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Bono singing in Indianapolis on Joshua Tree Tour 2017 9-10-17.jpg
Bono performing on the Joshua Tree Tour 2017 in Indianapolis
Paul David Hewson

(1960-05-10) 10 May 1960 (age 60)
Dublin, Ireland
Other namesBono Vox
  • Singer-songwriter
  • venture capitalist
  • philanthropist
  • businessman
Organization One Campaign
(m. 1982)
Children4 (including Eve Hewson)
Awards KBE OL
Musical career
Origin Finglas, Dublin, Ireland
Genres Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active1976–present
Associated acts U2, Passengers

Paul David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono ( /ˈbɒn/ ), is an Irish singer, songwriter, philanthropist, activist, venture capitalist, businessman, and actor. [1] He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of rock band U2.


Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, as well as schoolmates with whom he formed U2 in 1976. [2] [3] Bono soon established himself as a passionate frontman for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics are known for their social and political themes, and for their religious imagery inspired by his Christian beliefs. [4] [5] During U2's early years, Bono's lyrics contributed to the group's rebellious and spiritual tone. [4] As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members. [2] [4] As a member of U2, Bono has received 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bono is well known for his activism for social justice causes, both through U2 and as an individual. He is particularly active in campaigning for Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign, and Product Red. [2] [6] In pursuit of these causes, he has participated in benefit concerts and met with influential politicians. [6] [7] [8] Bono has been praised for his philanthropic efforts; [9] [10] [11] he was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work", and has been made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). In 2005, Bono was named one of the Time Persons of the Year. [9] [12] [13]

Outside the band, he has recorded with numerous artists. [14] [15] [16] He has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on several projects, including: songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner; the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange ; and the refurbishment of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. He is managing director and a managing partner of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, which has invested in several companies. [17] [18] [19]

Early life

Bono was born Paul David Hewson in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, on 10 May 1960, [20] as the second child of Iris (née Rankin) and Brendan Robert "Bob" Hewson; Bono's brother, Norman, is eight years his senior. Bono was raised in the Northside suburb of Finglas. [21] [22] The Hewson household was an interfaith Christian one; Bono's mother was a Protestant member of the Church of Ireland, and his father was a Roman Catholic. [23] [2] His parents initially agreed that the first child would be raised Anglican and the second Catholic. [24] Although Bono was the second child, he also attended Church of Ireland services with his mother and brother. [24] Bono's teenage musical idols were Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Marc Bolan of T. Rex. [25]

He went to the local primary Glasnevin National School. [26] Bono's mother died on 10 September 1974, after suffering a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral. [2] Many U2 songs, including "I Will Follow", "Mofo", "Out of Control", "Lemon" and "Tomorrow", focus on the loss of his mother. [2] [27] [28]

After attending St. Patrick's grammar school for a year, Bono began to attend Mount Temple Comprehensive School, a multi-denominational school in Clontarf. [29] During his childhood and adolescence, Bono and his friends were part of a surrealist street gang called "Lypton Village". One of his closest childhood friends, Guggi, was also in Lypton Village. The gang had a ritual of nickname-giving. Bono had several names: first, he was "Steinhegvanhuysenolegbangbangbang", [30] then just "Huyseman", followed by "Houseman", "Bon Murray", "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street", and finally just "Bono". [2] "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. [2]

After Bono left school, his father told him he could live at home for one year, but if he was not able to pay his own way, he would have to leave the house. [31]

Musical career


Bono on stage in 1983 U2 21081983 01 800b.jpg
Bono on stage in 1983

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 The Rolling Stones and Beach Boys songs.[ citation needed ] The band could not play covers very well, so they started writing their own songs. [32]

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.'" [33] 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. [34]

Bono (right) with Sting during A Conspiracy of Hope in 1986 Sting-Bono-Conspiracy of Hope-by Steven Toole.jpg
Bono (right) with Sting during A Conspiracy of Hope in 1986

