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Bono (2017)

Paul David Hewson KBE (born May 10, 1960 in Dublin , Ireland ), known as Bono , is an Irish musician . He is the singer and songwriter of the rock band U2 .


Paul David Hewson grew up with his parents, Brendan Robert "Bob" Hewson and Iris (née Rankin), as well as his eight years older brother Norman Robert Hewson in a suburb of the "Northside" of Dublin (Finglas). The father was Catholic , the mother Anglican .

His school friends called him Bono Vox (from Latin bona vox for "good voice"); this nickname, shortened to Bono , became his stage name.

When Bono was 14 years old, his mother died of an aneurysm. The songs Tomorrow (1981) and Iris (Hold Me Close) (2014) are dedicated to her.

In 2001, Bono's father died of cancer. Bono dedicated the songs Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own and One Step Closer , which appeared on Atomic Bomb's 2004 U2 album How to Dismantle, to him.

Bono has been married to Alison Hewson since August 1982. The couple have two daughters, including actress Eve Hewson , two sons and live in Killiney , a suburb south of Dublin .


Bono on a Stage (1983)

At the age of 15, Bono discovered his passion for music and playing guitar. He was inspired by the music of bands like the Patti Smith Group , Thin Lizzy or the Ramones .

In 1976 he registered at the Mount Temple School in Dublin on a notice from Larry Mullen junior , who was looking for musicians to start a rock band . After several name changes (from “Feedback” to “The Hype”), this band became U2 in 1978 .

On March 31, 1995 , Bono performed live on stage at an aftershow by Prince in Dublin at The Pod music club and sang the song The Cross , released on the album Sign "☮" the Times .

Since 2005 he has worked with guitarist The Edge on the music for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark , which premiered in 2011.

The Rolling Stone listed Bono ranked 32 of the 100 best singers and together with The Edge is ranked 35 of the 100 best songwriters of all time .

Political and social engagement

Bono during a conversation with the then IMF Director and later Federal President Horst Köhler (2000)
Bono with Brazil’s then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2006)

Bono uses his fame for political and social purposes. His main concerns are the fight against AIDS in Africa and debt relief for third world countries . In addition, he was committed to the victims of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina , so u. a. 1992 with a live satellite connection during a concert in London to the encircled Bosnian capital Sarajevo . At his suggestion, U2 took part in the Live Aid concert (to fight the famine in Ethiopia ) in July 1985 and in the Conspiracy of Hope tour for Amnesty International .

Bono was at the campaign involved "Jubilee 2000", which campaigned for it to take the new millennium as an opportunity to adopt the poorest countries debt, thus enabling them new development opportunities. Together with several other campaigners and Bill and Melinda Gates , he founded the organization “ Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa ” (DATA) in 2002 , which campaigns for debt relief , free trade and the fight against AIDS in Africa. DATA is currently mainly involved within a joint association of several aid organizations called " Make Poverty History ".

In 2005, Bono and Bob Geldof organized the re-release of Live Aid under the name Live 8 . This was a global rock concert with the motto "Make Poverty History", which took place on July 2, 2005 at ten locations of the G8 member states as well as in South Africa . The concerts were intended to increase the pressure on the leading politicians of the rich countries to resolve debt relief for the Third World countries.

At the initiative of US Treasury Secretary John W. Snow , Bono was brought up for discussion as the new President of the World Bank in March 2005 . He could not be excluded as a candidate, Snow told the US broadcaster ABC .

At the concert of your voice against poverty on June 7, 2007 in Rostock Bono unexpectedly came on stage and sang the song Mensch with Herbert Grönemeyer . Bono sang in German and in between “Keep your promise” (German: “Keep your promise”). Together with Youssou N'Dour , Bob Geldof and Campino , he also sang the title You Never Give Me Your Money .

Bono wrote the foreword of the book The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs .


Bono with George W. Bush (2006)
Bono with US President Barack Obama (2010)

Many critics repeatedly accuse Bono of being untrustworthy in his political commitment. The American director Joel Schumacher said in an interview in 1989: "When Bono tells me that the sky is blue and the grass is green, then I have to work very hard to believe him." The style of his public appearances on the side of well-known politicians, Bono repeatedly brought in the criticism of allowing himself to be abused by the political and economic rulers to improve his image.

Bono has also been criticized for paying tax on part of his income in the Netherlands, where he only has to pay about one percent of it to the tax authorities, and at the same time calling on industrialized countries to increase their development aid.

Bono is mentioned in the Paradise Papers . He is said to have a ramified network of mailbox companies. An investigation has been launched by the Lithuanian tax authority VMI against one of his companies that financed a shopping center in Lithuania . The allegation is: "The profits of the shopping center are said to have been booked incorrectly and taxes were not paid as a result."


