|Height:||166 cm (5' 6'')|
|Birth Day:||May 10, 1960|
|Birth Place:||Dublin, Ireland|
|#3||Eve Hewson||Daughter||$8 million (2018)||N/A||29||Actor|
|#4||Brendan Robert Hewson||Father||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||Iris Hewson||Mother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||48||Celebrity Family Member|
|#7||Elijah Hewson||Son||N/A||N/A||21||Rock Singer|
|#8||Ali Hewson||Spouse||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||59||Entrepreneur|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|166 cm (5' 6'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He spent his childhood singing. Growing up on O'Connell Street in a suburb of Dublin, he earned his nickname "Bono" from the phrase "Bono Vox of O'Connell Street," which means "good voice of O'Connell Street."
Bono was born Paul David Hewson in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, on 10 May 1960, 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. 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. His parents initially agreed that the first child would be raised Anglican and the second Catholic. Although Bono was the second child, he also attended Church of Ireland services with his mother and brother. Bono's teenage musical idols were Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Marc Bolan of T. Rex.
He went to the local primary Glasnevin National School. Bono's mother died on 10 September 1974, after suffering a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral. Many U2 songs, including "I Will Follow", "Mofo", "Out of Control", "Lemon" and "Tomorrow", focus on the loss of his mother.
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. The band could not play covers very well, so they started writing their own songs.
The band went by the name "Feedback" for a few months, before changing to "The Hype" later on. After Dik Evans left the group to join another local band, the Virgin Prunes, the remaining four officially changed the name from "The Hype" to "U2". Initially Bono sang, played guitar and wrote the band's songs. He said of his early guitar playing in a 1982 interview, "When we started out I was the guitar player, along with the Edge—except I couldn't play guitar. I still can't. I was such a lousy guitar player that one day they broke it to me that maybe I should sing instead. I had tried before, but I had no voice at all. I remember the day I found I could sing. I said, 'Oh, that's how you do it.'" 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.
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). Bob Geldof and Bono later collaborated to organise the 2005 Live 8 project, where U2 also performed. Bono 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, organised by Geldof.
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. 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". Bono has often allowed fans to come on stage and perform songs with the band.
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. Bono stated, "I saw The Secret Policeman's Ball and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed...". In 2001, Bono arranged for U2 to videotape a special live performance for that year's Amnesty benefit show.
Bono writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, which often have 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. 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 Enniskillen 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 in. Also featured in the film is footage of Bono spray-painting a monument during an outdoor performance; Bono was forced to pay a fine.
In addition to his work with U2, Bono has collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Luciano Pavarotti, Sinéad O'Connor, Green Day, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Tina Turner, B.B. King and Zucchero. He has recorded with Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Kirk Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Clannad, The Corrs, Wyclef Jean, Kylie Minogue, Carl Perkins, Herbert Grönemeyer, Jay-Z and Rihanna, 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 with Hutchence. Bono collaborated with African stars D'banj, Waje and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde for a women's empowerment song entitled "Strong Girl".
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. 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.
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. 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." 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.
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. DATA aims to eradicate poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. DATA encourages Americans to contact senators and other legislators and elected officials to voice their opinions.
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. 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. In apparent reaction to the refusal, a group of congressmen introduced House Resolution 3687, the "Clean Airwaves Act", on 8 December 2003, 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. The bill was not enacted. The incident has had a long-term impact in the handling of profanity on live broadcasts.
In 2004, he was awarded the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour from the Government of Chile. Time 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, Bill and Melinda Gates the Persons of the Year. Also 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 organised a TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania. Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007.
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. In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2005, he recorded a version of "Don't Give Up" with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive. 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." 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.
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). It was intended to help bring about positive change in Africa through a fair trade-based relationship rather than by direct aid.
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."
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 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 Forbes.com website and other assets. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports said the stake was worth about €194 million ($250 million). The firm also owns a 1.5 percent stake in social networking site Facebook, originally purchased for $210 million. Although it was reported that Bono's stake was valued at approximately US$ 1 billion in February 2012, a 2015 article in Forbes stated that this estimate was based on an incorrect attribution of shares.
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. In 2005, the U2 band members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year of eligibility. In November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Bono the 32nd-greatest singer of all time, while Consequence of Sound also ranked him 32nd on its 2016 list. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Bono and the Edge at number 35 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
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. Under Dutch tax law, bands are subject to low to non-existent tax rates. U2 manager Paul McGuinness stated that the arrangement was legal and customary and businesses often sought to minimise their tax burdens. The move prompted criticisms in the Irish parliament. 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. 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.
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."
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. 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."
In May 2007, MTV reported that Bono was writing the foreword for a collection of poetry entitled Third Rail. 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." 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.
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. Nude Estates paid €53,000 in taxes and fines after the investigation was completed and Bono severed ties with the company.
In November 2007, Bono was honoured by NBC Nightly News as someone "making a difference" in the world. He and anchor Brian Williams had travelled to Africa in May 2007 to showcase the humanitarian crisis on the continent. Bono 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 27 September 2007 for his work to end world poverty and hunger. 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.
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. He was formally granted knighthood on 29 March 2007 in a ceremony at the residence of British Ambassador David Reddaway in Dublin, Ireland. On 11 December 2008, Bono was given the annual Man of Peace prize, awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.
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. The North American leg of the tour was postponed and rescheduled for 2011.
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. The music video was released on 28 July 2011.
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. 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".
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." 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.
In 2016, during the recording sessions for U2's album Songs of Experience, Bono had what the Edge called a "brush with mortality". The Irish Times reported that sometime in late 2016 between Christmas and New Year's Day, Bono had a near-death experience. Other than clarifying that it was a physical health scare, he declined to elaborate any further on what happened. As a result of the episode, he decided to rework the album's lyrics.
In September 2019, it was announced that Bono joined the Board of Directors of Zipline.
On 17 March 2020, Bono performed a new song, "Let Your Love Be Known", via livestream to fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 24 March, the song was released on YouTube, retitled "#SING4LIFE", as a collaboration with will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, and Yoshiki.
Currently, Bono is 62 years, 10 months and 14 days old. Bono will celebrate 63rd birthday on a Wednesday 10th of May 2023.
Find out about Bono birthday activities in timeline view here.