Bono writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, which often have social and political themes. [4] 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 . [5] During the band's early years, Bono was known for his rebellious tone which turned to political anger and rage during the band's War , The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum eras. [4] Following the Enniskillen bombing that left 11 dead and 63 injured on 8 November 1987, the Provisional IRA paramilitaries threatened to kidnap Bono. [2] IRA supporters also attacked a vehicle carrying the band members. [2] These acts were in response to his speech condemning the Enniskillen bombing during a live performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". [2] The singer had been advised to cut his on-stage outburst from the Rattle and Hum film, but it was left in. [35] 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 Bono as The Fly Cleveland 1992.jpg
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. [2] [4] During the band's Zoo TV Tour several of his stage personae were showcased; these included "The Fly", a stereotypical rock star; "Mirror Ball Man", a parody of American televangelists; and "MacPhisto", a combination of a corrupted rock star and the Devil. [2] [4]

During performances, Bono attempts to interact with the crowd as often as possible. He is known for pulling audience members onto the stage or moving himself down to the physical level of the audience. [2] At the Live Aid concert in 1985, Bono leapt off the stage and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her as the band played "Bad". In 2005, during U2's Vertigo Tour stop in Chicago, he pulled a boy onto the stage during the song "An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart". [2] [36] Bono has often allowed fans to come on stage and perform songs with the band.

While accepting the 2003 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "The Hands That Built America", Bono called the award "really, really fucking brilliant!" during the live television broadcast. [37] In response, the Parents Television Council condemned Bono for his profanity and started a campaign for its members to file complaints with the FCC. [38] 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. [39] In apparent reaction to the refusal, [40] a group of congressmen introduced House Resolution 3687, the "Clean Airwaves Act", [41] on 8 December 2003, [42] aiming to amend section 1464 of title 18 of the United States Code to provide an explicit list of profane words and phrases and remove ambiguity that could enable certain uses of the phrases to be allowed. [43] The bill was not enacted. [42] The incident has had a long-term impact in the handling of profanity on live broadcasts. [41]

U2 performing at Madison Square Garden in November 2005. 2005-11-21 U2 @ MSG by ZG.JPG
U2 performing at Madison Square Garden in November 2005.

U2 were criticised in 2007 for moving part of their multimillion-euro song catalogue from Ireland to Amsterdam six months before Ireland ended a tax exemption on musicians' royalties. [11] [44] Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low to non-existent tax rates. [11] U2 manager Paul McGuinness stated that the arrangement was legal and customary and businesses often sought to minimise their tax burdens. [11] The move prompted criticisms in the Irish parliament. [45] [46] 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. [47] Bono was one of several wealthy figures whose tax arrangements were singled out for criticism in a report by the charity Christian Aid in 2008. [48]


In addition to his work with U2, Bono has collaborated with Frank Sinatra, [14] Johnny Cash, [15] Willie Nelson, [49] Luciano Pavarotti, [50] Sinéad O'Connor, [51] Green Day, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, [52] Bob Dylan, [16] Patti Smith, Tina Turner, [53] B.B. King and Zucchero. [54] [55] [56] He has recorded with Ray Charles, [57] Quincy Jones, Kirk Franklin, [58] Bruce Springsteen, [59] Tony Bennett, [60] Clannad, [61] The Corrs, [62] Wyclef Jean, [63] Kylie Minogue, [64] Carl Perkins, [65] Herbert Grönemeyer, [66] Jay-Z and Rihanna, as well as reportedly completing an unreleased duet with Jennifer Lopez. [67] On Robbie Robertson's 1987 eponymous album, he plays bass guitar and vocals. [68] On Michael Hutchence's 1999 posthumous eponymous album, Bono completed a recording of "Slide Away" as a duet with Hutchence. [69] Bono collaborated with African stars D'banj, Waje and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde for a women's empowerment song entitled "Strong Girl". [70]

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. [71] The music video was released on 28 July 2011. [72]

