Paul David Hewson KBE (born 10 Might 1960), recognized by his stage title Bono (/ˈbɒn/), is an Irish singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist, and businessman.[1] He’s the lead vocalist and first lyricist of rock band U2.

Born and raised in Dublin, Eire, he attended Mount Temple Complete College the place he met his future spouse, Alison Stewart, in addition to schoolmates with whom he shaped U2 in 1976.[2][3] Bono quickly established himself as a passionate frontman for the band via his expressive vocal fashion and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics often embrace social and political themes, and spiritual imagery impressed by his Christian beliefs.[4][5] Throughout U2’s early years, Bono’s lyrics contributed to the group’s rebellious and religious tone.[4] Because the band matured, his lyrics grew to become impressed extra by private experiences shared with the opposite members.[2][4] As a member of U2, Bono has obtained 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame.

Apart from his music, Bono is an activist for social justice causes, each via U2 and as a person. He’s notably lively in campaigning for Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Marketing campaign, and Product Crimson.[2][6] In pursuit of those causes, he has participated in profit concert events and lobbied politicians and heads of state for aid.[6][7][8] Bono has been honoured for his philanthropic efforts.[9][10][11] In 2005, Bono was named one of many Time Individuals of the Yr. He was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the UK in 2007 for “his companies to the music business and for his humanitarian work”, and was made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) in 2013.[9][12][13] Bono has additionally attracted criticism for bypassing African companies in his activist efforts and for tax avoidance in his private funds.

Outdoors the band, he has recorded with quite a few artists.[14][15][16] He has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on a number of initiatives, together with songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner and the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Flip Off the Darkish and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange. In enterprise, he invested within the refurbishment of the Clarence Resort in Dublin, and was managing director and a managing associate of the non-public fairness agency Elevation Companions, which invested in a number of firms.[17][18][19]


Bono was born Paul David Hewson within the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Eire, on 10 Might 1960,[20] because the second baby of Iris (née Rankin) and Brendan Robert “Bob” Hewson; Bono’s brother, Norman, is eight years his senior. Bono was raised within the Northside suburb of Finglas.[21][22] The Hewson family was an interdenominational Christian one; Bono’s mom was a member of the Church of Eire, and his father was a Roman Catholic.[23][2] His dad and mom initially agreed that the primary baby could be raised Anglican and the second Catholic.[24] Though Bono was the second baby, he additionally attended Church of Eire companies along with his mom and brother.[24] Bono’s teenage musical idols have been Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Marc Bolan of T. Rex.[25]

He attended the native major faculty, Glasnevin Nationwide College.[26] Bono’s mom died on 10 September 1974, after struggling a cerebral aneurysm at her father’s funeral.[2] Many U2 songs, together with “I Will Comply with”, “Mofo”, “Out of Management”, “Lemon” and “Tomorrow”, deal with the lack of his mom.[2][27][28]

After attending St. Patrick’s Grammar College for a yr, Bono started to attend Mount Temple Complete College, a multi-denominational faculty in Clontarf.[29] Throughout his childhood and adolescence, Bono and his buddies have been a part of a surrealist road gang known as “Lypton Village”. One in every of his closest childhood buddies, Guggi, was additionally in Lypton Village. The gang had a ritual of nickname-giving. Bono had a number of names: first, he was “Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang”,[30] then simply “Huyseman”, adopted by “Houseman”, “Bon Murray”, “Bono Vox of O’Connell Avenue”, and at last simply “Bono”.[2] “Bono Vox” is an alteration of bonavox, a Latin phrase which interprets to “good voice”. It’s mentioned he was nicknamed “Bono Vox” by his good friend Gavin Friday. He initially disliked the title; nonetheless, when he discovered it translated to “good voice”, he accepted it. Hewson has been generally known as “Bono” for the reason that late Seventies. He makes use of Bono as his stage title; shut household, buddies and fellow band members additionally seek advice from him as Bono.[2]

After Bono left faculty, his father instructed him he may dwell at house for one yr, but when he was not in a position to pay his personal approach, he must go away the home.[31]

Musical profession


On 25 September 1976, Bono, David Evans (“The Edge”), his brother Dik Evans, and Adam Clayton responded to an commercial on a bulletin board at Mount Temple posted by fellow pupil Larry Mullen Jr. in search of folks concerned about forming a rock band. The band had occasional jam classes through which they did covers of different bands. Uninterested in lengthy guitar solos and arduous rock, Bono needed to play The Rolling Stones and Seashore Boys songs.[32] The band couldn’t play covers very properly, in order that they began writing their very own songs.[33]

A black and white image of a light-skinned man singing into a microphone. He is visible from the chest up and wears a sleeveless black shirt with an opened sleeveless white vest overtop. A small cross is worn around his neck. His black hair is styled into a mullet. The man looks past the camera to the left. A mixture of trees and sky are visible in the background.

