Bono

(b. 1960)

Bono is the lead singer for the Irish Rock band U2, one of the most enduring and popular bands of the past 30 years. Born Paul Hewson in Dublin, Ireland, he formed U2 while in his late teens, with drummer Larry Mullen, guitarist the Edge and bassist Larry Mullen. The band drew early inspiration from such Punk and post-Punk acts as Siouxie and the Banshees and Joy Division. He writes almost all of the band's lyrics, which have often reflected deep social and spiritual yearnings.

With U2, he has released 12 studio albums and won 22 Grammy Awards, the most for any band. U2's third album, War (1983), brought them to No. 1 in the U.K.; the band broke in America with subsequent albums The Unforgettable Fire (1984) and The Joshua Tree (1987). The Joshua Tree would start a streak of No. 1 records in America that would last through the 1990s.

A dedicated social activist who has been nominated for the Nobel Prize three times, Bono has been a leading voice in championing Third World debt relief, and has sought to use his celebrity to shine a light on poverty and the AIDS pandemic in Africa. In 2004 he co-founded the ONE campaign along with eleven major humanitarian groups advocating on behalf of children, world hunger and medical aid.