what economists call a risk-free choice; there's no fee to join and interest tends to rise and fall based on world events. "I really believe the movement is our future," says Bono, "but it's not here yet." Which is why he can't stop working, even if it means confronting the outer limits of his power. On an afternoon in late November, the rock star is idling in a car outside a Dunkin' Donuts near Ottawa on his way to a round of arm twisting with Canadian lawmakers. Prime Minister Paul Martin, the only member of the G-8 running a budget surplus, has refused to do something Bono and DATA had long hoped he would: commit to giving 0.7% of Canada's GNP to development aid. Many European countries made formal commitments to that figure in 2005, adding billions to the future overall aid pot, but Martin has said the numbers don't add up yet for Canada. (The U.S. gives 0.1%). Bono was hoping to change Martin's mind before the end of the year. During the two-hour drive from Montreal, where U2 played the previous night, Bono flips through manila folders full of briefing papers to prepare for meetings with Canada's opposition leaders. He fires a few croaky-throated questions at Drummond -- "What is this soft-lumber argument between Canada and the U.S.?" -- and tries out phrases for the media scrum that will start the day, imagining how they will play in the Canadian papers. "'Make-or-break month for Martin, says Bono,'" he sighs. "Not exactly poetry." Mostly, he's trying to find a reservoir of energy. "The day after a show, a giant hole opens up," he says between sips of coffee, "and if I'm not careful it swallows me." Outside Parliament, Bono signs autographs and meets briefly with leaders from Canadian NGOs. Then he is led to a lectern and hit with the obvious: How does he feel about Martin's refusal to commit to boosting Canadian aid? Bono riffs a bit, hoping to stumble onto something inspirational. Then he says, "I'm crushed." Flashbulbs pop. "Crushed makes it personal," Drummond whispers in agony. "And it's past tense, like we've failed. It takes the air out of the room." In minutes the quote is on Canadian news websites. On the way out, Bono shakes his head. "Crushed. That was shite." A few days later, Martin says that as soon as he can find a responsible way to get to 0.7%, he will. He says he understands Bono's frustration. "He's doing what he ought to do. He's out there pushing." At some point -- perhaps soon -- Bono may have to decide how hard he can keep pushing. Because he's one of the most energetic people on the planet, Bono rarely has a down moment, but on the rare occasions when he removes his sunglasses, thick scrolls of tissue are visible under his eyes. For months his exercise routine has been compromised by a prolapsed disk in his back. "It's annoying to me that I'm overweight now," he says. He speaks to his children every other day while he's on the road, a nontraditional arrangement but one they've known all their lives. Still, he misses his family profoundly. The band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March and once again led the concert industry in gross revenues in 2005, has got used to his being an unpredictable presence. "The good news from our point of view is that he prefers working on music more than anything else," says guitarist the Edge. "And also he's unelectable." For a man who expresses himself on a grand scale nightly, Bono is surprisingly stunted when it comes to talking about how he deals with the pressure he has brought upon himself. "I don't talk about this stuff to anybody," he says. "Of course, I don't talk about it to the band -- it's boring enough for them onstage. When I go home, I don't want to talk about it. When I'm with my mates, I just don't. I think about it, and I allow occasionally enough time to think about it in moments of reflection. It's one of the things that's really unhealthy. It's been a very long year." It might be possible to imagine Bono shedding his title as the world's greatest activist and reverting to his previous role as its biggest rock star -- except that his happiness and peace of mind so obviously depend on being both. After the disappointment in Ottawa, Bono spent four days in Acapulco with absolutely nothing important to do and returned to the road a new man. "I'm like a camel. I store up sleep in my hump," he says. U2's never-ending Vertigo tour has come to Boston, and from his palatial suite he has the panorama of a city blanketed in snow and capped by an endless blue sky. After a quick traipse through Boston Common, it's time to go to work. One way to get leaders to keep a $50 billion aid commitment is to protest in the streets. Another is to show them that aid has a logic. The schedule for the day is relatively low wattage; no world leaders, no movie stars, just discussions with academics and development experts at Harvard and M.I.T. who might feed DATA good policy ideas and catalytic facts. At Harvard, Bono is greeted by president Larry Summers, an early Bono skeptic while Treasury Secretary under Clinton but now a true believer. (It is something to see the president of Harvard greet a rock star with a soul hug and a "Hey, man, what's up?") After lunch with professors and vague talk about collaborations down the road, Bono and his team head off to M.I.T. to meet with the Poverty Action Lab, a new group that specializes in objective modeling, one of Bono's turn-ons. Michael Kremer, a Gates (as in Bill and Melinda) Professor of Developing Sciences, opens with an example of the kinds of problems the lab examines: Why don't poor children go to school? Health, it turns out, is a major factor. One quarter of the world's children have worms. Treating them costs only $3.50 a student. "So you treat every kid, and in areas where you do that, school absences fall by 25%. They fall in neighboring schools too," says Kremer, "because the worms don't spread. It's a fantastically good buy." Erin Thornton, DATA's policy director, asks how the lab directs its research. It doesn't, and that's why the lab is interested in finding partners who can offer guidance and channel the studies to decision makers. Finally Bono can't restrain himself. "Do you know we've been chased down hallways with the words 'measurable results'? What you have here is the stuff that can change the world! What we need to do..." and for a minute he is off. There are rhythmic pauses between his phrases, some of which have been rounded smooth by dozens of similar meetings, while others are hitting the air for the first time and are charged with tension. The overall effect is musical. Bono is taking a room filled with economists, mathematicians and policy experts and levitating it. When he finishes, the room hovers in silence for a moment. Then there is laughter, as if everyone had just got off an amusement-park ride. "Facts," he says, "are very beautiful." But only Bono can make them sing.


@U2, May 10, 2010 By: Matt McGee and staff

While working on this essay last week, I had managed to list about 40 to 45 things to love about Bono when it occurred to me that I should get some input from the rest of the @U2 staff. I sent out an e-mail without sharing the list I'd already put together and invited the gang to make some suggestions for things I shouldn't forget to include.

Within a couple of hours, I had more than enough suggestions. Too many! That's a testament to who Bono is and what he stands for. It's also proof that this will be an easier essay to write when he turns 100 years old. But for now, Bono's only celebrating his 50th birthday.

So, in the same way that we honored Adam Clayton at 50 years old two months ago, we're proud to present 50 Things to Love About Bono on His 50th Birthday.

  1.  got the Pope to wear his shades.
  2.  Rattle and Hum.
  3.  looks like this.
  4.  looked like this.
  5.  have real conversations with fans in one-on-one settings, and that he seems to actually relish those conversations.
  6.  Zoo TV: Live From Sydney video.
  7.  struggles to remember his own lyrics.
  8.  recital of the John F. Deane poemDriving to Midnight Mass.
  9.  to take pictures of him with admiring fans.
  10. Running to Stand Still."
  11.  be able to save the world.
  12.  pretty good Luciano Pavarotti impression. articles
  13.  gets inside the songs when U2 performs live.
  14.  Rattle and Hum while selling her on the idea of letting his friend, Larry, sit on Elvis' Harley.
  15.  performance in the video for "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own."
  16. The Fly." Well, his lyrics for all of Achtung Baby, actually. Except maybe "Wild Horses." But 11 out of 12 are golden.
  17.  a way with ladies (of the cloth).
  18.  Rattle and Hum. And his stare at the camera during the "One" music video -- the one where he's singing in the bar. She also mentioned something about a bubble bath photo. I assume you girls know what she's talking about?
  19.  the pope and thepresident of the World Bank?
  20.  Dude has mad hops.

"I'm a scribbling, cigar-smoking, wine-drinking, Bible-reading band man. A show-off [laughs] ... who loves to paint pictures of what I can't see. A husband, father, friend of the poor and sometimes the rich. An activist traveling salesman of ideas. Chess player, part-time rock star, opera singer, in the loudest folk group in the world."

