Name at birth: Paul HewsonBono is the lead singer and front man for the Irish rock band U2, one of the most successful acts of the 1980s and 1990s. Born Paul Hewson, Bono and the rest of U2 began playing together in the late 1970s. They had more gusto and guts than musical talent, but that was no matter. Their original songs and fiery live act earned them a record deal in 1980. At first a little known Irish punk band with a few hits like "Gloria" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday," U2 hit it big with their 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire, produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. Their first American top forty hit was "Pride (In the Name of Love," an ode to Martin Luther King, Jr. By the end of the 1980s they were one of the biggest touring and recording acts in music, and Bono was a rock star and righteously outspoken on the world's ills. As a public figure, Bono became known as an earnest advocate for various political causes, in particular world hunger and African poverty. In 2005 he shared Time magazine's Person of the Year award with Bill and Melinda Gates. In 2006 he was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II; he received the award in March of 2007. The group's albums include The Unforgettable Fire (1984), The Joshua Tree (1987), Pop (1997) and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2005); their singles include "Mysterious Ways," "Where The Streets Have No Name," and "Beautiful Day.
Bono reportedly got his nickname from Bono Vox, the Latin term for ?good voice? and a brand of hearing aid? The other members of U2 include Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton, and Dave Evans (AKA ?The Edge?)? Bono joined Sting, Paul McCartney and dozens of other musicians in Bob Geldof?s charity supergroup Band Aid; their 1984 single ?Do They Know It?s Christmas? sold three million copies and raised millions of pounds for famine relief in Africa? Though he has received an honorary knighthood, Bono is not eligible for the formal title of ?Sir.? Bono is Irish, and that title is reserved for citizens of the U.K. and the British commonwealth? The band members have been twice nominated for an Oscar for best original song, for ?The Hands That Built America? (Gangs of New York, 2002), and for ?Ordinary Love? (Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, 2013).
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