Friday, May 19, 2017


Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, was born on 10 May 1960 in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. He is the singer and the guitarist of the rock band U2. He grew up with his older brother, his father, and his mother, who passed away when he was only fourteen. He has always been interested in singing and at the age of 22, he got married to Alison Stewart, an Irish businesswoman who has been a real inspiration to her husband for decades. For example, he wrote the song “Sweetest Things” thinking of her. They have four children together: two daughters, Eve and Jordan, and two sons, Elijah and John. More than 20 years ago, Bono was diagnosed with a disease called glaucoma. It is a disease that reduces your vision and makes you more sensitive to light. That is why Bono always wears sunglasses. 

 U2 is an Irish rock group formed in 1976 and constituted of Bono (who sings and occasionally plays the guitar), The Edge (who plays the guitar, the piano and who also sings), Adam Clayton (who plays the bass) and Larry Mullen Jr (at the drums). 

 The four men, at the time still teenagers, were in the same school and, except for Paul / Bono, they were all part of “Lypton Village”, a small group of amateur artists.  Bono joined the group later: because his personality had impressed them, they decided to recruit him as a guitarist even though he couldn’t play the guitar. He soon became the singer of the group, and later also became their lyricist. 

 Since that time, Paul has gone by the nickname of “Bono” in reference to the “Bono Vox” sign he once saw in a hearing aid store in Dublin (one of his friends having claimed that Bono sung so loudly that it was as though he was singing for the deaf).

 The members of the band decided to rename the group several times. It was first called “Feedback”, then it became “The Hype” and, finally, “U2”, in 1976. They soon began building a strong local reputation, and then rapidly became an international group in the 1980’s thanks to their album called War, which defends human rights. 

 Bono got involved in many political causes and has supported many humanitarian organisations such as Amnesty International (an organisation that fights to protect human rights) or Greenpeace (an organisation that fights for environmental protection). 

 His first involvement in charitable causes happened in 1986, before he took part in the Conspiracy of Hope tour (which was a tour of concerts on behalf of Amnesty International). He was invited to Ethiopia by World Vision to create an education program in order to teach children about hygiene and health. He also created an organisation named DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) in 2002, has had his name written on the Forbes Generous Celebrity List, and has committed himself to fighting the debts of African countries or the AIDS epidemic. 
Furthermore, he has helped to create the ONE campaign or the (RED) association, which also works with the giant brand « Apple » or even « Nike »: by buying a RED Product phone or a pair of shoes, you can help women and children affected by AIDS in Africa.

 Thanks to these altruistic commitments, Bono was elected Person of the Year in 2005 and he was even proclaimed Knight of the Legion of Honour and Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elisabeth II in 2007. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times. In 2006, U2 released a cover of the Skids’ “The Saints Are Coming” with the punk band Green Day in order to raise funds to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Actually, Bono contributed to around forty charities and foundations like Oxfam, Unicef, Zero Hunger, and many more.

 To conclude, U2 is considered as an English icon because of their influence in the world. Indeed, they are not simply a rock band: they are also activists who have been using their power for good. They distinguished themselves from the others thanks to their simple way of making music without any provocation. They didn’t need to expose their private life to become famous because they were liked for their music and involvement in society.

Mathilde Lecocq, Eléonore Minette, Loïc Servais


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