On 17 March 2020, Bono performed a new song, "Let Your Love Be Known", via livestream to fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. [73] On 24 March, the song was released on YouTube, [74] retitled "#SING4LIFE", as a collaboration with, Jennifer Hudson, and Yoshiki. [75]

Philanthropy and activism

Bono with then-President Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2006 LulaAndBonoVox.jpeg
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 the National Journal . [76] [77] [78] He has been dubbed "the face of fusion philanthropy", [79] 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. [80]

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 Monty Python member John Cleese and producer Martin Lewis for the human-rights organisation Amnesty International in 1979. [81] Bono stated, "I saw The Secret Policeman's Ball and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed...". [82] 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?" (a role that was reprised on the 2004 Band Aid 20 and 2014 Band Aid 30 singles of the same name). [83] Bob Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organise the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2 also performed. [8] Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy of Hope Tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting. [7] U2 also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organised by Geldof. [84]

Bono and then-U.S. President George W. Bush in 2006 Bush and Bono.jpg
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. [85] During a March 2002 visit to the White House, after President Bush unveiled a $5 billion aid package, Bono 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." [85] 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. [86]

In 2005, he recorded a version of "Don't Give Up" with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive. [87] 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." [88] Bono spoke in advance of President Bush at the 54th Annual National Prayer Breakfast, held at the Hilton Washington Hotel on 2 February 2006. He 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 praised Bush for the United States' increase in aid for the African continent. [6]

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

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). [89] It was intended to help bring about positive change in Africa through a fair trade-based relationship rather than by direct aid. [90] [91]

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." [92]

Bono at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Bono at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Bono at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

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. [93] DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. [93] DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions. [93]

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. [94]

Bono meeting with US President Barack Obama in 2010 Bono with Barack Obama.jpg
Bono meeting with US President Barack Obama in 2010

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." [95]

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. [96] 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." [97]

Product Red is another initiative begun by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. [98] Bobby Shriver has been announced as the CEO of Product Red, while Bono is currently an active public spokesperson for the brand. Product Red is a brand that is licensed to partner companies, such as American Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap and Giorgio Armani. [99] 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. [100]

Other endeavours

Bono performing with U2 in 2011 Bono U2 360 Tour 2011.jpg
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. [19] The Edge and Bono have recorded several songs together, exclusive of the band. They also worked on the score for the 2011 rock musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark . [101]

In May 2007, MTV reported that Bono was writing the foreword for a collection of poetry entitled Third Rail. [102] 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." [102] The collection, edited by poet Jonathan Wells, contains titles such as "Punk Rock You're My Big Crybaby" by Allen Ginsberg, "Variation on a Theme by Whitesnake" by Dan Hoy, and "Vince Neil Meets Josh in a Chinese Restaurant in Malibu (After Ezra Pound)" by Josh Bell. [102]

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. [18] [103] 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 ($250 million). [104] [105] [106] The firm also owns a 1.5 percent stake in social networking site Facebook, originally purchased for $210 million. [17] Although it was reported that Bono's stake was valued at approximately US$ 1 billion in February 2012, [107] [108] a 2015 article in Forbes stated that this estimate was based on an incorrect attribution of shares. [109]

Bono was among those cited in the Paradise Papers after he was named as a passive minority investor in Nude Estates, which bought a shopping mall in Lithuania in 2007 and transferred ownership to Nude Estates 1 in Guernsey in an apparent attempt to avoid tax. Bono welcomed the subsequent investigation by the Lithuanian tax authority, stating that he welcomed transparency and had personally campaigned for it. [110] Nude Estates paid €53,000 in taxes and fines after the investigation was completed and Bono severed ties with the company. [111]

In September 2019, it was announced that Bono joined the Board of Directors of Zipline. [112]

Awards and recognition

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 . [10] [113] In 2005, the U2 band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year of eligibility. [114] In November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Bono the 32nd-greatest singer of all time, [115] while Consequence of Sound also ranked him 32nd on its 2016 list. [116] In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Bono and the Edge at number 35 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. [117]

In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government of Chile. [118] Time Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most Influential People" in its May 2004 special issue [119] and again in the 2006 Time 100 special issue. [120] In 2005, Time, named Bono, Bill and Melinda Gates the Persons of the Year. [13] Also in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty for his humanitarian work. [121] That year Bono was also among the first three recipients of the TED Prize, which grants each winner "A wish to change the world". [122] Bono made three wishes, [123] 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 [123] and instead organised a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007.

