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Bono gets an honorary knighthood

Andy Mac

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Deserved, I think.



BONO, the pop star who has befriended presidents and prime ministers through his campaigns for Africa, has been awarded an honorary knighthood.

The U2 singer follows in the path of Bob Geldof, his fellow Irishman, from rock star, via poverty campaigner, to member of the Establishment. He was one of the prime movers behind last year?s Live 8 concert, intended to persuade world leaders at the Gleneagles summit to write off African debt.




The announcement of the award in the new year?s honours list was made by the British embassy in Dublin.


Geldof, principal architect of the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts at which U2 performed, said: ?It?s great. It?s well deserved as well.?


Like Geldof, who received the award 20 years ago, Bono, 46, will not be entitled to call himself sir, even under his real name of Paul Hewson.


Tony Blair praised Bono for his ?remarkable? humanitarian work. He noted that Bono will receive the award in Dublin on New Year?s Day ? a reference to U2?s breakthrough single in 1983.


Bono?s camp seem to think the award was overdue. U2?s website points out that in 2003 Bono was presented with the Légion d?honneur by the French government.


In a letter to the singer, Blair added that Bono had played an invaluable role in the run-up to last year?s G8 summit which sought to help poor nations in Africa: ?I know . . . how much these causes matter to you . . . You have tirelessly used your voice to speak up for Africa.?


Such honours are granted by the Queen on advice from Downing Street. Adrian Lovett, campaigns director at Oxfam, welcomed the award. ?He is the real thing,? he said.


Bono started his philanthropic work after a visit to an Ethiopian orphanage in 1985. He was a nominee for the Nobel peace prize in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

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