In addition to various awards as a band member of the U2 group, Bono received the following recognitions for his political and social commitment:



Guest contributions as a solo musician

Chart successes

year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1986 In a Lifetime
- - - UK17 (12 weeks)
- IE5 (5 weeks)
First published: January 1986
Clannad feat. Bono
1993 I've Got You Under My Skin
- - - UK4 (9 weeks)
- -
First release: November 1993
Frank Sinatra feat. Bono
1994 In the Name of the Father
In the Name of the Father (OST)
- - - UK46 (3 weeks)
- IE15 (4 weeks)
First published: March 1994
with Gavin Friday
1995 North & South of the River
Graffiti Tongue
- - - - - IE12 (8 weeks)
First published: 1995
with Christy Moore & The Edge
1998 Lean On Me
The Nu Nation Project
- - - - US79 (5 weeks)
First release: September 1998
Kirk Franklin feat. Mary J. Blige , R. Kelly & Bono
1999 New Day
The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book
DE72 (2 weeks)
- CH48 (1 week)
UK23 (2 weeks)
- IE12 (4 weeks)
First release: September 1999
Wyclef Jean feat. Bono
2010 Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)
Hope for Haiti Now
- AT10 (2 weeks)
- UK41 (2 weeks)
US16 (2 weeks)
IE3 (2 weeks)
First published: January 2010
with Rihanna , Jay-Z & The Edge
2011 Rise Above 1
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (OST)
- - - - US74 (1 week)
First published: May 2011
Reeve Carney feat. The Edge & Bono

More singles


  • The private equity investment company Elevation Partners , of which Bono is one of the founders, acquired around 40% of Forbes Magazine with an estimated $ 250 to $ 300 million .
  • Bono owns a 1.5% stake in Facebook , which he bought in 2009 for US $ 90 million and a little later for another US $ 120 million. After Facebook's IPO, its stake is estimated at US $ 1.1 billion. He is a member of the five-person management team at the private equity fund Elevation Partners.


  • In the South Park episode “The Big Business” (Ep. 1109), Bono plays a leading role and is ultimately named the “second biggest crap in the world” (meaning: the second largest shit pile in the world).
  • Bono was one of the occupants of the seaplane The Hemisphere Dancer (a Grumman HU-16 Albatross ) owned by US musician Jimmy Buffett when it was shot at by the Jamaica Constabulary Force on January 16, 1996 shortly after landing in the sea near Negril , Jamaica . Bono said: “ I felt as if we were in the middle of a James Bond movie - only this was real. “(Translation:" I felt like we were in the middle of a James Bond movie - only that this was real. ") The authorities mistakenly mistook the flight for a drug shipment. On board were Buffett and Chris Blackwell , founders of Island Records , Bono's wife Ali and her children. All occupants were uninjured, the plane had a few bullet holes; it can be seen today at the Margaritaville Cafe in Orlando . Jimmy Buffett wrote a song about the incident: Jamaica Mistaica , released that same year on the album Banana Wind . Bono later stated in an interview that he feared his life and that of the other inmates.
  • Bono has had glaucoma for over 20 years , which has made his eyes sensitive to light. As a result, he often wears sunglasses, which has become one of his hallmarks.
  • In The Simpsons , Lisa Simpson falls in love with the Irish boy Colin. He is musically gifted and says that his father is also a musician. When Lisa asked Colin about his father, "He's not Bono!"
  • In the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis , Bono is characterized as the devil himself and thus as a psychopath , like the protagonist Patrick Bateman.
  • In the 2018 German documentary film Why Are We Creative by Hermann Vaske, Bono and many other well-known personalities investigate what motivates them to be creative.

Web links

Commons : Bono  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Michka Assayas: Bono on Bono . Hodder & Stoughton, 2011.
  2. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  3. ^ Mark Chatterton: U2. The Ultimate Encyclopedia . London 2003, ISBN 0-946719-63-2 .
  4. Bono's daughter Eve Hewson: 'My parents are way more fun than me' . Article dated November 15, 2015, accessed October 18, 2018.
  5. 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 7, 2017 .
  6. The 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. Rolling Stone , August 2015, accessed August 7, 2017 .
  7. ^ Time Out Magazine, Aug. 14, 1989
  8. Dave Bleakney: BONO, BLOODY BONO. In: ZNet . February 12, 2002, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  9. Falk Madeja: Bono from U2 - a tax refugee fighting for the good. (No longer available online.) In: taz . February 28, 2009, archived from the original on November 7, 2017 ; accessed on January 26, 2017 .
  10. Silvia Engels: Civil society has to build up a lot of pressure. Deutschlandradio, March 12, 2008, accessed on January 26, 2017 (interview with Bono).
  12. Chart sources: DE CH UK US IE1 IE2
  13. ^ David Carr: Investors, Including Bono, Buy a Piece of Forbes. In: The New York Times . August 7, 2006, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  14. Bono Vox's investment company buys Facebook shares. In: Vorarlberg Online . July 2, 2010, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  15. Bono's Facebook stake to make him world's richest rock star. In: Times LIVE . February 5, 2012, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  16. Investment Team , Elevation Partners
  17. Tiifany Parotto - "Just for Fun": Why South Park Loves To Hate Bono. In: BuzzFeed . April 2, 2014, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  18. Jamaica Mistaica incident. In: BuffettWorld. Retrieved January 26, 2017 .
  19. Photos of the Hemisphere Dancer in the Margaritaville Café Orlando ( Memento from September 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  20. Bono recalls terrifying day police shot at him. In: Belfast Telegraph. August 29, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2017 .
  21. Bono explains his sunglasses: He has glaucoma. In: Aargauer Zeitung . October 17, 2014, accessed January 26, 2017 .
  22. ^ Ellis, Bret Easton: American psycho: a novel . First ed. New York, ISBN 0-679-73577-1 , pp. 146 .
  23. Why Are We Creative