In November 2007, Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone "making a difference" in the world. [124] He and anchor Brian Williams had travelled to Africa in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis on the continent. [125] Bono also received the NAACP Image Award's chairman's Award in 2007. [126] 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. [127] While 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 DATA organisation; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala accepted the prize on DATA's behalf. [128]

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. [12] [129] He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland. [130] On 11 December 2008, Bono was given the annual Man of Peace prize, awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France. [131]

Time magazine ranked Bono 8th on its list of the "Most Influential Celebrities" in 2013; he was the only person from the music industry in the Top 10. [132] In 2016, Glamour named him "Man of the Year", breaking the 26-year tradition that saw the "Woman of the Year" accolade reserved only for women. Bono was recognized for establishing a campaign called "Poverty is Sexist," which is "specifically aimed at helping the world's poorest women". [133]

Personal life

Bono (second from right) and his wife, Ali Hewson (second from left), with President Obama at Nelson Mandela's funeral in South Africa, December 2013 Obama and Bono.jpg
Bono (second from right) and his wife, 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 four children: daughters Jordan (born 10 May 1989) and Memphis Eve (7 July 1991) and sons Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (17 August 1999) and John Abraham (20 May 2001). [134]

Bono was a close friend to INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. [135]

Bono is almost never seen in public without sunglasses, as he suffers from glaucoma. [136] 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. [137]

"Spending time with Bono was like eating dinner on a train—feels like you're moving, going somewhere. Bono's got the soul of an ancient poet and you have to be careful around him. He can roar 'till the earth shakes. He's also a closet philosopher...talks about the rightness, the richness, glory, beauty, wonder and magnificence of America."

Bob Dylan, 2005 [138]

In the late 1980s or early 1990s, Bono bought a top-floor duplex apartment in Manhattan's San Remo apartment building from Steve Jobs for $15 million. Jobs had renovated it for his own use, but never moved in. [139] In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania. [140]

Bono's work as an activist, which is due largely to his Christian beliefs, [141] began in earnest when, inspired by Live Aid, he travelled to Ethiopia to work in a feeding camp with his wife Alison and the charity World Vision, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organisation. [141] With regard to Bono's 2013 declarations in interviews published and videotaped of his faith in Jesus Christ, [142] he states that Christ was either who he said he was, or he is "a complete and utter nutcase". [143] As early as 2005, Bono was invoking this argument, [144] [145] identified as the "Lewis trilemma".


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. [146] [147] The North American leg of the tour was postponed and rescheduled for 2011. [148] [149]

On 16 November 2014, Bono was involved in a "high energy bicycle accident" when he attempted to avoid another rider. Bono was rushed to NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center's Emergency Department and underwent "multiple X-rays and CAT scans" followed by five hours of surgery. Bono suffered fractures of the shoulder blade, humerus, orbit and pinky finger. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dean Lorich, MD, stated that "[Bono] was taken urgently to the operating room... where the elbow was washed out and debrided, a nerve trapped in the break was moved and the bone was repaired with three metal plates and 18 screws." [150] [151] Bono posted to U2's official website, "As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again," as reported in Cycling Weekly . [152] [153]

In 2016, during the recording sessions for U2's album Songs of Experience , Bono had what the Edge called a "brush with mortality". [154] The Irish Times reported that sometime in late 2016 between Christmas and New Year's Day, Bono had a near-death experience. [155] Other than clarifying that it was a physical health scare, he declined to elaborate any further on what happened. [156] As a result of the episode, he decided to rework the album's lyrics. [154]