Bono on stage in 1983

The band glided by the title “Suggestions” for a number of months, earlier than altering to “The Hype” in a while. After Dik Evans left the group to affix one other native band, the Virgin Prunes, the remaining 4 formally modified the title from “The Hype” to “U2”. Initially Bono sang, performed guitar and wrote the band’s songs. He mentioned of his early guitar taking part in in a 1982 interview, “Once we began out I used to be the guitar participant, together with the Edge—besides I could not play guitar. I nonetheless cannot. I used to be such a awful guitar participant that at some point they broke it to me that perhaps I ought to sing as an alternative. I had tried earlier than, however I had no voice in any respect. I bear in mind the day I discovered I may sing. I mentioned, ‘Oh, that is the way you do it.'”[34] When The Edge’s guitar taking part in improved, Bono was relegated principally to the microphone, though he sometimes nonetheless performs rhythm guitar and harmonica. As of 2006, Bono has taken piano classes from his kids’s piano trainer as a method to enhance his songwriting.[35]

On 13 July 1985, U2 carried out on the Stay Help profit live performance at Wembley Stadium earlier than a crowd of 72,000 followers and a worldwide tv viewers of 1.5 billion folks.[36][37] Throughout a 12-minute efficiency of “Dangerous”, Bono climbed down from the stage to embrace and dance with a feminine fan he had picked out of the gang,[36] exhibiting tv viewers the private connection that he may make with audiences.[38] Bono’s impromptu departure from the stage prolonged the size of “Dangerous”, chopping into their allotted time and forcing them to drop “Delight (Within the Title of Love)”, their largest hit on the time, from their setlist. The group initially regarded the live performance as a missed alternative,[36] however many journalists known as their efficiency one of many present’s highlights;[37] The Guardian cited Stay Help because the occasion that made stars of U2 and their efficiency as one among 50 key occasions in rock historical past.[39]

Bono (proper) with Sting throughout A Conspiracy of Hope in 1986

Bono writes the lyrics for nearly all U2 songs, which regularly have social and political themes.[4] His lyrics often allude to a non secular connection or that means, evident in songs corresponding to “Gloria” from the band’s album October and “I Nonetheless Have not Discovered What I am Wanting For” from The Joshua Tree.[5] Through the band’s early years, Bono was recognized for his rebellious tone which turned to political anger and rage in the course of the band’s Conflict, The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum eras.[4] Following the Enniskillen bombing that left 11 useless and 63 injured on 8 November 1987, the Provisional IRA paramilitaries threatened to kidnap Bono.[2] IRA supporters additionally attacked a car carrying the band members.[2] These acts have been in response to his speech condemning the Enniskillen bombing throughout a dwell efficiency of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.[2] The singer had been suggested to chop his on-stage outburst from the Rattle and Hum movie, nevertheless it was left in.[40] The movie additionally incorporates footage of the band’s 11 November 1987 free “Save the Yuppies” live performance at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, throughout which Bono spray-painted “Rock N Roll Stops the Site visitors” on the Vaillancourt Fountain sculpture. Bono was criticised by Mayor Dianne Feinstein and confronted a misdemeanor for defacing public property. He apologised in a written assertion to native officers, and the band’s promoter Invoice Graham agreed to pay to wash up the graffiti.[41]

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

U2’s sound and focus dramatically modified with their 1991 album, Achtung Child. Bono’s lyrics grew to become extra private, impressed by experiences associated to the non-public lives of the members of the band.[2][4] Through the band’s 1992–1993 Zoo TV Tour, Bono assumed a variety of costumed stage personae in an try to be extra facetious and escape the group’s status of being overly critical and self-righteous.[42] Bono mentioned: “All via the Eighties we tried to be ourselves and failed when the lights have been on. Which is what set us up for Zoo TV. We determined to have some enjoyable being different folks, or no less than different variations of ourselves.”[43] Bono’s major persona in the course of the tour was “the Fly”, which originated from him sporting an outsized pair of blaxploitation sun shades, given to him by wardrobe supervisor Fintan Fitzgerald, to lighten the temper within the studio.[44][45] He developed the persona right into a leather-clad egomaniac, and described his outfit as having Lou Reed’s glasses, Elvis Presley’s jacket, and Jim Morrison’s leather-based trousers.[46] To match the character’s darkish vogue, Bono dyed his naturally-brown hair black.[47] In distinction to his earnest stage manner of the Nineteen Eighties, because the Fly, Bono strutted across the stage with “swagger and magnificence”, exhibiting mannerisms of an egotistical rock star.[48] He usually stayed in character because the Fly away from the stage, together with for public appearances and when staying in resorts.[49]