  1.  ESPN/FIFA World Cup TV spot.
  2.  faces of celebrity posters or public art.
  3.  Frank Sinatra and the NAACP.
  4.  performance in the video for "The Sweetest Thing."
  5.  nobody looks better wearing a green guitar.
  6.  a silver suit from head to toe quite like he can?
  7.  cookie or olive oil form.
  8.  silly drumming he did on the Vertigo Tour.
  9.  U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle video.
  10.  knows who the real heroes are.

Happy birthday, Bono!

Speakers Bono: Musician, activist

Bono, the lead singer of U2, uses his celebrity to fight for social justice worldwide: to end hunger, poverty and disease, especially in Africa. His nonprofit ONE raises awareness via media, policy and calls to action.

Why you should listen to him:

Irreverent, funny, iconoclastic and relentless, Bono has proven himself stunningly effective in encouraging and cajoling the world's most powerful leaders to take seriously the challenge of disease and hunger and seize the historic opportunity we now have to beat extreme poverty, especially in Africa, through technological innovation, smart aid, transparency and investments which put citizens in charge. 

As lead singer of U2, Bono performed at Live Aid in 1985, which inspired him to travel to Ethiopia with his wife, Ali. There they spent several weeks helping with a famine relief project. The experience shocked him and ignited a determination to work for change. In Bono's own words, "What are the blind spots of our age? It might be something as simple as our deep-down refusal to believe that every human life has equal worth". In 2005, the year of Make Poverty History, Bono became one of the inaugural winners of the TED Prize; he used his wish to raise awareness and inspire activism.

In 2002, he co-founded DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), which later became the advocacy and campaign organization, ONE. Today ONE has more than 3 million members who pressure politicians around the world to improve policies to empower the poorest. Thanks to these efforts, along with those of partners and grassroots leaders in Africa, these policies have delivered results. For example, eight million people are now on life preserving antiretoviral [S17] medications, malarial death rates have been halved in eight target countries, 50 million more children are in school and 5.4 million lives have been saved through vaccines.

In 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver launched (RED) to engage the private sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa. (RED) Partners direct a portion of their profits from (RED)-branded products, services and events directly to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In just six years, (RED) has contributed more than $200 million - every penny of which goes directly to HIV/AIDS programs with the goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. To date, (RED) dollars have helped the lives of more than 14 million people in Africa through education, testing, counseling, and treatment programs.

Bono also co-founded EDUN with his wife Ali. EDUN is a global fashion brand which does business in an number of countries in Africa and beyond, sourcing materials and manufacturing clothing. In Uganda, EDUN is supporting over 8,000 farmers in their move from subsistence to sustainable business practices.  

Granted knighthood in 2007 and dubbed a "Man of Peace" in 2008, Bono mobilized in 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, performing the song "Stranded" with bandmate The Edge -- and Rihanna and Jay-z -- during the for Hope for Haiti Now telethon. The event was watched by 83 million people in the United States alone and raised a reported $58 million for relief.

Bono’s journey in activism spans a generation and where he is coming from, and above all where he is going, is something we should all pay close attention to. 

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Quotes by Bono

  • “Deep down, if we really accepted that Africans were equal to us, we would all do more to put the fire out. We’re standing around with watering cans, when what we really need is the fire brigade.”

Watch this talk »

  • “The geopolitical world has got a lot to learn from the digital world, from the ease with which [it] swept away obstacles that no one knew could even be budged.”

Watch this talk »

  • “Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world.”

Watch this talk »

  • “Humanity's long, slow journey of equality is actually speeding up.”

Watch this talk »

  • “Facts, like people, want to be free — and when they're free, liberty is usually around the corner.”

Watch this talk »

  • “Child mortality [since 2000 is] down by 2.65 million a year. That's a rate of 7,256 children's lives saved each day. … It drives me nuts that most people don't seem to know this news.”

Watch this talk »


By Elaina Richardson

The self-conscious rebel-rocker transforms passionate intensity into action that just might change the world. The idea of the rebel-rocker is sorely tarnished in these days of "pop lite," but there's nothing sugarcoated about the intensity Bono brings to the world. Consider these few events from the past year in the life of U2's charismatic front man: a sold-out tour; the All That You Can't Leave Behind album went to number one in 32 countries; the birth of his fourth child in May; talks with the leaders of the world's strongest economies—the G8; the death of his father in August; countless one-on-ones about AIDS relief and trade with cabinet officials from Colin Powell to Condoleezza Rice. Where does his stamina come from? "God made me stubborn," Bono says with a throaty laugh that tells you something about the state of his vocal cords. "Stubbornness and Catholic guilt," he continues. "That'll work for you every time. And I've had the best life that a man's ever had." This is how Bono talks—long strings of run-on sentences that can encompass pub life, the AIDS pandemic in Africa, blues guitar and a healthy dose of self-deprecation. The bottom line of all his speechifying is that it's time for a major initiative that would combine debt cancellation for the world's poorest nations with trade reform and a commitment from pharmaceutical companies to give free HIV drugs to African countries. Bono spouts numbers effortlessly and accurately, noting that sub-Saharan Africa spends around $13.5 billion a year repaying debts to rich countries, which is more than double what it spends on health care. His charm lies in the fact that whether he's at an audience with Pope John Paul II or singing "Beautiful Day" for 20,000 fans, his need to communicate is palpable. There was a time when Bono harangued the world, all the while making it clear that he didn't give a damn if he was. A decade later he has learned a more effective path. "Sometimes, instead of climbing over the barricades, you've got to walk around them, and sometimes you discover that the real enemy is not what you think it is," he says. That attitude has led to some strange-seeming bedfellows such as Senator Jesse Helms, the 80-year-old archconservative from North Carolina, who became Bono's champion in the struggle to get a debt-relief plan through Congress.


According to Bono, "When I first started going to Washington for meetings on Capitol Hill, I'm sure I looked like a very exotic creature, but eventually they didn't see me, they just saw the argument. And the thing about the pictures of me the rock star with, say, Jesse Helms the politician is—it's really unhip for both of us, you know, it's a bad look for the two of us!" "I think that politicians are attracted at first by the celebrity," says Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Sachs, "but once they meet him, they find that he is outstandingly capable." Along with producer Bobby Shriver, Sachs became part of Bono's American kitchen cabinet in 1999 in the quest to get debt relief on the agenda. In his Class Day address at Harvard in June, Bono summed up the trio: "Sachs and I, with Bobby Shriver, hit the road like some kind of surreal crossover act. A Rock Star, a Kennedy and a Noted Economist crisscrossing the globe like the Partridge family on psychotropic drugs." The results have already been impressive: In November of 2000, Congress passed legislation authorizing $435 million in debt relief. Last July, President Bush and the G8 countries focused the debate on issuing grants rather than loans to developing nations, and Bono is sure a lot more is about to happen. "I'm confident that President Bush has a real feeling for the AIDS pandemic. Essentially, what we're asking for is a kind of Marshall Plan for Africa. A few months ago that didn't look like a possibility, but post-September 11, the comparisons are striking. When you have nothing, you are easy prey to terrorists and to groups who keep alive the lie that the West is not interested in your calamity. We've just seen what happens when one country, Afghanistan, implodes. God knows what will happen if the entire continent of Africa is left on its current trajectory, which is disaster." Born Paul Hewson in Ballymun, Dublin, in 1960 to a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, Bono is no stranger to the links between economic depression, bigotry and terrorism. But he has an idealist's faith that all three can be overcome. The Sandinistas and the troubles in Ireland were Bono's issues when the band came on the scene in 1978. Five years later, Bono was married to his high school girlfriend, Ali Stewart, and both were caught up in Bob Geldof's Live Aid work. "We went to work in Ethiopia for a month," Bono recalls. "We worked in an orphanage, in one of those awful camps, and we'd wake up in the morning to the sight of thousands of people walking through the mist in the hopes of getting some food. My experience there was very hard to forget but...I did. We went back to our daily life in Ireland and me being in a band, but we'd always hoped we might be able to look at the structure of the problem. There's a certain kind of poverty that is structural, not just misfortune, and so when I heard about this plan to use the millennium as an opportunity to give the poorest countries a chance to start again, I thought, 'This is major, and it's the right thing to do.'" Four children and 21 years later with Bono, Ali hasn't lost any of her ability to roll up her sleeves either. She is deeply involved with the Chernobyl Children's Project (one of six campaigns highlighted on U2's Web site and on their albums)—she's even getting behind the wheel of a truck to drive from Dublin to Belarus with food and emergency supplies. "Irish women are very informed and very vocal," Bono says, before releasing his chesty laugh again. "And I should know, because I'm living with one, and it's hard to keep up."   What You Can Do Visit Hearts and Minds on U2's official Web site,, to learn more about the organizations the band supports.