1988 Rattle and Hum Himself Rockumentary
1998 The Simpsons HimselfTV series; one episode, "Trash of the Titans"
1999 Classic Albums HimselfTV series; one episode, "The Joshua Tree"
Entropy Himself
2000 The Million Dollar Hotel Man in the hotel lobbyUncredited cameo appearance, original storywriter, producer
Sightings of Bono HimselfShort film
2005 Entourage HimselfTV series; one episode, "I Love You Too"
2007 Rewind HimselfRockumentary
Across The Universe Dr. RobertSang the Beatles songs "I Am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
American Idol HimselfTV series; "Idol Gives Back"
2008 U2 3D Himself 3D concert film
2009 Entourage HimselfTV series; one episode, "Give a Little Bit"
Brüno Himself Mockumentary comedy film
2011 From the Sky Down HimselfRockumentary
Anton Corbijn Inside Out Himself
2012 B.B. King – The Life of Riley HimselfDocumentary
The Resurrection of Victor Jara HimselfDocumentary
2013Arcade Fire in Here Comes The Night TimeWin Butler impersonatorNBC Special
Who the F**K Is Arthur Fogel HimselfDocumentary
Muscle Shoals HimselfDocumentary
2017 Lost in London HimselfVoice cameo

In addition to his acting credits Bono has contributed music to films, as part of U2 and other collaborations.


See also

Related Research Articles

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U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin, formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.. Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career, yet has maintained an anthemic quality built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.

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Adam Charles Clayton is an English-born Irish musician who is the bassist of the rock band U2. He has resided in County Dublin, Ireland since his family moved to Malahide in 1965, when he was five years old. Clayton attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School, where he met schoolmates with whom he co-founded U2 in 1976. A member of the band since its inception, he has recorded 14 studio albums with U2.

<i>Achtung Baby</i> 1991 studio album by U2

Achtung Baby is the seventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 18 November 1991 on Island Records. Stung by criticism of their 1988 release Rattle and Hum, U2 shifted their musical direction to incorporate influences from alternative rock, industrial music, and electronic dance music into their sound. Thematically, Achtung Baby is darker, more introspective, and at times more flippant than their previous work. The album and the subsequent multimedia-intensive Zoo TV Tour were central to the group's 1990s reinvention, by which they abandoned their earnest public image for a more lighthearted and self-deprecating one.

<i>The Joshua Tree</i> 1987 studio album by U2

The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records. In contrast to the ambient experimentation of their 1984 release, The Unforgettable Fire, the band aimed for a harder-hitting sound within the limitation of conventional song structures on The Joshua Tree. The album is influenced by American and Irish roots music, and through sociopolitically conscious lyrics embellished with spiritual imagery, it contrasts the group's antipathy for the "real America" with their fascination with the "mythical America".

Chris Martin British pop rock artist

Christopher Anthony John Martin is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and philanthropist. He is the lead singer, primary songwriter, and co-founder of the rock band Coldplay. Born in Exeter, Devon, Martin went to University College London, where he formed a rock band with Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion in 1996 called Starfish, which was eventually renamed Coldplay in 1998.

The Corrs Irish musical group

The Corrs are an Irish band that combine pop rock with traditional Irish themes within their music. The group consists of the Corr siblings, Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim. They are from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

<i>War</i> (U2 album) 1983 studio album by U2

War is the third studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite, and was released on 28 February 1983 on Island Records. The album is regarded as U2's first overtly political album, in part because of songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day", as well as the title, which stems from the band's perception of the world at the time; lead vocalist Bono stated that "war seemed to be the motif for 1982."

