Paul David Hewson, OL (born 10 May 1960), known by his stage name Bono, is an Irish singer-songwriter, musician, venture capitalist, businessman, and philanthropist. He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary lyricist of rock band U2.
Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his future wife, Alison Stewart, as well as schoolmates with whom he founded U2 in 1976. Bono soon established himself as a passionate frontman for the band through his expressive vocal style and grandiose gestures and songwriting. His lyrics are known for their social and political themes, and for their religious imagery inspired by his Christian beliefs. During U2’s early years, Bono’s lyrics contributed to the group’s rebellious and spiritual tone. As the band matured, his lyrics became inspired more by personal experiences shared with the other members. As a member of U2, Bono has received 22 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Bono is widely known for his activism for social justice causes, both through U2 and as an individual. He is particularly active in campaigning for Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign, and Product Red. In pursuit of these causes, he has participated in benefit concerts and met with influential politicians. Bono has been praised for his philanthropic efforts; he was granted an honorary knighthood by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for “his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work”, and has been made a Commandeur of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). In 2005, Bono was named one of the Time Persons of the Year.
Outside of the band, he has recorded with numerous artists. He has collaborated with U2 bandmate the Edge on several projects, including: songs for Roy Orbison and Tina Turner; the soundtracks to the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and a London stage adaptation of A Clockwork Orange; and the refurbishment of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin. He is Managing Director and a Managing Partner of the private equity firm Elevation Partners, which has invested in several companies.