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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.
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Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Paul "Bono" Hewson is the second child of Bobby and Iris Hewson. His brother, Norman, is the oldest.
Described by Bobby as "a bloody exasperating child", Paul got a reputation at an early age for being both absent-minded yet argumentative...traits which earned him the unholy and ironic nickname "the Antichrist" from both family and friends.
At the same time, he was starry-eyed and wickedly curious...the kind of youngster who viewed the world through rose-colored glasses, while at the same time questioning what he saw.
The most notable example of this was witnessed by both Bobby and Iris Hewson when Paul was three-years-old, playing in their backyard garden: the couple watched with both horror and fascination as their toddler lifted honeybees off the flowers on his fingertip, talked to them, then put them back on the petals without ever getting stung.
At the age of 15, Paul suffered a tragic and devastating loss, when his mother died of a brain aneursym while attending the funeral of her own father. (It`s this incident which many fans and writers alike speculate may be the reason Bono has such a restless and inquisitive nature).
During this time, Paul also found himself drawn to music and playing the guitar...absorbing inspiration from the music of such bands as Patti Smith, Thin Lizzy, The Ramones and Television.
In high school, Paul`s natural gift of gab and flair for the dramatic allowed him to move within nearly every school circle, and to experiment with a variety of artistic mediums.
It was also during this time that Paul got his new name. Credit for this goes to his friend, Guggi, a high school cohort who stole it from a hearing aid store on O`Connell Street in Dublin. Fittingly enough, the original moniker meant "good voice" in cockeyed Latin.
In school, Bono was a popular kid and a half-decent student. He excelled in history, chess and art, was considered a good painter, and had many girlfriends who adored his romantic, sweet-talking ways...although it was the feisty, no-bull nature of his dark-haired sweetheart Alison Stewart which eventually got him to become a "one woman" man.
His greatest enjoyment, however, seemed to come from performing with a school theater troupe...during which he often could be seen on stage, singing.
One day in 1976, he answered an ad posted on a bulletin board at the Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin, asking for anyone who was interested in forming a band to meet after school at the house of one Larry Mullen Junior.
With the younger, no-nonsense Larry serving as the talented drumming catalyst for the group`s formation, the other members filled out what was to eventually become U2, one of the world`s most memorable and famous rock groups: a gifted guitarist/guitar builder named Dave Evans, whose eventual nickname "The Edge" (by varying accounts) came from either the shape of his skull or his low-key personality; an amateur bassist named Adam Clayton, whose caftan coats, tinted glasses and use of such cool words as "gig" and "amp" made him seem like he knew more about music than he actually did; and finally, Bono...who couldn`t play guitar or really carry a tune (yet), but whose earnest charm, intense poetic songwriting, and theatrical persona ultimately won him the position as the band`s frontman and songwriter.
These traits are also what earned Bono and U2 their worldwide fame (and, at times, notoriety).
As the group`s lead singer and lyricist, Bono has written songs which have taken people on spiritual journeys, turned them on sexually, or inspired them to change.
At the same time, he has repeatedly flogged himself in the press for not being a proper "pop star" and has continually expressed a desire to become a great singer. Yet his powerful voice has evolved and morphed over the years with a versatility rarely heard in most rock bands: at the start of the decade, it was a teenage croon full of longing and rebellion on such 80`s albums as "Boy" and "War"; near the end, it was a throaty roar full of anger and passion on "The Unforgettable Fire," "The Joshua Tree," and "Rattle and Hum."
Though he is known as a socially-conscious songwriter who has tried to inspire crowds with his lyrics, Bono is a rarity in that he also tries to connect with them physically during a performance. The best example of this was seen by millions during the 1980`s...especially the Live Aid concert in 1985, when (mid-way through an epic rendition of "Bad") he leapt off the stage, over a security barricade to the floor of the arena, and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her.
In the 90`s, when U2`s political earnestness ultimately threatened to turn them into a caricature (due mostly to Bono`s often politically-charged, on-stage sermonizing), the band vanished into Berlin, Germa
Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, Ireland
Full Name at Birth
Paul David Hewson
Gavin Friday (Irish musician), Andrea Corr (singer of The Corrs)
The Edge (U2's lead guitarrist and composer), Adam Clayton (U2's bassist), Larry Mullen (Drummer of U2)
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Eve Hewson (daughter)
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Rock, post-punk, alternative rock
Vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
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