Celebrities volunteering and giving back –Bono
In 2011, National Journal stated Bono as the public figure who had the most powerful impact in shaping the contemporary pattern of Hollywood activism. . Since 1979, when he first saw one of the Secret Policeman’s Ball benefit shows for the human-rights organization Amnesty International, Bono has become increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the AIDS pandemic. As the frenetic front man for the global rock band U2, Bono has cut the mold for modern celebrity activism. With his endless list of charity works, it almost seems as if he has no limits when it comes to fighting poverty and hunger. This man is on a life-long quest to make the world a better place.
1. The most politically effective celebrity
Bono showed a persistent effort in building an extraordinary political alliance with both sides of the American politics. He maintained a close relationship with both the left-of-center figures such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates as well as the right-of-center figures such as George W. Bush and Jesse Helms, who Bono bonded with in discussion over scripture and persuaded to attend a U2 concert. “When Bono embraced Bush, that pissed a lot of people off because in the past there were a lot of celebrities who said, ‘I won’t even go to the White House,’ while George Bush was president, and he said that was ridiculous,” said Lara Bergthhold, whose job is to connect Hollywood celebrity with liberal causes. “But you would have to say Bono was right. Debt relief in Africa was such an obscure issue that no one card about, and it is now on the agenda. He made it a sexy issue, and he made a case for it in Republican chambers that was effective, a Christian argument.” Despite the criticism that he had to confront for the moment, Bono chose to care for the long-term problems and his shrewd political maneuvering led him to be the most effective celebrity in Washington.
“Anyone who could make Jesse Helms cry and then attend a U2 concert is an effective lobbyist,” said one Republican. “He literally put Africa on the map for the generation of Democrats and Republicans,” a Democrat Agreed. Bono not only raised the awareness regarding the issues in Africa but also set up a new kind of relationship between the celebrities and politicians.
2. It’s a beautiful day
Bono also used his musical talent with U2 to collect money for good causes. Bono and U2 performed on Amnesty’s Conspiracy of Hope tour of the United States in 1986 with Sting. He also performed in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, organized by Bob Geldof. Later, Geldof and Bono collaborated to organize the Live 8 project, a string of benefit concerts that took place on 2 July 2005, in the G8 states and in South Africa. They were timed to precede the G8 conference. More than 1,000 musicians performed at the concerts, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio stations. U2 and Paul McCartney opened the London concert, playing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Later, Bono added a group of lines of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” to the end of “Beautiful Day”.
3. List of charities & foundations supported
- Amnesty International
- Charity Projects Entertainment Fund
- Chernobyl Children’s Project International
- Food Bank For New York City
- Global Fund
- Keep A Child Alive
- Live 8
- Make Poverty History
- Millennium Promise
- Millennium Village
- Mulago Positive Women’s Network
- Not On Our Watch
- ONE Campaign
- Red Cross
- Simon Community
- The Lunchbox Fund
- UN Millennium Project
- War Child
- Wildlife Conservation Society