U2 frontman Bono is celebrating his 50th birthday on Monday, marking a career which has taken him from early rehearsals in a pal's kitchen to international rock star, leading campaigner on humanitarian issues, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
The singer formed U2 in 1976 after answering an advert for musicians posted by drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., joining him, guitarist The Edge, and bass player Adam Clayton for auditions in Mullen's kitchen.
He is now one of the most famous and iconic frontmen in rock - and to celebrate his landmark birthday, WENN has collected 10 fascinating facts about Bono:
- Born Paul David Hewson, the rocker's nickname derives from the Latin word "bonavox" - meaning "good voice".
- His various humanitarian work around the globe and his efforts to raise awareness of Aids in Africa earned him the Nobel Peace Prize's Man of Peace title in 2008. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
- His favorite food is fish and chips, and his favorite drink is Jack Daniels or tea.
- Bono is a keen chess player, falling in love with the game at the age of 12 after he became "fascinated" with its grandmasters.
- In 2007, he was given an honorary knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for his tireless campaigning.
- The singer's trademark sunglasses are not just a rock 'n' roll fashion statement - his eyes are over-sensitive to light.
- Bono has enjoyed several forays into acting - he had small roles in Million Dollar Hotel and Across The Universe.
- During U2's Zoo TV Tour in the early 1990s, Bono's onstage alter-egos included The Fly, Mirror Ball Man, and Mr. MacPhisto.
- Bono and his U2 bandmates were nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar in 2003 for the track "The Hands That Built America," which featured on "Gangs of New York" - but lost out to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," from the movie "8 Mile."
- He has collaborated with a huge range of artists in his career - including Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Jennifer Lopez, Frank Sinatra, and Luciano Pavarotti.
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