For his “Mirror Ball Man” stage character, Bono wearing a shining silver lamé swimsuit with matching footwear and cowboy hat.[50] The character was meant to parody grasping American televangelists, showmen, and automotive salesman, and was impressed by Phil Ochs’ Elvis persona from his 1970 tour.[51] Bono mentioned that the character represented “a type of showman America. He had the boldness and attraction to select up a mirror and have a look at himself and provides the glass a giant kiss. He beloved money and in his thoughts success was God’s blessing.”[52] Mirror Ball Man appeared throughout encores of concert events in 1992 and made prank calls from the stage, usually to the White Home in an try to achieve U.S. President George H. W. Bush.[50] Bono portrayed this alter ego on the primary three legs of the tour, however changed him with “MacPhisto” in 1993.[53] MacPhisto was created to parody the satan and was named after Mephistopheles of the Faust legend.[53] As MacPhisto, Bono wore a gold lamé swimsuit with gold platform footwear, pale make-up, lipstick, and satan’s horns on his head.[54] Because the character, Bono spoke with an exaggerated upper-class English accent, just like that of a down-on-his-luck character actor.[53] In accordance with him, “We got here up with a type of outdated English Satan, a pop star long gone his prime returning recurrently from classes on The Strip in Vegas and regaling anybody who would hearken to him at cocktail hour with tales from the great outdated, unhealthy outdated days.”[55] As MacPhisto, Bono continued his routine of creating in-concert prank calls, focusing on native politicians and mocking them by partaking them in character because the satan;[56] he mentioned, “If you’re dressed because the Satan, your dialog is straight away loaded, so if you happen to inform someone you actually like what they’re doing, you already know it is not a praise.”[55]

Throughout performances, Bono makes an attempt to work together with the gang as usually as doable. He’s recognized for pulling viewers members onto the stage or shifting himself right down to the bodily degree of the viewers.[2] On the Stay Help live performance in 1985, Bono leapt off the stage and pulled a lady from the gang to bop together with her because the band performed “Dangerous”. In 2005, throughout U2’s Vertigo Tour cease in Chicago, he pulled a boy onto the stage in the course of the tune “An Cat Dubh / Into the Coronary heart”.[2][57] Bono has usually allowed followers to return on stage and carry out songs with the band.

Whereas accepting the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Finest Authentic Music for “The Palms That Constructed America”, Bono known as the award “actually, actually fucking good!” in the course of the dwell tv broadcast.[58] In response, the Dad and mom Tv Council condemned Bono for his profanity and began a marketing campaign for its members to file complaints with the FCC.[59] Though Bono’s use of “fuck” violated FCC indecency requirements, the FCC refused to positive NBC as a result of the community didn’t obtain advance discover of the implications of broadcasting such profanity and the profanity in query was not utilized in its literal sexual that means.[60]
In obvious response to the refusal,[61] a bunch of congressmen launched Home Decision 3687, the “Clear Airwaves Act”,[62] on 8 December 2003,[63] aiming to amend part 1464 of title 18 of the USA Code to offer an express listing of profane phrases and phrases and take away ambiguity that might allow sure makes use of of the phrases to be allowed.[64] The invoice was not enacted.[63] The incident has had a long-term influence within the dealing with of profanity on dwell broadcasts.[62]

U2 acting at Madison Sq. Backyard in November 2005

U2 have been criticised in 2007 for shifting a part of their multimillion-euro tune catalogue from Eire to Amsterdam six months earlier than Eire ended a tax exemption on musicians’ royalties.[11][65] Beneath Dutch tax legislation, bands are topic to low to non-existent tax charges.[11] U2 supervisor Paul McGuinness said that the association was authorized and customary and companies usually sought to minimise their tax burdens.[11] The transfer prompted criticisms within the Irish parliament.[66][67] The band later responded by stating that roughly 95{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} of their enterprise happened outdoors Eire, and that they have been taxed globally due to this.[68] Bono was one among a number of rich figures whose tax preparations have been singled out for criticism in a report by the charity Christian Help in 2008.[69]


Along with his work with U2, Bono has collaborated with Frank Sinatra,[14] Johnny Money,[15] Willie Nelson,[70] Luciano Pavarotti,[71] Sinéad O’Connor,[72] Inexperienced Day, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison,[73] Bob Dylan,[16] Patti Smith, Tina Turner,[74] B.B. King and Zucchero.[75][76][77] He has recorded with Ray Charles,[78] Quincy Jones, Kirk Franklin,[79] Bruce Springsteen,[80] Tony Bennett,[81] Clannad,[82] The Corrs,[83] Wyclef Jean,[84] Kylie Minogue,[85] Carl Perkins,[86] and Herbert Grönemeyer.[87] On Robbie Robertson’s 1987 eponymous album, he performed bass guitar and sang.[88] For Michael Hutchence’s 1999 posthumous eponymous album, Bono and producer Andy Gill accomplished the unfinished tune “Slide Away” by writing an extra verse and recording vocals by Bono.[89] In 2015, he collaborated with African stars D’banj, Waje and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde for a girls’s empowerment tune entitled “Sturdy Woman”.[90]

