78 Facts About Bono


Bono is the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of the rock band U2.


Bono soon established himself as a passionate frontman for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting.


In 2005, Bono was named one of the Time Persons of the Year.


Bono was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 2007 for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work", and was made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2013.


Bono has attracted criticism for bypassing African businesses in his activist efforts and for tax avoidance in his personal finances.


Bono has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on several projects, including: songs for Roy Orbison, Tina Turner, and Martin Garrix; and the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.


In 2000, Bono learned that Scott Rankin, a relative he thought to be his cousin, was actually his half-brother; Rankin was the offspring of an affair that Bob Hewson had with his wife's sister Barbara.


Bono's mother died on 10 September 1974, after developing a cerebral aneurysm at her father's funeral.


The nickname was given by Guggi; Bono initially disliked it but after learning of its translation, he accepted it.


Tired of long guitar solos and hard rock, Bono wanted to play The Rolling Stones and Beach Boys songs.


Bono writes the lyrics for almost all U2 songs, which often have social and political themes.


Bono had been advised to cut his on-stage outburst from the Rattle and Hum film, but it was left in.


The film contains footage of the band's 11 November 1987 free "Save the Yuppies" concert at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, during which Bono spray-painted "Rock N Roll Stops the Traffic" on the Vaillancourt Fountain sculpture.


Bono apologised in a written statement to local officials, and the band's promoter Bill Graham agreed to pay to clean up the graffiti.


Bono's lyrics became more personal, inspired by experiences related to the private lives of the members of the band.


Bono developed the persona into a leather-clad egomaniac, and described his outfit as having Lou Reed's glasses, Elvis Presley's jacket, and Jim Morrison's leather trousers.


In contrast to his earnest stage demeanour of the 1980s, as the Fly, Bono strutted around the stage with "swagger and style", exhibiting mannerisms of an egotistical rock star.


Bono often stayed in character as the Fly away from the stage, including for public appearances and when staying in hotels.


Bono had the confidence and charm to pick up a mirror and look at himself and give the glass a big kiss.


Bono loved cash and in his mind success was God's blessing.


Bono portrayed this alter ego on the first three legs of the tour, but replaced him with "MacPhisto" in 1993.


Bono is known for pulling audience members onto the stage or moving himself down to the physical level of the audience.


Bono has often allowed fans to come on stage and perform songs with the band.


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 November 2022, Bono embarked on a 14-date book tour across North America and Europe called "Stories of Surrender" to promote his memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.


Bono is continuing the tour with a residency of 11 shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York City from April to May 2023.


On 17 March 2020, Bono performed a new song, "Let Your Love Be Known", via livestream to fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bono is known for his impassioned vocal style, often delivered in a high register through open-throated belting.


Bono has been classified as a tenor, and according to him has a three-octave vocal range; one analysis found it to span from C2 to G5 on studio recordings over the course of his career.


Bono goes to a place outside himself, especially in front of an audience, when he hits those high notes.


Bono attributed this maturation to "loosening up", "discover[ing] other voices", and employing more restraint in his singing.


Bono continued to explore a lower range in the 1990s, using what Fast described as "breathy and subdued colors" for Achtung Baby.


Bono said that lowering his voice helped him find a new vocal vocabulary, as he previously felt limited to "certain words and tones" by his tenor voice.


Bono has been involved in philanthropy and activism for human rights and social justice causes, both as a member of U2 and as an individual.


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.


In July 1985, U2 performed at the Live Aid charity concert, which was organised by Geldof to benefit the Ethiopian famine; he and Bono later collaborated to organise the 20th anniversary Live 8 concerts in 2005, at which U2 performed.


Since 1999, Bono has become increasingly involved with raising awareness of the plight of Africa and campaigning on its behalf.


From 1999 to 2000, Bono was involved with the Jubilee 2000 coalition, working as an activist on its Drop the Debt campaign.


Bono has met with several influential politicians, including former US President George W Bush and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.


Partner companies include American Express, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap, Giorgio Armani, Nike, and Starbucks; Bono was involved with securing most of Red's corporate partners.


In 2023, Bono announced he would leave the board of directors of the One Campaign at the end of the year.


In 2005, Bono recorded a version of "Don't Give Up" with Alicia Keys, with proceeds going to Keep a Child Alive.


Bono has spoken at numerous events on behalf of his activist efforts.


Bono spoke at the 54th Annual National Prayer Breakfast on 2 February 2006, encouraging the care of the socially and economically depressed and calling for an extra one percent tithe of the United States' national budget.


Bono has made multiple appearances at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.


In 2021, Bono lent his voice to One's animated series Pandemica, which was created to raise awareness of the importance of vaccines in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities in worldwide vaccine availability.


In 2022, Bono supported Ukraine's resistance to being invaded by Russia.


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.


Bono 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 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.


Bono developed his art style by drawing and painting on photographs, which he learned from his father who used to add colour to black-and-white instant film photographs of his wife.


Bono was an executive producer of the 2000 film The Million Dollar Hotel, which was developed from a story by him and Nicholas Klein.


Bono participated in the 2019 documentary Pavarotti, in which he expressed his admiration for the titular Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.


Bono voiced a character in the 2021 animated musical film Sing 2, the lion rock legend Clay Calloway.


Bono was a board member of the Elevation Partners private-equity firm, which attempted to purchase Eidos Interactive in 2005 and subsequently invested in other entertainment businesses.


Bono was an investor in the Forbes Media group in the US through Elevation Partners; his firm took a minority stake in Forbes Media, which encompassed the 89-year-old business that includes Forbes magazine, the Forbes.


In 2016, Bono invested in and joined the board of directors of the "Rise Fund", a new $2 billion impact investment fund founded by TPG.


Bono was among those named in the 2017 Paradise Papers after he was identified as an 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, saying that transparency was necessary and he had personally campaigned for it.


In September 2019, Bono joined the board of directors of Zipline.


Bono has won numerous awards with U2, including 22 Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Song.


In 2005, Bono was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of U2, in the group's first year of eligibility.


Bono has been recognised by music critics on several rankings of greatest singers and frontmen.


In 2003, Bono received the Legion of Honour from the French government, and the MusiCares Person of the Year award.


That year Bono was 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 could be connected to the Internet.


Bono attended the conference, which was held in June 2007.


Bono was named in the UK's New Year Honours List as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


On 11 December 2008, Bono received the annual Man of Peace prize, which is awarded by several Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Paris, France.


On 1 April 2022, Bono received the 2021 J William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding from the Fulbright Association in recognition of his activist efforts.


Bono is married to activist and businesswoman Alison Hewson.


Bono's got the soul of an ancient poet and you have to be careful around him.


In 2004, Bono was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


Bono is almost never seen in public without sunglasses, as he has glaucoma.


On 16 November 2014, Bono was involved in a "high energy bicycle accident" when he attempted to avoid another rider in New York's Central Park.


Bono sustained fractures of the shoulder blade, humerus, orbit and pinky finger.


In 2016, during the recording sessions for U2's album Songs of Experience, Bono had what the Edge called a "brush with mortality"; as a result of the episode, he decided to rework the album's lyrics.


The Irish Times reported that sometime in late 2016 between Christmas and New Year's Day, Bono had a near-death experience.


The eight-hour operation was performed by David H Adams at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Bono made a full recovery.