U2's front man rocks concert halls and Capitol Hill with reform policy to help treat AIDS in Africa.

Oprah Talks to Bono

Note: This interview appeared in the April 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

He's the cooler-than-cool rocker, the legendary front man of U2, husband of 22 years, and father of four, who's singing his heart out to shine light on a crisis devastating a continent.

By the time the sun sets this evening, AIDS will have claimed the lives of 6,500 more people in Africa. Before you finish this sentence, another mother, father, or child will succumb to the virus. We've all heard the numbers, shaken our heads at the horror, and moved on to whatever we had to do next. Bono, on the other hand, takes the AIDS epidemic personally. "Our generation will be remembered for the Internet, for the war against terror, and for how we let an entire continent burst into flames while we stood around with watering cans—or not," he said when I sat down with him on my show. He compared the situation to watching Holocaust victims being put on trains while the rest of the world did nothing. Determined to take action, Bono launched a nonprofit organization, DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa). One of DATA's goals is to reduce African debt, which would free up billions of dollars for healthcare and education. Who else could have used rock 'n' roll to get us to feel the impact of Third World economics? I caught up with Bono again in Cape Town, South Africa, after he'd given a riveting performance in conjunction with World AIDS Day. Born Paul Hewson to a Protestant mother and a Catholic father in 1960 in Dublin, this man with a social conscience and a contagious fervor makes being a pop star a part-time job. When we talked in Chicago, he left me with his own blue wraparound sunglasses—such a hot gift. This time he left me with an even greater treasure—his wisdom. We talked about everything from songwriting to raising kids to working to save Africa. I have the ultimate admiration and respect for him. Oprah: How does the music come to you? Quincy Jones once told me that he can sometimes see melodies. Bono: I've never seen the music. For me it's a puzzle. I hear strains of a melody, and only when I work it out to its end can I be at peace. Until then it's like a twitch. Oprah: I got it. Bono: It just comes out. No choice. It's sort of embarrassing because it happens when you don't really want it to. You're writing a song on the back of an Air India sick bag, and you're not writing it because you need a hit—you're writing it because you need some sleep. You have to put it on paper so you can quiet the nagging. Oprah: Can you set out to write a hit and then actually write one? Bono: Well, one of the things that hits have and that great music always has, you know—the music feels like it was already there.  Oprah: Like your song "Beautiful Day." Bono: I don't know if that's great. But when you stumble on certain melodies, you think, That was already there. Oprah: It's like what Michelangelo said: The sculpture was already in the stone. Bono: And I don't think he was just being clever. The hit—what might be called eternal music, if you want to be high-minded—is a song that most people feel familiar with. And the most extreme end of that spectrum is music... Oprah:...that resonates on a level that's indescribable. Bono: Right. Like "I've got sunshine on a cloudy day." Or my favorite song, "Amazing Grace." My second favorite song is "Help Me Make It Through the Night." What I like about pop music, and why I'm still attracted to it, is that in the end it becomes our folk music. In the seventies, when we were growing up and all the rock criticism was going on, disco was supposed to suck. But you listen to some of that music now—"I Will Survive"... Oprah: And the Donna Summer stuff. Bono: Yes. It's like folk music now. That other stuff with the guitar solos? Who cares? The great music for so many artists—the Beatles, the Rolling Stones—was always at the moment when they were closest to pop. It would be easy for U2 to go off and have a concept album, but I want us to stay in the pop fray. Oprah: Do you have anxiety every time you release an album? Bono: Yes. Oprah: You do? Bono: Of course. It's much easier to be successful than it is to be relevant. The tricks won't keep you relevant. Tricks might keep you popular for a while, but in all honesty, I don't know how U2 will stay relevant. I know we've got a future. I know we can fill stadiums. And yet with every record, I think, Is this it? Are we still relevant? Oprah: Well, you haven't been invited to play a Bat Mitzvah yet. Bono: No. I just don't want to go through what I call the Interesting Music Phase. That really means "We just don't get it."