Bono and the Edge have written and recorded a number of songs collectively outdoors of U2. They wrote the musical rating for the Royal Shakespeare Firm’s London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, which opened in 1990. The duo additionally wrote the eponymous theme tune of the 1995 James Bond movie GoldenEye, which was carried out by Tina Turner. Bono and the Edge ventured into theatre once more after they composed the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Flip Off the Darkish;[91] they have been featured on the soundtrack’s single “Rise Above 1” with Reeve Carney in 2011.[92][93] The duo collaborated with Jay-Z and Rihanna for the 2010 tune “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)”, which benefitted the Hope for Haiti Now aid telethon for the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[94] Bono and the Edge have been featured on the tune “We Are the Individuals” by Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, which served because the official tune of the UEFA Euro 2020 match and was launched on 14 Might 2021.[95]

On 17 March 2020, Bono carried out a brand new tune, “Let Your Love Be Recognized”, through livestream to followers in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.[96] On 24 March, the tune was launched on YouTube,[97] retitled “#SING4LIFE”, as a collaboration with, Jennifer Hudson, and Yoshiki.[98]

Musical fashion


Bono performing in Amsterdam in July 2017

Bono is understood for his impassioned vocal fashion, usually delivered in a excessive register via open-throated belting.[99][100][101][102] Bono has been labeled as a tenor,[103][104] and in response to him has a three-octave vocal vary;[105] one evaluation discovered it to span from C2 to G5 on studio recordings over the course of his profession.[106] He often employs “whoa-oh-oh” vocalisations in his singing.[107] Rock musician Billie Joe Armstrong of Inexperienced Day mentioned: “He is a bodily singer, just like the chief of a gospel choir, and he will get misplaced within the melodic second. He goes to a spot outdoors himself, particularly in entrance of an viewers, when he hits these excessive notes.” He added that Bono is “not afraid to transcend what he is able to”.[108]

Within the early days of U2, Bono unintentionally developed an English vocal accent because of him mimicking his musical influences corresponding to Siouxsie and the Banshees.[109] His vocal fashion developed in the course of the band’s exploration of roots music for The Joshua Tree; Spin mentioned that he discovered to command “the total whisper-to-shout vary of blues mannerisms”.[110] Bono attributed this maturation to “loosening up”, “uncover[ing] different voices”, and using extra restraint in his singing.[111] For “The place the Streets Have No Title”, Bono diversified the timbre of his voice extensively and used rubato to differ its timing,[112] whereas writer Susan Quick discovered “With or With out You” to be the primary observe on which he “prolonged his vocal vary downward in an considerable approach”.[113]

Bono continued to discover a decrease vary within the Nineteen Nineties, utilizing what Quick described as “breathy and subdued colours” for Achtung Child.[114] One method used on the album is octave doubling, through which his vocals are sung in two completely different octaves, both concurrently or alternating between verses and choruses. In accordance with Quick, this system introduces “a contrasting lyrical concept and vocal character to ship it”, resulting in each literal and ironic interpretations of Bono’s vocals.[115] On tracks corresponding to “Zoo Station” and “The Fly”, his vocals have been extremely processed,[103][116][117] giving them a unique emotional really feel from his earlier work.[118] Bono mentioned that reducing his voice helped him discover a new vocal vocabulary, which he felt was restricted to “sure phrases and tones” by his tenor voice.[119] His singing on Zooropa was an ever additional departure from U2’s earlier fashion; all through the report, Bono “underplay[ed] his lung energy”, in response to Jon Pareles,[120] and he additionally used an operatic falsetto he calls the “Fats Woman” voice on the tracks “Lemon” and “Numb”.[55][121]

Activism and philanthropy

Bono with then-President Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2006

Bono has been concerned in philanthropy and activism for human rights and social justice causes, each as a member of U2 and as a person. He defined that he was motivated to develop into concerned in social and political causes by seeing one of many Secret Policeman’s Ball profit exhibits, staged by Monty Python member John Cleese and producer Martin Lewis for the human-rights organisation Amnesty Worldwide in 1979.[122] Bono said, “I noticed The Secret Policeman’s Ball and it grew to become part of me. It sowed a seed…”.[123]

