With the March 2009 release of "No Line On The Horizon," U2 marked more than two decades of making rock music history. Lead singer Bono has been a driving force in the band's musical and activist pursuits.
U2 formed in 1976 in Dublin when Adam Clayton, the Edge and Paul Hewson responded to Larry Mullen's ad to form a band. Hewson's singing abilities gained him the nickname "Bono Vox," Latin for "good voice." Bono's voice and songwriting talents helped propel U2 from a teenage garage band to a world-famous rock group. The release of their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree" led Time Magazine to proclaim that U2 was "Rock's Hottest Ticket." Not content to rest on the success of "The Joshua Tree," the band adapted its sound on the following albums, "Achtung Baby," "Zooropa" and "Pop," to reflect new electronic trends in music.
Bono and the band have often used their fame to draw attention to humanitarian causes around the world. In the band's early days, Bono spoke during concerts against the violence in Northern Ireland. He visited Ethiopia during the famine crisis in the 1980s. U2 drew attention to the atrocities in the Balkans by broadcasting interviews from Sarajevo during the ZooTV concert tour. More recently, Bono has been active in the Jubilee 2000 movement, which hopes to erase the debt of third-world countries.
Bono has recently aligned himself with the Product Red campaign to increase awareness of AIDS in Africa. Major companies have created red products whose proceeds will benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS. The outspoken activist counts Bill Clinton and Bill Gates among his influential friends.
Bono and U2 links
At the band's official site, you can read what Bono and the other members are doing and watch video clips of some performances. Connect with fans in the Zootopia forum.
Learn what motivates Bono to pursue third world debt relief. Don't miss the photos of Bono with world leaders, including Kofi Annan, Colin Powell and Pope John Paul II.
This international group is working to convince wealthy nations to erase the billions
in debt owed by the poorest countries in the world. Bono has lobbied the United Nations and
the U.S. Congress to support the effort.
U2 supports the efforts of Greenpeace to protect the environment. In 1993, the entire band participated in a Greenpeace protest at Sellafield, a nuclear plant in England.
In 1985, U2 gave a benefit performance for Amnesty International's 25th Anniversary. In the liner notes of their albums, U2 urges fans to join their local chapter of this human rights organization.
This for-profit brand was founded, in part, by Bono in 2006. Product Red seeks to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund, which helps to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in needy countries.