Oprah: So would you stop first? Bono: Yes. Our idea in the band is this: Two crap albums in a row and you're out. That gives us two to go. One crap album is fine, because you can pull back and try again. But after two, you're forever "interesting." Oprah: I was watching you up onstage last night, and I said, God, this just makes me want to go put on a pair of sunglasses and a leather jacket. Is there anything better than being on that stage in that moment and being you? Bono: Wow—I don't remember feeling that good. You certainly have moments when the music dwarfs you, brings you to your knees, and you're only a tiny part of it. But most of the time, unfortunately, you're a very large part of it. And you're self-conscious, or something's irritating you, or you're under-rehearsed. So, yes, there are moments like last night when we're standing out there singing a melody—"It's a long, long walk to freedom"—and the crowd starts singing with us, though they've never heard the song before. I had just watched this extraordinary man, Nelson Mandela, who taught us all a lesson, take that long walk to the podium. As everyone sang, I realized we were guests of the nation of South Africa. They were singing the hymn, he was smiling to the crowd—and we were in between. Oprah: I felt that, too. Bono: It was even more poignant because it was a predominantly white audience singing to him. I'm standing there thinking, This might be a big miracle we're witnessing. Oprah: The sea of white faces, singing that song to him. Bono: And there was no patronizing from either side. Oprah: I agree. I was happy to be a witness to it. Bono: I was pretty knocked out. I wished my entire band were there. With the band, we would have pulled that house down, because there was a lot of energy in that crowd. Oprah: So when do you really have a good time? Bono: When I'm playing with the band. As a soloist, I'm average at best. But with the band? There's nothing better, I promise you. I'm sorry, but I can say that. Two weekends ago, I was in New York with my wife, and we had a great time. My wife and I surfed our jet lag. Oprah: What does that mean? Bono: When you have kids, you have to go to bed and get up at a certain time. But if you don't have the kids with you—which we didn't—you can go to bed when you're sleepy and stay up when you're not. That means you can stay out until 4 in the morning. Oprah: I've got to learn how to surf my jet lag. How old are the kids now? Bono: The two girls are 14 and 12; the two boys are 4 and 2. They're great. I don't know why I have the life I have. I don't deserve it. I think the family is as strong as it is because of my wife, Ali. She is just really so cool. Oprah: How long have you been married? Bono: Longer than I haven't been. We married when we were kids. We couldn't have known what we were getting involved in. Oprah: And after all these years, you still think she's cool? Bono: Oh, yeah. She's quite a character. And she has a very strong sense of herself. She's capable of extraordinary things. Right now she's working on a new way of doing business in apparel. It involves fair trade practices in which people in Third World countries get paid properly and get health insurance—and you still make a fortune. It may be one of the biggest brands in the next years, so watch out. It's called Edun.  My wife is not ambitious in any way you may be familiar with. For her, ambition is a slow kind of burning. If each partner wants the other to realize his or her potential, the relationship will probably be okay. If one has to sacrifice for the other, which is so often the case, I don't think it's as good as two people trying to outdo each other [with support]. I think she has sacrificed more than I have, so I'm trying to balance that now. Oprah: How often are you home? Bono: I'm home a lot. Because I live in Ireland, we can live under the celebrity radar. I might go missing for a whole year. As it happens, that might have been the last couple of years. You may get the impression I'm always out there, but I'm usually home driving my kids to school. I like morning better than night. Oprah: I thought all musicians kept those crazy "Quincy hours"—working late at night. Bono: I peak early in the morning. It's downhill from there.  Oprah: Are you a full participant in parenting? Bono: Yes, except when I'm on tour. Even then I'm never away from Ali and the kids for more than three weeks. Oprah: What have your children taught you about yourself? Bono: I have very little memory of my childhood, so as I raise my kids the memories come back in the most bizarre ways. Like you're singing your baby a song, and you don't know why you remember it, but somehow you do. You don't even know the tune, but you sing it anyway and think, How am I singing this song?  Oprah: There's a theory that whatever stage your children are at, it reminds you of that stage of your own childhood. Like if you have a 7-year-old and something traumatic happened to you when you were 7, that's when all your stuff comes up. Has that been true for you? Bono: I certainly thought my 20s were turbulent, but I didn't realize that the real turbulence comes later in life, when you get a chance—whether it's through your own children or others—to revisit what made you who you are. Oprah: And brought on your rage. Bono: Yes. I wrote a piece called "Rage Is Not a Great Reason to Do Anything, but It'll Do." It's a story of me learning to write songs as a kid. I didn't go to music school, because I wasn't from that kind of family. And I remember the frustration of hearing a melody in my head but not being able to quite put it down. So you learn to rely on other people, the band, and you start thinking that's a weakness. But it's a strength to rely on others.  Oprah: You have a gift, though. Does it come from a place you can't really describe?  Bono: Before I answer you, I want to say this: I think God gets annoyed with the gifted. We should know that our work is no more important than a plumber's or a carpenter's. And here's what I love about hip-hop artists: They set up the brand and start selling T-shirts. It's like, "Here's my chair. I built it. How many do you want?" Whereas with some other musicians, it's like, "I don't know anything about my record contract. I'm not involved in that stuff." That's such bullshit. That's one reason hip-hop is walking all over rock 'n' roll right now. In what I would call alternative music, there has been a bunch of lies—which meant that you couldn't own up to your ambition. You couldn't own up to the idea that art and commerce are certainly cousins, if not brothers. So where does all music come from—be it hip-hop or rock 'n' roll? I don't know. But I do know that all music is praise. Oprah: I'll be quoting you on that. Bono: It's praise to the god of your making. Which, in the case of a rock star, might be oneself. Or a woman. Or an idea. Oprah: I love that. Bono: When I was 10, I learned what unlocks creativity. We were studying William Butler Yeats, one of the great poets of the 20th century, and my teacher explained that there was a period when Yeats had writer's block. I put my hand up in class and asked, "Why didn't he write about that?" It was like, "Oh, shut up." I've since learned that there's something to being truthful. The Scriptures say the truth will set you free. The truth is at the root of every piece of creativity. So if you're truthful about your situation, whatever it is as an artist—whether it's despair, whether it's hope, whether it's ambition—suddenly you're there.  Oprah: Isn't that what all real art is—truth? Bono: Yes. Truth is beauty. That can be a hard thing to say, because some things are not so attractive on the surface. But by owning up to them, we change them—just by speaking them. The first line on the page can be "I have nothing to offer. I'm empty today." That's why public confession—whether it's part of religious practice or on your show—is so important.  Oprah: Yes. Twenty years ago, people were living dysfunctional lives, but they thought they were the only ones living that way. I grew up thinking that people really did live like Leave It to Beaver. I thought, Gee, if I had a mom who made me milk and cookies, my world would be okay.  Bono: In my music, I try to be as truthful as I can. I'm not sure I can be as honest in my life as I can be in my music, because with manners comes insincerity. Like "How are you?" "I'm very well." But I'm not. I have a massive hangover. Truth is sometimes difficult. Oprah: What makes you happy? Bono: I'm not the happiest person, and I'm certainly not happy-clappy. There's a bit of "woe is me" that comes with melancholy, the Irish thing, and it's draining. Oprah: Okay, so what gives you joy? Joy is a better word anyway. Bono: Joy is the hardest possible thing to contrive as an act. It's easy to describe anger, rage, happiness. But joy is difficult. Oprah: Is joy elusive for you? Bono: I don't know. Our band has it when we're going off. There's a joy vibration there. It's not miserable-ism.  Oprah: Joy is a very high energy field. Bono: I'm grumpy. You seem to have a level of joy. Are there months when things aren't going right for you, when you're in a trough, or do you have just, like, one bad day a week?  Oprah: Not even a bad day a week. Bono: Really? Oprah: Absolutely not. Bono: Well, I have a couple of bad days a week. Oprah: So tell me this: Where do your commitment and passion come from? For as long as I can remember, you've been using your voice to make a difference in the world. Bono: Growing up in Ireland was part of it—the simple, practical life of Irish people. Wherever you go in Africa, you find an Irish priest or a young nun. They're everywhere! And then, of course, Bob Geldof [formerly of the Boomtown Rats] is my friend, and we did the whole Live Aid thing together. [Held simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1985, Live Aid was the biggest benefit concert in history, raising millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia.] Around that time, my wife and I lived in Ethiopia for a month, in a tent in a feeding station in the middle of nowhere. It was extraordinary. That royal Ethiopian thing is in these people; that Solomon and Queen of Sheba thing is all around. At my site, there was barbed wire, like a concentration camp—but the wire was meant to keep people out, not in. A man walked up to me, gave me a child, and said, "You take my son. He'll live if you take him." And I couldn't take the boy. But that really formed my commitment. I remember coming home on the plane saying, "We'll never forget this."  Oprah: And did you forget? Bono: I did. Yet somewhere inside me, I'll always remember it. Somewhere there was a prayer to say, and there will be a way to help. What I saw in Ethiopia wasn't just about people falling on hard times. It was a wider problem—political, not just social. So in this work, the circle is becoming a bit completed for me now. And my people have been supportive. The Irish can be annoying—and I'm one of them—but they really are good. Here in Africa, I'm the anomaly. It's an odd and freakish thing that I, an Irish guy, am sitting here and that you're even asking me questions. Yet the people we'd choose to describe the condition of the world are not often the people God would choose. The chosen may be punk rockers or hip-hop people. But nonetheless, the state of the world will be described. Oprah talks to Bono, the cooler-than-cool rocker, the legendary front man of U2, husband of 22 years, and father of four, who's singing his heart out to shine light on a crisis devastating a continent.

Singer, poet, activist, and believer: few icons in the history of rock & roll have created and performed their art with the consciousness and passion of Bono and only a handful have done it as successfully. The first and only frontman for the Irish rock band U2 has always stood unequivocally for hope, faith, and love -- and in so doing has touched millions of people worldwide. The band that would become U2 formed in October 1976, after drummer Larry Mullen Jr. placed a note on his high school bulletin board seeking musicians for a rock group. Bono, along with guitarist Dave Evans and bassist Adam Clayton, made the cut at the first meeting in the drummer's kitchen. Although he couldn't sing, Bono's commanding personality landed him the job as frontman. Within four years it would become one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. Bono's resume includes an exhaustive section on social activism. In 1984, he appeared on Band Aid's charity recording "Do They Know It's Christmas?" After U2's historic Live Aid performance in 1985, Bono traveled to Ethiopia with his wife Ali. There they spent several weeks helping with an education and famine relief project. Then, in 1986, U2 headlined Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour. Bono's most extensive social campaigns have been Jubilee 2000 and ONE that was formed in 2002. These projects are orchestrated to cancel third world debt, help fight AIDS in Africa, and are anti-poverty advocacies. During the Jubilee 2000 campaign, Bono spoke before the United Nations and the United States Congress and met with key figures such as Pope John Paul II and Bill Clinton.

Playing for Change was first introduced to Bono through our friend and partner, Norman Lear, who sent Bono a DVD of some of the songs around the world. We later met with Bono to discuss the potential of him singing on "War/No More Trouble." After a brief meeting we set a plan in motion, and later recorded and filmed his performance on the song in Dublin, Ireland.


The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.

Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960) is an Irish musician and social activist, who after being nicknamed Bono Vox, became famous as the lead singer of the Irish rock band, U2 using the stage name Bono.


