Paul David Hewson (born May 10, 1960, Dublin, Ireland), byname Bono, is the lead singer of the Irish rock band, U2. He is married to Alison 'Ali' Stewart and has four children.
He joined U2 after answering an advert posted at his school by Larry Mullen Jr. He turned up for the audition claiming to be able to play guitar.
Since 1999, he has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and the plight of Africa. In May 2002, he took US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. Also that year, Bono set up an organisation called "DATA", which stands for Debt, Aids, Trade in Africa. The focus of the organisation is to raise awareness about Africa's unpayable debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS, and unfair trade rules that hurt the countries' poor citizens.
He also made a moving (if somewhat long-winded) speech during the inauguration of Paul Martin as Canada's prime minister, who in turn pledged to help with the global crisis.
While on his mission to highlight Africa's AIDS crisis, Bono travelled to the White House for a special private meeting with President George W. Bush, who had just unveiled a $5 billion aid package for the world's poorest countries that respect human rights. Bono also accompanied the President for a speech on the White House lawn. "This is an important first step, and a serious and impressive new level of commitment... This must happen urgently, because this is a crisis," Bono said:
"It is much easier and hipper for me to be on the barricades with a handkerchief over my nose — it looks better on the résumé of a rock 'n' roll star. But I can do better by just getting into the White House and talking to a man who I believe listens, wants to listen, on these subjects."
In 2002, Bono wrote the introduction to the "Book of Psalms", one of nine books of the Bible published individually in Canongate Book's "Pocket Canons" series.
Bono appears in the 2002 List of "100 Greatest Britons" (sponsored by the BBC, voted for by the public and which included Irish people), alongside such other greats as Sir Winston Churchill, Diana, Princess of Wales, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Bob Geldof and others.
His nickname "Bono Vox" — usually just "Bono" these days — is a corruption of Bona Vox, a brand of hearing aids whose Latin name means literally "good voice".
The word bono is also Italian slang for "sexy" and a form of the Latin word bonus; see List of Latin phrases.