Bono - Paul Hewson
(L) and US actor and director Sean
Penn, holding a cigarette, pose as they arrive
for the screening of Australian director Alison
Thomson's film 'Third Wave' at the 61st Cannes
International Film Festival on May 16, 2008 in
Cannes, southern France. The May 14-25 festival
winds up with the awards ceremony for the prestigious
Palme d'Or, to be determined by a jury headed
David Hewson (born 10 May 1960), also known by
his stage name Bono, is the main vocalist of the
Irish rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in
Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive
School where he met his wife, Ali Hewson, and
the future members of U2. Since that time he has
been referred to as Bono, his stage and nickname,
by his family and fellow band members. Bono writes
almost all U2 lyrics, often using political, social
and religious themes. During their early years,
Bono's lyrics contributed to U2's rebellious tone.
As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired
more by personal experiences with members of U2.
his non-U2 endeavors, he has collaborated and
recorded with numerous artists, sits on the board
of Elevation Partners and has refurbished and
now owns a hotel with fellow band member, The
Edge. Bono is also widely known for his activism
concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA.
He has organized and played in several benefit
concerts and has met with influential politicians.
He is the co-founder of EDUN, the ONE Campaign
and Product Red. Bono has been praised and criticized
for his activism and involvement with U2. Bono
has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize,
was granted an honorary knighthood by the United
Kingdom, and was named as a Person of the Year
by Time, among many other awards and nominations.
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
sessions in which they did covers. Bono wanted
to play Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys songs;
he was tired of long guitar solos and hard rock.
Unfortunately, the band couldn't play covers very
well, so they started writing their own songs.
In 1977, they started listening to The Ramones,
The Clash, David Bowie, Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine
and incorporating influences from those bands
into their music.
band went by the name "Feedback" for
a few months, 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.'" When The Edge's guitar playing
improved, Bono was relegated mostly to the microphone,
although he occasionally still plays rhythm guitar
and harmonica. Bono has recently taken piano lessons
from his children's piano teacher.
writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, often
rich in social and political themes. 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 album. 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. Following the Enniskillen bombing that
left 11 dead and 63 injured on 8 November 1987,
the Provisional IRA paramilitaries threatened
to kidnap Bono. IRA supporters also attacked a
vehicle carrying the band members. These acts
were in response to his speech condemning the
Remembrance Day Bombing during a live performance
of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". The singer
had been advised to cut his on-stage outburst
from the Rattle and Hum film, but it was left
sound and focus dramatically changed with their
next album, Achtung Baby. Bono's lyrics became
more personal, inspired by experiences related
to the private lives of the members of the band.
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 the Devil.]
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. This
has happened on several occasions including at
the Live Aid concert in 1985 where he leapt off
the stage, over a security barricade to the floor
of the arena, 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".
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.
During the live broadcast of the ceremony, Bono
called the award "really, really fucking
brilliant!" In response, the Parents Television
Council condemned Bono for his profanity and started
a campaign for its members to file complaints
with the FCC. 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.
2005, the U2 band members were inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year
and his bandmates were criticized 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.
Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low
to non-existent tax rates. U2's manager, Paul
McGuinness, stated that the arrangement is legal
and customary and businesses often seek to minimize
their tax burdens. The move prompted criticisms
in the Oireachtas (Irish parliament).
addition to his work with U2, he has collaborated
with Zucchero, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Willie
Nelson, Luciano Pavarotti, Sinéad O'Connor,
Green Day, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner,
and BB King. He has recorded with Ray Charles,
Quincy Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett,
Clannad, The Corrs, and Wyclef Jean, as well as
reportedly completing an unreleased duet with
Jennifer Lopez. On Robbie Robertson's 1987 eponymous
album, he plays bass guitar and vocals. On Michael
Hutchence's 1999 posthumous eponymous album Bono
completed a recording of Slide Away as a duet
1992, together with The Edge, Bono bought and
refurbished Dublin's two-star 70-bedroom Clarence
Hotel and converted it into a five-star 49-bedroom
hotel. The Edge and Bono have also recorded several
songs together, exclusive of the band. They have
also been working on penning the score for the
upcoming Spider-Man Musical. 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. Bono is a known Celtic
F.C. fan, and in 1998 it was rumoured that Bono
was going to buy shares in the Scottish club.
However, it was reported on 28 April 1998 that
this was not the case with Bono saying "it's
rubbish. I've been to a couple of games and I'm
a fan, but I've got no financial connections."
May 2007, MTV reported that Bono is working on
a collection of poetry entitled "Third Rail".
Bono said the poetry is inspired by rock music.
The book's foreword gives detail of the meanings
of the poetry, saying "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."