  • It's an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. That should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead it's become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's "difficult" justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept.
  • We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies. But will we be that generation?
  • Well, here we are, the Irish in America. The Irish have been coming to America for years, going back to the great famine when the Irish were on the run from starvation and a British Government that couldn't care less. Right up to today, you know, there are more Irish immigrants here in America today than ever — some illegal, some legal. A lot of them are just running from high unemployment, some run from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, from the hatred of the H Blocks, torture. Others from wild acts of terrorism like we had today in a town called Enniskillen, where eleven people lie dead, and many more injured, on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.

CNN Larry King Weekend (2002)[edit]

Transcript from Larry King Weekend Interview 2002

  • "We used to say, 'They have everything, but it.' We had nothing, but it".
  • "I am saying we are great. I'm not saying I'm great. There's a difference..."
  • "This moment in time will be remembered for three things: the war against terror, sure; the Internet, probably; and how we let an entire continent, Africa, burst into flames and stood around with water in cans."

PENN Address (2004)[edit]

Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania (17 May 2004) RealPlayer video (Bono introduced at 1:50:30, speaks from 1:56:00 - 2:22:00)

To me betraying the age means exposing its conceits, it's foibles; it's phony moral certitudes. It means telling the secrets of the age and facing harsher truths.

What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now?

We can't fix every problem — corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here — but the ones we can we must.

From arch-religious conservatives to young secular radicals, I just felt an incredible overpowering sense that this was possible. We're calling it the ONE campaign, to put an end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa. They believe we can do it, so do I.

Idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the otherisms of indifference.

  • Africa makes a mockery of what we say, at least what I say, about equality and questions our pieties and our commitments because there's no way to look at what's happening over there and it's effect on all of us and conclude that we actually consider Africans as our equals before God. There is no chance.
  • We used to wake up in the morning and the mist would be lifting we'd see thousands and thousands of people who'd been walking all night to our food station were we were working. One man — I was standing outside talking to the translator — had this beautiful boy and he was saying to me in Amharic, I think it was, I said I can't understand what he's saying, and this nurse who spoke English and Amharic said to me, he's saying will you take his son. He's saying please take his son, he would be a great son for you. I was looking puzzled and he said, "You must take my son because if you don't take my son, my son will surely die. If you take him he will go back to Ireland and get an education." Probably like the ones we're talking about today. I had to say no, that was the rules there and I walked away from that man, I've never really walked away from it. But I think about that boy and that man and that's when I started this journey that's brought me here into this stadium. Because at that moment I became the worst scourge on God's green earth, a rock star with a cause. Christ! Except it isn't the cause. Seven thousand Africans dying every day of preventable, treatable disease like AIDS? That's not a cause, that's an emergency.
  • 20 years on I'm not that interested in charity. I'm interested in justice. There's a difference. Africa needs justice as much as it needs charity. Equality for Africa is a big idea. It's a big expensive idea.
  • The scale of the suffering and the scope of the commitment they often numb us into a kind of indifference. Wishing for the end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa is like wishing that gravity didn't make things so damn heavy. We can wish it, but what the hell can we do about it? Well, more than we think. We can't fix every problem — corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here — but the ones we can we must. The debt burden, as I say, unfair trade, as I say, sharing our knowledge, the intellectual copyright for lifesaving drugs in a crisis, we can do that. And because we can, we must. Because we can, we must. Amen.
  • I know idealism is not playing on the radio right now, you don't see it on TV, irony is on heavy rotation, the knowingness, the smirk, the tired joke. I've tried them all out but I'll tell you this, outside this campus — and even inside it — idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the other isms of indifference. Baggism, Shaggism. Raggism. Notism, graduationism, chismism, I don't know. Where's John Lennon when you need him.
  • The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.


Rolling Stone interview (2005)[edit]

Interview in Rolling Stone magazine, No. 986 (3 November 2005)