In 1984, musician Bob Geldof enlisted Bono to take part within the Band Help charity single “Do They Know It is Christmas?”;[124] Bono reprised his singing position for the 2004 Band Help 20 and 2014 Band Help 30 singles of the identical title. In July 1985, U2 carried out on the Stay Help charity live performance, which was organised by Geldof to learn the Ethiopian famine;[125] he and Bono later collaborated to organise the twentieth anniversary Stay 8 concert events in 2005, at which U2 additionally carried out.[8]

From September to October 1985, Bono and his spouse Ali Hewson made a humanitarian go to to Africa, spending a month working at a feeding middle in Ajibar, Ethiopia.[126] Together with different volunteers, they developed an academic programme consisting of songs and one-act performs to show Ethiopian kids essential details about points corresponding to well being and hygiene.[127] Through the journey, he additionally grew to become conscious of the corruption, commerce agreements, and money owed that have been all claimed to be contributing elements to the famine and poverty in Africa.[127] The journey was cited as fueling Bono’s ardour for African points that might come to characterise his future philanthropic and activist efforts.[126][127]

In 1986, Bono and U2 carried out on Amnesty Worldwide’s Conspiracy of Hope Tour of profit concert events in the USA,[7] alongside musicians corresponding to Sting and Bryan Adams.

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

Since 1999, Bono has develop into more and more concerned with elevating consciousness of the plight of Africa and campaigning on its behalf. From 1999–2000, Bono was concerned with the Jubilee 2000 coalition, working as an activist on its Drop the Debt marketing campaign. He met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and with U.S. Republican politicians corresponding to Jesse Helms, John Kasich, Orrin Hatch, J. Dennis Hastert, and Dick Armey in an effort to safe bipartisan assist for the U.S. forgiving the debt of creating international locations.[128] He has met with a number of influential politicians, together with former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.[129] Throughout a March 2002 go to to the White Home, Bono lobbied Bush to offer monetary help to creating international locations.[129][130] The next yr, Bush signed laws authorising the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reduction program,[131] which has been credited with saving 17 million lives over its lifetime.[132] Bush instructed Bono that the initiative “by no means would have made it out of Congress had [Bono] not been engaged”.[133]

The advocacy non-government organisation (NGO) DATA (Debt, AIDS, Commerce, Africa) was established in 2002 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, together with activists from Drop the Debt.[134] The organisation was funded by the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, George Soros, and Edward W. Scott.[135] In 2004, Bono and Shriver co-founded the One Marketing campaign, with the goal of eliminating excessive poverty and illness in Africa by constructing citizen assist.[136][137] The organisation obtained a $3 million grant from the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis.[138] In 2006, Bono and Shriver collaborated once more to discovered (Crimson), a company that licenses the Product Crimson model to associate firms to lift cash for the International Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Every firm creates a product with the Product Crimson brand, and a share of the income from the sale of those labelled merchandise profit the International Fund.[139] Companion firms embrace American Specific, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Hole, Giorgio Armani,[140][141] Nike, and Starbucks; Bono was concerned with securing most of Crimson’s company companions.[142] In October 2007, it was introduced that DATA and One Marketing campaign would merge in the USA and that the brand new group could be recognized merely as One.[136] Crimson presently operates as a sister organisation of One.[137] As of December 2018, One has 10 million members, 3 million of whom are in Africa.[137] As of December 2020, Crimson has generated $650 million to assist HIV/AIDS grants.[143]

In 2005, Bono recorded a model of “Do not Give Up” with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Hold a Youngster Alive.[144]

Bono on the 2008 World Financial Discussion board annual assembly in Davos

Bono has spoken at quite a few occasions on behalf of his activist efforts. He spoke on the 54th Annual Nationwide Prayer Breakfast on 2 February 2006, encouraging the care of the socially and economically depressed and calling for an additional one p.c tithe of the USA’ nationwide funds.[6] He has made a number of appearances on the World Financial Discussion board annual assembly in Davos, Switzerland.[145][146][147][148]

Bono on the 2009 Tribeca Movie Competition

Bono was a particular visitor editor of the July 2007 concern of Vainness Honest journal, named “The Africa Challenge: Politics & Energy”. It featured an assortment of 20 completely different covers, with pictures by Annie Leibovitz of a variety of celebrities, political leaders, and philanthropists, every showcasing their contributions to the humanitarian aid in Africa.[149]

In 2021, Bono lent his voice to One’s animated sequence Pandemica, which was created to lift consciousness of the significance of vaccines in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities in worldwide vaccine availability.[150]

Efficacy and evaluation

Bono assembly with then-US President Barack Obama in 2010

Bono has develop into one of many world’s best-known philanthropic performers and was named essentially the most politically efficient superstar of all time by the Nationwide Journal.[151][152][153] He has been dubbed “the face of fusion philanthropy”,[154] each for his success enlisting highly effective allies from a various spectrum of leaders in authorities, spiritual establishments, philanthropic organisations, common media, and the enterprise world, in addition to for spearheading new organizational networks that bind world humanitarian aid with geopolitical activism and company industrial enterprise.[13]