The collection, which is 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)." Bono has invested in the
Forbes Media group in the US through his private
equity investment firm 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 Forbes.com
website and other assets. The terms of the deal
were not disclosed, but reports said the stake
was worth about €194 million ($250m).
film, Bono has played the character of "Dr.
Robert", an anti-war shaman, in the musical,
Across the Universe.. Also in this movie, he sang
the Beatles songs "I am the Walrus"
and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
Bono's other acting credits include cameos in
1999's Entropy and 2000's Million Dollar Hotel.
In 2000 he acted as himself in the short film
Sightings of Bono, adapted from a short story
by Irish writer Gerard Beirne.
has become one of the world's best-known philanthropic
performers. He has been dubbed, "the face
of fusion philanthropy", both for his success
enlisting powerful allies from a diverse spectrum
of leaders in government, religious institutions,
philanthropic organizations, popular media, and
the business world, as well as for spearheading
new organizational networks binding global humanitarian
relief with geopolitical activism and corporate
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 benefit shows staged by John Cleese and producer
Martin Lewis for the human-rights organization
Amnesty International in 1979. In 2001 Bono arranged
for U2 to videotape a special live performance
for that year's Amnesty benefit show. Introducing
the performance, Bono referred to The Secret Policeman's
Ball as "a mysterious and extraordinary event
that certainly changed my life..."
and U2 performed on Amnesty's Conspiracy Of Hope
tour of the United States in 1986 alongside Sting.
U2 also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid
projects, organized by Bob Geldof. 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). Geldof and Bono later collaborated
to organize the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2
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
United States President George W. Bush and Canadian
Prime Minister Paul Martin. 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. 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." 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 Prime Minister
Martin was being slow about increasing Canada's
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 peppered with biblical references, Bono
encouraged the care of the socially and economically
depressed. His comments included a call for an
extra 1 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.
organization 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. It is DATA's mission to eradicate
poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. DATA encourages
Americans to contact senators and other legislators
and elected officials to voice their opinions.
early 2005, Bono, his wife Ali Hewson, and New
York-based Irish fashion designer Rogan Gregory
launched the socially-conscious line EDUN in an
attempt to shift the focus in Africa from aid
to trade. EDUN's goal is to use factories in Africa,
South America, and India that provide fair wages
to workers and practice good business ethics to
create a business model that will encourage investment
in developing nations.
work has not been without criticism. 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) criticizing
such stars as Bono, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie
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."
Bono responded to his critics in Times Online
on February 19, 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. "
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, taken 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.
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 organizations, and
as a result, Africa has become more dependent
on international handouts.] That same month, however,
Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone
"making a difference" in the world.
He and anchor Brian Williams had traveled to Africa
in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis
on the continent.
Red is another initiative begun by Bono and Bobby
Shriver to raise money for the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Bobby Shriver
has been announced as the CEO 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
Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft,
Dell, The Gap, and Giorgio Armani. 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.
is the only person to have been nominated for
an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Nobel
Peace Prize. Bono was a nominee for the Nobel
Peace Prize in 2003, 2005, and 2006.
2002, he was listed as one of the 100 Greatest
Britons in a poll conducted among the general
public., despite the fact that he is Irish.
2004, Bono was awarded the Pablo Neruda International
Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government
Magazine named Bono one of the "100 Most
Influential People" in its May 2004 special
issue, and again in the 2006 Time 100 special
issue. In 2005, Time named Bono a Person of the
Year along with Bill and Melinda Gates.
in 2005, he received the Portuguese Order of Liberty
for his humanitarian work. That year Bono was
also among the first three recipients of the TED
Prize, which grants each winner "A wish to
change the world". Bono made three wishes,
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 and instead
organized a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania.
Bono attended the conference, which was held in
June 2007, and attracted headlines with his foul-mouthed
heckling of a speech by Andrew Mwenda.
2007, Bono was named in the United Kingdom's New
Years Honours List as an honorary Knight Commander
of the Order of the British Empire. He was formally
granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony
at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway
in Dublin, Ireland.
also received the NAACP Image Award's Chairman's
Award in 2007. On 24 May 2007, the National Constitution
Center in Philadelphia announced that Bono would
receive the Philadelphia Liberty Medal on September
27, 2007 for his work to end world poverty and
hunger. 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 organization. Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award for the Washington-based
Debt AIDS Trade Africa.
* Nominated for the "Greatest Artist of the
Modern Era" award by a group of his peers.
He was recognized for his work with Band Aid,
Live Aid, The KillJoy Papers for Change, and Project
and Community Entrepreneurs
News updates on Bono
thank you to Bono for his support of The
Media Man Australia does not represent Bono