  • I'm the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses.... Very sensitive eyes to light. If somebody takes my photograph, I will see the flash for the rest of the day. My right eye swells up. I've a blockage there, so that my eyes go red a lot. So it's part vanity, it's part privacy and part sensitivity.
  • I really remember John Lennon's Imagine. I guess I'm twelve; that's one of my first albums. That really set fire to me. It was like he was whispering in your ear — his ideas of what's possible. Different ways of seeing the world.
  • I was in my room listening on headphones on a tape recorder. It's very intimate. It's like talking to somebody on the phone, like talking to John Lennon on the phone. I'm not exaggerating to say that. This music changed the shape of the room. It changed the shape of the world outside the room; the way you looked out the window and what you were looking at. I remember John singing "Oh My Love." It's like a little hymn. It's certainly a prayer of some kind — even if he was an atheist. "Oh, my love/For the first time in my life/My eyes can see/I see the wind/Oh, I see the trees/Everything is clear in our world." For me it was like he was talking about the veil lifting off, the scales falling from the eyes. Seeing out the window with a new clarity that love brings you. I remember that feeling. Yoko came up to me when I was in my twenties, and she put her hand on me and she said, "You are John's son." What an amazing compliment!
  • What's interesting is, in the months leading up to this, I was probably at the lowest ebb in my life. I was feeling just teenage angst. I didn't know if I wanted to continue living — that kind of despair. I was praying to a God I didn't know was listening.       On the forming of the band U2.
  • We actually aren't able to play other people's songs. The one Stones song we tried to play was "Jumpin' Jack Flash." It was really bad. So we started writing our own — it was easier.
  • A number of years ago, I met a wise man who changed my life. In countless ways, large and small, I was always seeking the Lord's blessing. I was saying, you know, I have a new song, look after it... I have a family, please look after them... I have this crazy idea... And this wise man said: stop. He said, stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing — because it's already blessed.
  • These goals — clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty — these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a Globalised World.
  • There is a continent — Africa — being consumed by flames. I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did — or did not to — to put the fire out in Africa. History, like God, is watching what we do.
  • There's many lost but,tell me,who has won?
    • "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • How long, how long must we sing this song?
    • "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  • All is quiet on New Year's Day
    • "New Year's Day"
  • Don't believe them when they tell me there ain't no cure.The Rich stay healthy,the Sick stay poor
    • "God Part II
  • One love, one blood One life, you got to do what you should One life, with each other Sisters, brothers One life, but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other
    • "One"
    • You have made people listen. You have made people care, and you have taught us that whether we are poor or prosperous, we have only one world to share. You have taught young people that they do have the power to change the world. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, to Bono. (November 1999)
    • He's a poet. He's a philosopher. And last night, I think I saw him walking on water. Mick Jagger (1999)
    • I never believed that U2 wanted to save the whales. I don't believe that The Beastie Boys are ready to lay it down for Tibet. Iggy Pop
    • I think that politicians are attracted at first by the celebrity but once they meet him, they find that he is outstandingly capable. Jeffrey Sachs, Head Economist for the UN Millenium Development Goals. (1999)
    • He's a strange sort of entity, this euphoric rock star with the chin stubble and the tinted glasses — a new and heretofore undescribed planet in an emerging galaxy filled with transnational, multinational and subnational bodies. He's a kind of one-man state who fills his treasury with the global currency of fame. He is also, of course, an emanation of the celebrity culture. But it is Bono's willingness to invest his fame, and to do so with a steady sense of purpose and a tolerance for detail, that has made him the most politically effective figure in the recent history of popular culture. James Traub in The New York Times Magazine (18 September 2005)
    • Bono gives us a vision of how tomorrow can be better than today. He appeals to something greater than ourselves. He tells the story of his life and struggles in terms everyone can understand. He speaks about faith in a way that even a nonbeliever can embrace. Jann S. Wenner in Rolling Stone magazine, No. 986 (3 November 2005)
    • For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bono is Time's Person of the Year. TIME Magazine (2005)
  • Published at 9:30 AM on June 11, 2013 BY GRANT GOLDEN
  • With over 3,000,000 members, the ONE Campaign has been making leaps and bounds in the fight against extreme poverty. Yesterday the organization, co-founded by Bono, launched agit8, a music-based campaign designed to build pressure for action against extreme poverty. Agit8, a massive undertaking that combines work from internationally acclaimed artists, filmmakers, actors and activists, is taking the place the week before the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.
  • Agit8 hopes to reach the masses this week and invigorate a new generation to help fight the global injustices of extreme poverty and hunger. ONE states that by 2030, extreme global poverty can be ended completely. This “anti-apathy campaign” will provide new videos of beloved artists and swiftly rising contemporary stars covering classic protest songs, a film by Richard Curtis projected on the Tate Modern in London and many impromptu live performances. All of this to help spark the fire of change in a new generation.
  • “Music to me is one of those things that brings people together,” Jeff Davidoff, Chief Marketing Officer of the ONE Campaign said. “Music is inherently emotional and connecting. Advocacy is about a movement, it’s not about one person doing it, it’s about a whole bunch of people doing it together. Music and movement just go together.”
  • Artists like Mumford & Sons, U2, Elvis Costello and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have teamed up with ONE, along with artists from all over the globe, to cover a wide array of protest songs curated by a musicologist with ONE. Buskers, YouTube performers and indie artists alike will stand amongst a level playing field with these massively successful artists as their voices reach the masses through the use of digital media.
  • “The thing that is most exciting is the collective of artists,” Davidoff said. “So you have these standout protest voices like Tom Morello next to these new voices like Ed Sheeran, who’s doing an incredible cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War,’ bringing that really harsh old protest song to a whole new audience.”
  • While Davidoff spoke of a few covers that will be a part of the Agit8 campaign—like Matisyahu covering “Redemption Song”—he feels that Ed Sheeran stands out in the crowd, exemplifying the goal of Agit8.
  • “Ed Sheeran is 22 and has 6.5 million Twitter followers. I guarantee you that hardly any of his fans/followers have ever heard of this song. The idea that he, as a hot-contemporary artist, is bringing that song to life for a whole new generation is really what this is all about.”
  • ONE will be providing a complete run-down on the history of protest music, chronicling each song’s origins and providing alternate performances of each storied track. With an astounding array of musicians sharing personal playlists of their favorite protest songs and covering various classics, ONE is leading by example and showcasing the overwhelming amount of power that a voice truly contains. Check it outhere.
  • Watch Mumford & Sons and Elvis Costello cover Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” below.
  • @U2, November 20, 2008 By: Miranda Greer
  • [Ed. note: This is the fifth in a "U2 Lists" series, where @U2 staffers pick a topic and share their personal rankings on something U2-related.]  THEY say there are only two things you should not discuss in polite company: religion and politics.  Clearly, U2 didn't get the memo.  Over the last three decades, these so-called taboo topics have inspired many of the band's most powerful -- and commercially successful -- songs. From the Troubles in Ireland, to poverty in Africa, from Argentina's Dirty War, to Ronald Reagan's America, U2's songs have run the gamut of political issues.  In 2000, Larry Mullen told Time magazine's Lisa McLaughlin that the band never had a hope of keeping politics out of their music.  "In Ireland, the only two things we talk about are...religion and politics," he said.  But whether you love Bono's politics or just wish he'd zip-it and get back to singing, it's clear U2's music wouldn't be the same if it had nothing to say.  In putting together this list, I looked for songs that have made me stop and think more deeply about an issue, that expressed a controversial viewpoint or challenged the norm and captured the political flavour of the era in which they were written.  Here's my Top 10 Political U2 songs:  10) 1995 - "Miss Sarajevo[o18] " It may not sound like it, but I think "Miss Sarajevo" is actually a rebel song. Featured on Original Soundtracks 1, the 1995 collaboration between U2 and their production buddies Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, Bono has described "Miss Sarajevo" as the band's response to "the surreal acts of defiance that had taken place during the siege of Sarajevo." The Bosnian and Herzegovinan capital was the scene of the longest siege in modern history, running from April 1992 until February 1996. The song praises the rebellious spirit of the Sarajevans who refused to surrender their way of life during the conflict.  One woman refused to go the shelter and used to play the piano when they were being bombarded. Another woman organized a beauty contest. "We will fight them with our lipstick and heels," she said. All the most beautiful girls in Sarajevo walked out on stage with sashes saying [sic] "Do they really want to kill us?" - Bono, U2 by U2[o19] .  Musically, the song challenges the complacency many people were feeling about the conflict. Bono's whisper-like vocals, combined with the repetitive, almost hypnotic melody, gently rock you into a place of false calm. But we are quickly snapped out of this peaceful, dream-like state by Pavarotti's passionate, rousing solo, urging us to see more, feel more, do more.  9) 1983 - "Seconds[o20] " Written at the height of the arms race, when nuclear war was an ever-present danger, "Seconds" is both a protest song and a wake-up call to those who had become complacent [o21] about Cold War [o22] politics. Appearing on 1983's Waralbum, the song reflected the commonly held fear that nuclear armageddon was literally only seconds away. It conjures up images of the USSR's Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. president Ronald Reagan with their fingers ready to flick the switch, just one step away from blowing each other up and taking the entire world with them:  It takes a second to say goodbye/say goodbye/oh oh oh Push the button and pull the plug/say goodbye/oh oh oh  In U2 by U2, Bono said "Seconds" was still relevant today because "it's about the idea that at some point someone, somewhere would get their hands on nuclear material and build a suitcase bomb in an apartment in a western capital. It was 20 years early but I wouldn't call it prophetic. I'd just call it obvious."  8) 2001 - "Walk On[o23] " "Walk On" is U2's tribute to Burmese [o24] pro-democracy [o25] activist Aung San Suu Kyi[o26] . Burma's military junta arrested Suu Kyi after her National League for Democracy party won the country's 1990 elections in a landslide, earning her the right to become prime minister. When Suu Kyi was arrested, she was forced to leave so much behind: her husband, children, friends and colleagues. This theme of loss and sacrifice runs throughout the song, but listeners are reminded there are some things you cannot lose:  And love is not the easy thing/the only baggage that you can bring Love is not the easy thing/the only baggage you can bring Is all that you can't leave behind  Walk on/walk on What you've got they can't deny it Can't sell it or buy it  The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been given the opportunity to leave Burma to live with family in the United Kingdom, but has chosen to sacrifice her own freedom rather than abandon her oppressed people. The song describes her as a "singing bird in an open cage who will only fly...for freedom[o27] ."  7) 2006 - "The Saints Are Coming[o28] " While not written by U2, "The Saints Are Coming" is a song the band recorded with Green Day and used to deliver a political message about the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Rich in its imagery about rain and floods (clouds unrolling, drowning sorrows flooding the deepest grief, a weather change condemning belief), the song penned by The Skids in 1978 took on new meaning in 2005 after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and thousands of people were left homeless.  The song and video accurately portrayed the feelings of utter disbelief and dismay at the way the U.S. government had responded to the Katrina tragedy.  Profits from the song went to support Music Rising, a charity that aims to rebuild the culture in New Orleans by replacing musical instruments lost during Hurricane Katrina. 6) "Silver and Gold" "Silver and Gold" first made people stand up and take notice as a live performance on Rattle and Hum. There are no prizes for guessing what this song is about; Bono makes it abundantly clear during an impassioned political monologue in the middle of the song, which made it to the final cut of the film and record.  From the outset the lyrics crackle with anger -- "In the shithouse, a shotgun/ Praying hands hold me down/ Only the hunter was hunted/ in this tin can town." Bono appears to spit the words out of his mouth, the staccato alliteration emphasizing his simmering rage. As the song reaches fever pitch -- "The temperature is rising/ the fever white hot." -- it returns to a familiar political theme for U2, the idea that you can lose everything, but still have more, in a spiritual sense, than those who may try to persecute or oppress you:  Mister, I ain't got nothing But it's more than you got Chains no longer bind me Not the shackles at my feet Outside are the prisoners Inside the free Set them free Set them free  Edge's soaring solo, aka "the blues," full of anger and sorrow in equal helpings, is a fitting ending to one of the band's true political anthems.  5) 1987 - "Mothers of the Disappeared[o29] " "Mothers of the Disappeared" is a heartfelt expression of the suffering experienced by the mothers and grandmothers of the thousands of children abducted during the conflict in Central America during the late 1970s through to the mid 1980s, particularly during Argentina's "Dirty War[o30] " (1976-1983). But it is also a plea for governments and their citizens to uphold human rights. This haunting track closes 1987's The Joshua Tree album and drew people's attention to the atrocities [o31] being committed in Central America during the so-called "repression," a civil-style war that the U.S. government covertly sanctioned [o32] in a bid to stop the communist threat creeping towards their front door.  Bono's interest in this issue was piqued when he traveled to El Salvador with Ali in 1986 at the end of Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope Tour. They spent a week in the region with U.S.-based humanitarian group Sanctuary, and saw firsthand the impact of the conflict. During their stay, they met women whose children had been abducted, never to be seen again. They left a lasting impression. On February 11, 1998, the mothers of the disappeared joined U2 on stage in Santiago, Chile, reading out the names of their missing children during the performance of their song. 4) 1997 - "Please[o33] [o34] " "Please" is U2's musical sequel to 1983's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." While the subject matter is the same -- the Troubles in Ireland -- the way the band approaches the issue has evolved. The youthful rebellion, anger and impatience of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" has been replaced with a more mature, yet cynical viewpoint. Bono almost sounds tired, like a parent who has been pushed to their wits' end, past the shouting and anger, to the point where they look you in the eye and say "I'm really disappointed in you, you've let me down." You can hear the frustration and that hint of resignation, of "here we go again" in the lines "October, talk getting nowhere/November...December...remember/ are we just starting again." You get the sense Bono has stopped screaming for peace; now he's begging for it.  3) 1987 - "Bullet the Blue Sky[o35] " Another song inspired by Bono and Ali's experiences on their 1986 trip to El Salvador, "Bullet the Blue Sky" describes the bloody consequences of Ronald Reagan's foreign policy decisions on South America. Like "Silver and Gold," it is a song that exudes righteous rage and is one of U2's heaviest, angriest rock songs. Bono said he wanted the song to sound like "Hell on earth" to convey the sheer horror of what he had seen during his visit to Central America:  "I described what I had been through, what I had seen, some of the stories of people I had met, and I said to Edge: 'Could you put that through your amplifier?' I even got pictures and stuck them on the wall. I brought in film of the horrors and put it on a video and said: 'Now, do it!'"  And Edge succeeds, producing a song that sounds like fighter planes, bombs dropping and exploding, and buildings being torn apart. With its punch and counter punch drum beat, and industrial sounding guitar, it doesn't take much to imagine a little of the horror Bono and Ali must have witnessed in El Salvador. The song criticizes the U.S.'s "stop communism at all costs" policy, which lead the Reagan government to provide financial and political support to the Salvadoran regime, ignoring their horrific human rights abuses.  2) 1984 - "Pride [o36] (In the Name of Love)" Covering both political and spiritual ground, "Pride (In the Name of Love)" has become an international anthem for peace, freedom and human rights. Inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and '60s, the song is an uplifting celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s non-violent struggle for equal rights and his dream for his nation to become "a symphony of brotherhood."  The song is focused around the concept of love described in John 15:13: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," a love shown by Jesus on the cross and by Dr. King when he paid the ultimate price in his fight for freedom.  Early morning, April 4 Shot rings out in the Memphis sky Free at last, they took your life They could not take your pride  This verse references Dr King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech and touches on a theme that will reappear in many future U2 songs: the idea that spiritual values are worth more than material possessions, or in this case, even your life. The chorus asks us "What more in the name of love?"; the answer, of course, is nothing; there is no greater sacrifice.  1) 1983 - "Sunday Bloody Sunday[o37] " Well, here we are, No 1. And what other song could be in the top position than the band's most "overtly political" offering.  Described by Edge as a "full-on anti-terrorism song," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was risky for U2 to write and record. In fact, Edge's original opening lyrics, "Don't talk to me about the rights of the IRA, UDA," were changed because of a fear they would jeopardize the safety of the band and their families. Some people thought the song was actually glorifying the Troubles [o38] and calling them deeper into the country's sectarian battle[o39] . On many occasions since its release on 1983's War, Bono has made it clear that this is not a "rebel song" or a song of the "revolution," but a song that defiantly waves the white flag for peace.  Like "Pride," "Sunday Bloody Sunday" uses U2's famous left-right, political-spiritual combination to pack the most powerful punch. On the one hand, the song talks about events that took place in Dublin on November 21, 1920, and in Derry, Northern Ireland, on January 30, 1972 -- both known as Bloody Sunday -- where a total of 56 people were killed in horrific acts of sectarian violence, while on the other it delves into the spiritual; Jesus' crucifixion on the cross and resurrection on another well-known Sunday.  Unlike "Please," which tackled the same subject matter 14 years later, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a loud, angry and defiant song that draws on the band's punk music roots. The drum track, which Hot Press's Liam Mackey aptly described as "machine gun drumming," gives the song its militaristic, battle ready feel, setting the scene for the battle of ideologies raised by the lyrics.  One of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"'s most memorable live performances -- and there have been many, including the COEXIST interlude during the Vertigo Tour -- was without doubt at the McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado, on November 8, 1987, after the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Halfway through the song, Bono's anger at the latest violence bubbled over and he delivered an unforgettable message that was captured on film for Rattle and Hum:  "And let me tell you somethin'. I've had enough of Irish Americans who haven't been back to their country in 20 or 30 years come up to me and talk about the resistance, the revolution back home, and the glory of the revolution, and the glory of dying for the revolution. F--- the revolution! They don't talk about the glory of killing for the revolution. What's the glory in taking a man from his bed and gunning him down in front of his wife and his children? Where's the glory in that? Where's the glory in bombing a Remembrance Day parade of old-age pensioners, their medals taken out and polished up for the day. Where's the glory in that? To leave them dying or crippled for life or dead under the rubble of a revolution, that the majority of the people in my country don't want. No more!"  Music doesn't get more political than that. 