On 15 December 2005, Paul Theroux printed an op-ed in The New York Occasions known as “The Rock Star’s Burden” (cf. Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden”) that criticised stars corresponding to Bono, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, labelling them as “mythomaniacs, individuals who want to persuade the world of their price.” Theroux, who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, added that “the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and may be saved solely by outdoors assist—to not point out celebrities and charity concert events—is a damaging and deceptive conceit.”[155]

In February 2006, Bono responded to his critics by calling them “cranks carping from the sidelines. Loads of them would not know what to do in the event that they have been on the sphere. They’re the celebration who will all the time be in opposition in order that they’ll by no means must take duty for selections as a result of they know they’re going to by no means be capable of implement them.”[156]

In an article in Bloomberg Markets in March 2007, journalists Richard Tomlinson and Fergal O’Brien famous that Bono used his band’s 2006 Vertigo world tour to advertise his ONE Marketing campaign whereas on the similar time “U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most profitable tour of all time, in response to Billboard journal … Income from the Vertigo tour is funnelled via firms which might be principally registered in Eire and structured to minimise taxes.”[157]

Additional criticism got here in November 2007, when Bono’s varied charity campaigns have been focused by Jobs Selasie, head of African Help Motion. Selasie claimed that these charities had elevated corruption and dependency in Africa as a result of they did not work with African entrepreneurs and grassroots organisations, and in consequence, Africa has develop into extra depending on worldwide handouts.[158]

Movie profession

Bono was an govt producer of the 2000 movie The Million Greenback Resort, which was developed from a narrative by him and Nicholas Klein. It starred Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, and Mel Gibson.[159]

Within the 2007 musical movie Throughout the Universe, Bono made a cameo throughout a psychedelic sequence, portraying the character “Dr. Robert” and singing The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”.[160]

Bono voiced a personality within the 2021 animated musical movie Sing 2, the lion rock legend Clay Calloway.[161]

Enterprise ventures

Bono performing with U2 in 2011

In 1992, Bono, together with the Edge, purchased and refurbished Dublin’s two-star 70-bedroom Clarence Resort, and transformed it right into a five-star 49-bedroom resort.[19]

In 2005, Bono, Ali Hewson, and designer Rogan Gregory co-founded the EDUN vogue label (“nude” spelled backwards, to counsel each “pure” and the Backyard of Eden).[162] It was supposed to assist result in constructive change in Africa via a good trade-based relationship somewhat than by direct help.[163][164]

Bono was a board member of the Elevation Companions private-equity agency, which tried to buy Eidos Interactive in 2005 and subsequently invested in different leisure companies.[18][165] Bono was an investor within the Forbes Media group within the U.S. via Elevation Companions; his agency took a minority stake in Forbes Media, which encompassed the 89-year-old enterprise that features Forbes journal, the web site, and different property. The phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed, however experiences mentioned the stake was price about €194 million ($250 million).[166][167][168] Elevation Companions additionally owned a 1.5 p.c stake in social networking web site Fb, initially bought for $210 million.[17] Though it was reported that Bono’s stake was valued at roughly US$1 billion in February 2012,[169][170] a 2015 article in Forbes said that this estimate was primarily based on an incorrect attribution of shares.[171]

In 2016, Bono invested in and joined the board of administrators of the “Rise Fund”, a brand new $2 billion influence funding fund based by TPG.[172] Rise’s investments fell throughout seven sectors, together with agriculture, schooling, and healthcare, and have been made into firms making “a measurable constructive social and/or environmental influence”.[173] In 2019, Bono and TPG introduced the creation of Y Analytics, an organization supposed to measure the social and environmental impacts of investments.[174]

Bono was amongst these named within the 2017 Paradise Papers after he was recognized as an investor in Nude Estates, which purchased a shopping center in Lithuania in 2007 and transferred possession to Nude Estates 1 in Guernsey, in an obvious try to keep away from tax. Bono welcomed the next investigation by the Lithuanian tax authority, saying that transparency was crucial and he had personally campaigned for it.[175] Nude Estates paid €53,000 in taxes and fines after the investigation was accomplished and Bono severed ties with the corporate.[176]

In September 2019, it was introduced that Bono joined the board of administrators of Zipline.[177]

Awards and recognition

Bono has received quite a few awards with U2, together with 22 Grammy Awards[10] and two Golden Globe Awards for Finest Authentic Music (for “The Palms That Constructed America” in 2003 and “Bizarre Love” in 2014).[178][179] In 2005, Bono was inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame as a member of U2, within the group’s first yr of eligibility.[180] In November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Bono the Thirty second-greatest singer of all time,[108] whereas Consequence of Sound additionally ranked him Thirty second on its 2016 listing.[181] In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Bono and the Edge at quantity 35 on its listing of the 100 Biggest Songwriters of All Time.[182]

