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Who Is Bono?
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Who Is Bono?
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How did an Irish schoolboy become the lead singer of a world-famous rock band and the founder of several humanitarian groups? Track Bono's rise to fame in this exciting addition to the Who Was? series....
How did an Irish schoolboy become the lead singer of a world-famous rock band and the founder of several humanitarian groups? Track Bono's rise to fame in this exciting addition to the Who Was? series....
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  • How did an Irish schoolboy become the lead singer of a world-famous rock band and the founder of several humanitarian groups? Track Bono's rise to fame in this exciting addition to the Who Was? series.
    By age 16, Paul David Hewson was such a good singer that he had earned the nickname "Bono Vox," a Latin phrase that translates to "good voice." When he became the frontman of the newly formed rock band U2 in 1976, he adopted part of the nickname and "Bono" was introduced to the world. Today, U2 have sold over 157 million albums and won numerous awards, including 22 Grammys. In addition to having stellar vocals and a compelling stage presence, Bono is also recognized for his commitment to social justice. This book shares the story of this charitable rock star who has been named a "Person of the Year" by TIME magazine and who is recognized as a global icon of goodwill.

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  • From the book Who Is Bono?


    On March 2, 2007, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)—an American organization that fights for civil rights and justice—presented a special award to a rock star. His name was Paul Hewson, but everyone called him Bono. He was being honored for the work he had done to raise money for the poor and sick, especially in Africa.

    When Bono took the stage, he wore a dark suit and the oversize sunglasses he was famous for. His band, U2, was one of the most successful groups in music history. They played all over the world to sold-out stadium crowds. They'd won twenty-two Grammy Awards. Their records had sold millions of copies. They had fans everywhere they went.

    But it didn't start out that way. Bono was born an ordinary boy in the Irish city of Dublin, where people who went to Catholic churches did not always get along with people who went to Protestant churches. Bono asked himself what God meant in a world where people suffered and wars were fought. He had taken all his questions and doubts and put them into song lyrics. When Bono took the stage, he didn't talk about rock and roll. He talked about people who had nothing. People who were suffering. People who needed help. And he talked about one of the most important forces in his life: God. After all his years of questioning, Bono had learned one thing for sure: God wanted people to help one another.

    "The poor are where God lives," Bono said. "God . . . is with the poor. And God is with us, if we are with them." Bono lived the kind of glamorous life he could only dream about as a boy. He had become a star. But once he had that life, he discovered there were more important things he needed to do. Not for himself, but for the world.


    Chapter 1: Dublin


    Paul David Hewson was born in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, on May 10, 1960. His parents were Bob and Iris Hewson. He had one brother, Norman, who was seven years older. His father, Bob, worked for the post office.

    Bob and Iris were both Christian, but they were different kinds of Christians. Bob was Catholic, and Iris was Protestant. In Dublin, it was very unusual for Catholics and Protestants to marry. The two groups did not get along. In Northern Ireland, fighting between Catholics and Protestants often became violent. Even as a young boy, Paul wondered why Christianity, which taught that people should love one another, made people hate one another.

    Paul did believe in fighting for some things. On his first day of school, a boy bit one of Paul's friends. Paul shoved the bully into a nearby railing!

    When Paul got a Batman costume, he walked around his neighborhood telling everyone he was going to fight crime. Some older boys laughed at him. They pulled his Batman mask down over his eyes so he couldn't see anything.

    The school that Paul went to was for Protestant children. He and his brother went to a Protestant church on Sundays with their mother while their Catholic father waited outside.

    As Paul got older he started to think school was boring. Sometimes he didn't go at all. He just walked around the city of Dublin. His parents started to worry about his grades. When Paul was twelve, a new school opened near his house. It was called Mount Temple Comprehensive School.

    It was different from other Dublin schools because it accepted all kids—Protestant and Catholic, boys and girls. The students at Mount Temple didn't wear uniforms, which was very unusual in Ireland. Paul's parents thought this new school might be a good place for him.

    Paul liked Mount...

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