Since U2’s formation in 1976, the band has seen more than its fair share of peaks and valleys. One constant has been the band’s ability to connect with people on a large scale, appealing to the emotions, aspirations, and hopefulness that people across geographic, cultural, and generational divides can all relate to. On stage, the connection Bono is able to form with an audience is a tangible and magical thing.
In addition to the millions of lives Bono has touched with his lyrics and impassioned vocal style, there are countless people who have benefitted from the various charitable donations and activist efforts that he has supported over the years. His work for humanitarian causes has brought him to almost every corner of the globe, including Central America and Africa, taking on issues such as the AIDS epidemic, poverty, famine, political injustice, economic and infrastructural development in Third World countries, and curable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis that continue to take the lives of millions of people each year.
Bono has used his status and experience to build awareness of these essential social and political issues among other top-tier celebrities, politicians, advocacy groups, and non-profit organizations. Through his leadership and vision, enormous strides have been made in some of the fights that once seemed unwinnable. Most recently, the ONE Campaign has made incredible progress in creating awareness for the food and medical supplies shortages that are currently crippling numerous African countries.
“Every era has its defining struggle and the fate of Africa is one of ours. It’s not the only one, but in the history books it’s easily going to make the top five, what we did or what we did not do.”
Anyone who remains unconvinced about the potential for music to change lives and for one person to make a difference in the world needs to look no further.