In 2003, Bono obtained the Legion of Honour from the French authorities,[183] and the next yr he was awarded the Pablo Neruda Worldwide Presidential Medal of Honour from the Authorities of Chile.[184] Time named Bono one of many “100 Most Influential Individuals” in its Might 2004 particular concern[185] and once more within the 2006 Time 100 particular concern.[186] In 2005, the journal named him, Invoice and Melinda Gates the Individuals of the Yr.[13] Additionally in 2005, he obtained the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work.[187] That yr Bono was additionally among the many first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants every winner a “want to change the world”.[188] Bono made three needs,[189] the primary two associated to the One Marketing campaign and the third that each hospital, well being clinic, and faculty in Ethiopia may very well be linked to the Web. TED rejected the third want as being a sub-optimal approach for TED to assist Africa[189] and as an alternative organised a TED convention in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the convention, which was held in June 2007.

In 2007, Bono obtained a number of honours. On the thirty eighth NAACP Picture Awards, he received the Chairman’s Award.[190] He was named within the UK’s New Yr Honours Listing as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[12][191] He was formally granted honorary knighthood on 29 March in a ceremony on the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Eire.[192] On 27 September, Bono and DATA obtained the Philadelphia Liberty Medal for his or her humanitarian efforts. Whereas accepting the honour, Bono mentioned, “If you end up trapped by poverty, you aren’t free. When commerce legal guidelines forestall you from promoting the meals you grew, you aren’t free.” Bono donated the $100,000 prize to DATA; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the prize on the organisation’s behalf.[193]

On 11 December 2008, Bono obtained the annual Man of Peace prize, which is awarded by a number of Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.[194]

Time ranked Bono eighth on its listing of the “Most Influential Celebrities” in 2013; he was the one individual from the music business within the High 10.[195] In July 2013, he was honoured by the French authorities as a Commandeur de Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the nation’s highest cultural honour.[183]

In 2016, Glamour named him “Man of the Yr”, breaking the 26-year custom that noticed the “Girl of the Yr” accolade reserved just for girls. Bono was acknowledged for establishing a marketing campaign known as “Poverty is Sexist,” which is “particularly geared toward serving to the world’s poorest girls”.[196] In 2018, he was the primary recipient of the George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Management, which was awarded by Bush’s Presidential Middle; the honour was in recognition of Bono’s humanitarian work in opposition to poverty and HIV/AIDS.[197]

Private life

Bono (second from proper) and his spouse, Ali Hewson (second from left), with President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa, December 2013

Bono is married to activist and businesswoman Alison Hewson (née Stewart).[3] The couple have 4 kids: daughters Jordan (born 10 Might 1989) and Eve (born 7 July 1991) and sons Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (born 17 August 1999) and John Abraham (born 20 Might 2001).[198] Elijah is lead guitarist and vocalist within the rock band Inhaler.[199]

Bono was an in depth good friend to INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.[200]

“Spending time with Bono was like consuming dinner on a practice—feels such as you’re shifting, going someplace. Bono’s acquired the soul of an historic poet and it’s a must to watch out round him. He can roar ‘until the earth shakes. He is additionally a closet thinker…talks in regards to the rightness, the richness, glory, magnificence, marvel and magnificence of America.”

Bob Dylan, 2005[201]

Within the late Nineteen Eighties or early Nineteen Nineties, Bono purchased a top-floor duplex condo in Manhattan’s San Remo condo constructing from Steve Jobs for $15 million. Jobs had renovated it for his personal use, however by no means moved in.[202] In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Physician of Legal guidelines diploma from the College of Pennsylvania.[203]

With regard to Bono’s 2013 declarations in interviews printed and videotaped of his religion in Jesus Christ,[204] he said that Christ was both who he mentioned he was, or he’s “an entire and utter nutcase”.[205] As early as 2005, Bono was invoking this argument,[206][207] recognized because the “Lewis trilemma”.

