Rock singer, born Paul Hewson, on May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland, to Iris and Bobby Hewson. Hewson was considered an outsider as a child, partially because his parents had a mixed (Protestant and Catholic) marriage. However, he did very well in school and was an excellent chess player. Hewson was hit hard by his mother’s death in 1974. A high school friend, Larry Mullen, got Hewson to join his local rock band in 1977. He was dubbed Bonovox (which referred to a hearing aid store) by neighborhood friends and thereafter became known simply as Bono. With Mullen, Adam Clayton and Dave Evans (later known as The Edge) Hewson formed Feedback. The band had changed its name to The Hype when they met Paul McGuinness in 1978. With his help as manager, the band became a local success in Dublin. Soon after, they signed a deal with Island Records and changed their name to U2, which some reports say is in reference to the spy plane that Gary Powers was flying when he was shot down over the Soviet Union. Their debut album, Boy, which included the single “I Will Follow,” was well received by both fans and critics. The follow up, October, was something of step backward, but the band rebounded strongly with War (1983), featuring the singles “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “New Year’s Day,” and “Two Hearts Beat As One,” which broke them big worldwide. In 1985, after working with noted producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, the group released The Unforgettable Fire (including the hits “In the Name of Love” and the title track), which was an immediate hit. U2’s appearance at Live Aid that year was considered a highlight as Bono ventured off the stage and out into the massive crowd. Bono’s stardom reached its peak with the next record, The Joshua Tree. Fans loved Bono’s big, emotional voice and his passionate lyrics extolling peace and Christianity. “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” both went to Number One. A bit of backlash hit U2 and Bono the following year. They released a movie and album, both titled Rattle and Hum, that documented their last tour and recording sessions in the United States. Critics thought that the band, and Bono in particular, had become too preachy and overexposed. The band members retreated to their Irish homes and stayed out of the limelight for the next couple of years.
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Bono Vox biography
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