War (1983)[edit]

Rattle And Hum(1988)[edit]

Achtung Baby (1991)[edit]

Quotes about Bono[edit]


External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:





The origin of the name U2 is not clear. Although it is also the name of a famous 1960s spyplane, the Dublin punk rock guru Steve Averill (better known as Steve Rapid of The Radiators From Space) claimed that it was chosen by the band from a list of ten names created by him and Adam Clayton. In an interview with Larry King, Bono is quoted as saying "I don't actually like the name U2," and "I honestly never thought of it as 'you too'." Others feel that U2 derived its name from the Irish Unemployment form (in the same way as UB40 in the UK)

 [S2]Live 8, 2-6 Temmuz 2005'te LondraParisBerlinRomaPhiladelphiaBarrieChibaJohannesburgMoskovaCornwall ve Edinburgh kentlerinde düzenlenen yardım konserleridir. 1980'lerdeki yardım konserlerinden tanınan şarkıcı Bob Geldof ve Midge Ure'un düzenlediği konserler, dünya çapında ilgi gördü.



1984 yılında Bob Geldof, Etiyopya’daki açlığa dikkati çekmek üzere, "Do they know it’s Christmas?" adlı şarkıyı yazmış, şarkı, Geldof’un düzenlediği yardım kampanyası çerçevesinde "Band Aid" adı verilen İngiliz ve İrlandalı şarkıcıların oluşturduğu topluluk tarafından seslendirilmişti. Albüm, piyasaya sunulduğu 29 Kasım 1984’de bir günde 95 bin satmıştı. İrlandalı rock şarkıcısı, 1985 yılında da yardım toplamak için "Live Aid" konserlerini düzenlemeye başladı.

 [S4]Bono awarded Neruda medal by Chile Bono has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Medal of Honour by the Chilean government in recognition of his contribution to music and to humanitarian causes. The distinction has been awarded to 100 people all over the world to mark the centenary of the birth of Pablo Neruda, Chile's most famous poet. 23 Sep 04


 [S5](KCA) brings dignified treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV.