<i>How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb</i> 2004 studio album by U2

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is the eleventh studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was released on 22 November 2004 in the United Kingdom by Island Records and a day later in the United States by Interscope Records. Much like their previous album All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000), the record exhibits a more mainstream rock sound after the band experimented with alternative rock and dance music in the 1990s. It was produced by Steve Lillywhite, with additional production from Chris Thomas, Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper, Flood, Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, and Carl Glanville.

One (U2 song) 1992 single by U2

"One" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record's third single in February 1992. During the album's recording sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2's sound and the quality of their material. Tensions almost prompted the band to break up until they achieved a breakthrough with the improvisation of "One"; the song was written after the band members were inspired by a chord progression that guitarist the Edge was playing in the studio. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, were inspired by the band members' fractured relationships and the German reunification. Although the lyrics ostensibly describe "disunity", they have been interpreted in other ways.

Beautiful Day 2000 single by U2

"Beautiful Day" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the first track on their tenth studio album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000), and was released as the album's lead single on 9 October 2000. The song was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2's biggest hits to date.

Vertigo (U2 song) 2004 single by U2

"Vertigo" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track on their eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004). It was released to radio as the album's lead single on 24 September 2004, and upon release, it received extensive airplay. The song was an international success, bolstered by its usage in a television advertisement featuring the band for Apple's iPod digital music player. The song lent its name to the band's 2005–2006 Vertigo Tour.

City of Blinding Lights 2005 single by U2

"City of Blinding Lights" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the fifth track on their eleventh studio album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), and was released as the album's fourth single on 6 June 2005. The song reached number one in Spain, and peaked in the top ten in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. The music video was shot at the General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

"Running to Stand Still" is a song by rock band U2, and it is the fifth track from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. A slow ballad based on piano and guitar, it describes a heroin-addicted couple living in Dublin's Ballymun flats; the towers have since become associated with the song. Though a lot of time was dedicated to the lyrics, the music was improvised with co-producer Daniel Lanois during a recording session for the album.

Sunday Bloody Sunday 1983 song by U2

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their 1983 album War and was released as the album's third single on 21 March 1983 in the Netherlands and West Germany. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is noted for its militaristic drumbeat, harsh guitar, and melodic harmonies. 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 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters. Along with "New Year's Day," the song helped U2 reach a wider listening audience. It was generally well received by critics on the album's release.

<i>No Line on the Horizon</i> 2009 studio album by U2

No Line on the Horizon is the twelfth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, and Steve Lillywhite, and was released on 27 February 2009. It was the band's first record since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), marking the longest gap between studio albums of their career to that point. The band originally intended to release the songs as two EPs, but later combined the material into a single record. Photographer Anton Corbijn shot a companion film, Linear, which was released alongside the album and included with several special editions.

This is a timeline of the history of rock band U2:

"Mothers of the Disappeared" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the eleventh and final track on their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The song was inspired by lead singer Bono's experiences in Nicaragua and El Salvador in July 1986, following U2's participation in the Conspiracy of Hope tour of benefit concerts for Amnesty International. He learned of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children had "forcibly disappeared" at the hands of the Argentine and Chilean dictatorships. While in Central America, he met members of COMADRES, a similar organization whose children had been abducted by the government in El Salvador. Bono sympathized with the Madres and COMADRES and wanted to pay tribute to their cause.

Michka Assayas French journalist, writer and screenwriter

Michka Assayas is a French author, music journalist and radio presenter. In France, he is known for his rock reviews and the Dictionnaire du rock published in 2000 and his radio show on radio France Inter.

<i>Songs of Innocence</i> (U2 album) 2014 studio album by U2

Songs of Innocence is the thirteenth studio album by Irish rock band U2, released on 9 September 2014. It was produced by Danger Mouse, with additional production from Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney, and Flood. The album was announced at an Apple Inc. product launch event and released the same day to all iTunes Store customers at no cost. It was exclusive to iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music until 13 October 2014, when it received a physical release on Island and Interscope Records. The digital release made the record available to more than 500 million iTunes customers, for what Apple CEO Tim Cook marketed as "the largest album release of all time".


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