Well being

Bono is nearly by no means seen in public with out sun shades, as he suffers from glaucoma.[208] Throughout a Rolling Stone interview, he said:

[I have] very delicate eyes to gentle. If someone takes my {photograph}, I’ll see the flash for the remainder of the day. My proper eye swells up. I’ve a blockage there, in order that my eyes go crimson so much. So it is half vainness, it is half privateness and half sensitivity.[209]

In Might 2010, Bono suffered a spinal damage whereas getting ready for a U2 tour, and was taken to a German clinic in Munich for emergency neurosurgery.[210][211] The North American leg of the tour was postponed and rescheduled for 2011.[212][213]

On 16 November 2014, Bono was concerned in a “excessive vitality bicycle accident” when he tried to keep away from one other rider. Bono was rushed to NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Middle’s Emergency Division and underwent “a number of X-rays and CAT scans” adopted by 5 hours of surgical procedure. Bono suffered fractures of the shoulder blade, humerus, orbit and pinky finger. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dean Lorich, MD, said that “[Bono] was taken urgently to the working room… the place the elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped within the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metallic plates and 18 screws.”[214][215] Bono posted to U2’s official web site, “As I write this, it’s not clear that I’ll ever play guitar once more,” as reported in Biking Weekly.[216][217]

In 2016, in the course of the recording classes for U2’s album Songs of Expertise, Bono had what the Edge known as a “brush with mortality”.[218] The Irish Occasions reported that someday in late 2016 between Christmas and New Yr’s Day, Bono had a near-death expertise.[219] Apart from clarifying that it was a bodily well being scare, he declined to elaborate any additional on what occurred.[220] On account of the episode, he determined to remodel the album’s lyrics.[218]


Yr Movie Function Notes
1988 Rattle and Hum Himself Rockumentary
1998 The Simpsons Himself TV sequence; one episode, “Trash of the Titans”
1999 Basic Albums Himself TV sequence; one episode, “The Joshua Tree”
Entropy Himself
2000 The Million Greenback Resort Man within the resort foyer Uncredited cameo look, unique storywriter, producer
Sightings of Bono Himself Quick movie
2005 Entourage Himself TV sequence; one episode, “I Love You Too”
2007 Rewind Himself Rockumentary
Throughout The Universe Dr. Robert Sang The Beatles songs “I Am the Walrus” and “Lucy within the Sky with Diamonds”
American Idol Himself TV sequence; “Idol Offers Again”
2008 U2 3D Himself 3D live performance movie
2009 Entourage Himself TV sequence; one episode, “Give a Little Bit”
Brüno Himself Mockumentary comedy movie
2011 From the Sky Down Himself Rockumentary
Anton Corbijn Inside Out Himself
2012 B.B. King – The Lifetime of Riley Himself Documentary
The Resurrection of Victor Jara Himself Documentary
2013 Arcade Fireplace in Right here Comes The Evening Time Win Butler impersonator NBC Particular
Who the F**Ok Is Arthur Fogel Himself Documentary
Muscle Shoals Himself Documentary
2017 Misplaced in London Himself Voice cameo
2021 Sing 2 Clay Calloway Voice position

Along with his appearing credit, Bono has contributed music to movies, as a part of U2 and different collaborations.


  • Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg (Chev. L.H.) (Knight): Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’honneur (Knight within the Order of the Legion of Honour), France (28 February 2003)
  • PRT Order of Liberty - Officer BAR.png (OL): Oficial da Ordem da Liberdade (Officer of the Order of Liberty), Portugal (21 April 2005)[221][222]
  • 80 (KBE) Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Glorious Order of the British Empire, United Kingdom (20 January 2007)[223][224]
  • Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Commandeur ribbon.svg Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Commander within the Order of Arts and Letters), France (16 July 2013)

See additionally

  • Timeline of U2
  • Listing of peace activists
  • A. bonoi, a species of spider within the genus Aptostichus named after Bono

  • Assayas, Michka; Bono (2005). Bono in Dialog with Michka Assayas. New York Metropolis: Riverhead Books. ISBN 978-1-57322-309-6.
  • de la Parra, Pimm Jal (2003). U2 Stay: A Live performance Documentary (Up to date ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-9198-9.
  • Jobling, John (2014). U2: The Definitive Biography. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-1-250-02789-4.
  • Matthews, Sheelagh (2008). Bono. Exceptional Individuals. New York Metropolis: Weigl Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59036-638-7.
  • McGee, Matt (2008). U2: A Diary. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84772-108-2.
  • Stockman, Steve (2001). Stroll On: The Religious Journey of U2. Lake Mary: Related Books. ISBN 978-0-88419-793-5.
  • Stokes, Niall (2005). U2: Into the Coronary heart – The Tales Behind Each Music. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-765-2.
  • U2 (2006). McCormick, Neil (ed.). U2 by U2. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-719668-7.
  • Vagacs, Robert (2005). Non secular Nuts, Political Fanatics: U2 in Theological Perspective. Cascade Books. ISBN 978-1-59752-336-3.

  • – Official U2 web site
  • ONE Marketing campaign – Advocacy and campaigning group cofounded by Bono
  • EDUN – Style label began by Bono and his spouse Ali
  • Bono at AllMovie
  • Bono at TED Edit this at Wikidata
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Bono on Charlie Rose
  • Bono at IMDb
  • “Bono collected information and commentary”. The New York Occasions.
  • Works by or about Bono in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

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