Got nomination for Oscar category Best Music, Original Song (from movie "Gangs of New York" (2002)) for "The Hands That Built America" 

 [S7]90 ile 2010 arası 4 kez aday oldu ve Vertigo ile 2005'te en iyi rock şarkısı ile aldı

 [S8]1994-2010 arası 6 kez aday oldu, 2003'te film müzikleri dalında, gangs of new york ile aldı


 [S10]şekil verilebilir

 [S11]was a short tour of six benefit concerts on behalf of Amnesty International that took place in the United States during June 1986. The purpose of the tour was not to raise funds but rather to increase awareness of human rights and of Amnesty's work on its 25th anniversary, and to invite a new generation take action to free prisoners of conscience. The shows were headlined by U2Sting and Bryan Adams and also featured Peter GabrielLou ReedJoan Baez, and The Neville Brothers. The last three shows featured a reunion of The Police. At press conferences in each city, at related media events, and through their music at the concerts themselves, the artists engaged with the public on themes of human rights and human dignity. The six concerts were the first of what subsequently became known collectively as the Human Rights Concerts - a series of music events and tours staged by the US Section of Amnesty International between 1986-1998.


90’ların başında kurulmuş.


 [o13]was an international coalition movement in over 40 countries that called for cancellation of third world debt by the year 2000


 [S15]politika oluşturmada ufak adımlarla ilerleme

 [S16]Clinton zamanı

 [S17]virüs ilaçları



"Miss Sarajevo" is the only single from the 1995 album Original Soundtracks 1 by U2 and Brian Eno


"Miss Sarajevo" was first performed 12 September 1995 at the annual Pavarotti And Friends concert in Modena, Italy. Bono, The Edge and Brian Eno joined Pavarotti on stage, with a complete orchestra, to premier the new Original Soundtracks 1 future single. All three dressed in black suits and white shirts and this was one of very few occasions where The Edge performed without his famous headgear, perhaps a symbol of respect for not only the great tenor but also for the song.

1993 –  [o19]kızların elinde bizi öldürmelerine izin vermeyin parkartı

The documentary was broadcast internationally, provoking a viewer response that added to the international pressure to end the siege. 


Yugoslavya’nın dağılmasıyla başlayan iç savaşta kuşatma altındaki Saraybosna’da 1993’tegüzellik kraliçesi seçilen Inela Nogic yıllar sonra aynı salonu gezdi. Dört yıl süren acımasız kuşatmaya rağmen Saraybosnalıların hayata tutunma çabalarının bir parçası olan yarışmada kraliçe adayları, “Dünya barışı istiyorum” gibi soyut bir cümle kurmak yerine “Bizi öldürmeyin” yazan bir pankartla sahneye çıkmışlardı. Şimdi Hollanda’da yaşayan iki çocuk annesi Nogic “Düşündüğünüz zaman yaptığımız çılgınlıktı. Ama sadece normal bir hayat sürdürmek istiyorduk” dedi. Nogic’in öyküsü ünlü rock grubu U2’nun tenor Luciano Pavarotti’yle düet yaptığı ‘Miss Sarajevo’ (Saraybosna Güzeli) şarkısına ilham kaynağı olmuştu.



 [o22]91’e kadar sürdü


 [o24]Myanmar, geçtiğimiz aylarda Müslüman katliamıyla gündeme gelen ülke

 [o25]Demokrasi yanlısı

 [o26]demokrasi savunucusu, Myanmar Ulusal Demokrasi Birliği lideri, tanınmış düşünce mahkumu ve şiddetsiz direniş taraftarı.

Budist olan Suu Kyi, Myanmar askeri diktatörlüğüne karşı gösterdiği barışcıl ve şiddetsiz mücadeleyle 1990 yılında Rafto ve Sakharov Düşünce Özgürlüğü Ödülü'nü, 1991 yılında da Nobel Barış Ödülü'nü kazandı. 1990 genel seçimlerinin sonuçlarına göre ülkenin başbakanı olmayı hak eden Suu Kyi, askeri cuntatarafından gözaltında tutulduğu için bu görevi üstlenememektedir.

21 yıl ev hapsinden sonra nihayet 16/06/2012 tarihinde nobel barış ödülünü aldı.


 [o27]Şarkının sonunda röportajdan alıntı var. Daha önümüzde uzun bir yol var, lütfen yanımda olun derken bile yüzünde gülünmseme var



 [o30]was a period of state terrorism in Argentina against political dissidents, with military and security forces conducting urban and rural guerrilla warfare against left-wing guerrillas, political dissidents, and anyone believed to be associated with socialism.[1][2][3] Victims of the violence included an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 left-wing activists and militants, including trade unionists, students, journalists, MarxistsPeronist guerrillas[4]and alleged sympathizers.[5] Some 10,000 of the "disappeared" were believed to be guerrillas of the Montoneros (MPM), and the Marxist People's Revolutionary Army(ERP).[6][7][8] The guerrillas were responsible for causing at least 6,000 casualties among the military, police forces and civilian population according to a National Geographic Magazine article in the mid-1980s.[9]


The number of people believed to have been killed or "disappeared", depending on the source, range from 9,089 to 30,000 in the period from 1976 to 1983


 [o32]El altından desteklemek



 [o34]As with "Sunday Bloody Sunday", the song is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The single cover for this song features the pictures of four Northern Irish politicians — Gerry AdamsDavid TrimbleIan Paisley, and John Hume (clockwise from top left).



The song was originally written about the United States' military intervention during the 1980s in the Salvadoran Civil WarBono told The Edge to "put El Salvador through an amplifier".



It was named the 378th greatest song by Rolling Stone on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".  [o37]

26 unarmed civil-rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army. Thirteen males, seven of whom were teenagers, died immediately or soon after, while the death of another man four-and-a-half months later was attributed to the injuries he received on that day. Two protesters were also injured when they were run down by army vehicles.[4] Five of those wounded were shot in the back.[5] The incident occurred during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march; the soldiers involved were members of the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (1 Para).[6]


"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is noted for its militaristic drumbeat, harsh guitar, and melodic harmonies.[2] One of U2's most overtly political songs, its lyrics describe the horror felt by an observer of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly focusing on the Bloody Sunday incident (30 Ocak 1972) inDerry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders who were there to rally against internment(imprisonment without trial or evidence).  14 kişi öldü ve 15 kişi yaralandı

On January 30, 1972, British troops opened fire on unarmed and peaceful civilians in Derry, Ireland during a civil rights march. This music video is a tribute to the 14 killed and others wounded - combining video/music of U2, video from "Bloody Sunday" (2002 movie), and photographs from that terrible day.

Ölenlerin adlarını saydığı konser performansında sesinin ttremesi

 [o38]Kuzey İrlanda sorunuKuzey İrlanda'da süren ve çeşitli zamanlarda İrlanda Cumhuriyetiİngiltere ve anakara Avrupa'ya yayılan etnik milliyetçi[1] çatışmalardır. "The Troubles" dönemi 1960'ların sonunda başladı ve yaygın görüşe göre 1998 Belfast Anlaşması ile sona erdi.[2] Ancak şiddet eylemleri o zamandan beri ara sıra devam etmektedir.

En temel sorunlar, Kuzey İrlanda'nın anayasal durumu ve iki ana topluluk arasındaki ilişkilerdir. Çoğunlukla Protestan cemaatine mensup olan birlikçiler vesadakatçiler, genelde Kuzey İrlanda'nın Birleşik Krallık'ın bir parçası olarak kalmasını istiyorlar. Öte yandan çoğunlukla Katolik cemaatine mensup olan İrlandalı milliyetçiler ve cumhuriyetçiler, Birleşik Krallık'tan ayrılıp birleşik bir İrlanda'ya katılmak istiyorlar. İlk gruptakiler genelde kendilerini Britanyalı olarak görmekteyken ikinci gruptakiler genelde kendilerini İrlandalı olarak görmektedirler.

Sürece müdahil olanlar arasında cumhuriyetçi ve sadık paramiliterler, Britanya ve İrlanda Cumhuriyeti devlet güvenlik güçleri, politikacılar ve siyasi aktivistler bulunmaktadır. Çıkan çatışmalarda 3.500'den fazla kişi yaşamını yitirmiştir.


 [o39]Mezhep çatışması

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