Introducing Bono, the new editor of 'The Independent'
... and Condoleezza Rice, the music critic. The frontman of the biggest rock band in the world is taking over our sister paper for a day, and bringing in some friends
Sunday 14 May 2006
Bono, the lead singer of U2, will be putting together a special edition of our sister paper to be published on Tuesday, highlighting the issues facing Africa and raising money to help fight the continent's Aids crisis.
Half the newspaper's revenue that day will go to the Product RED partnership he set up with the American philanthropist Bobby Shriver to fund programmes for women and children with Aids in Africa. Two million people there will die of the disease this year. The Independent is the first media organisation to join global brands such as Gap and American Express in designing and selling special products for RED.
Bono's one-day editorship has become a worldwide media story in its own right, attracting attention from America to the Far East. "It might be difficult fitting in everything he wants to do," said one source for the singer, lyricist and compulsive communicator. "He's no minimiser, that's for sure."
The only person ever to be nominated for a Grammy, an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize, Bono is the singer with the biggest band in the world (170m albums sold to date) but also one of the planet's most successful lobbyists. Last year, for example, he was credited with personally persuading President Bush to put up US donations to Africa by $2bn.
Tomorrow he expects to do everything an editor does, from chairing the morning editorial conference to writing headlines and choosing pictures. Some features have already been commissioned, including conversations between the designers Stella McCartney and Giorgio Armani, and Bono and Eddie Izzard. New photographs by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood will be published for the first time. And perhaps most surprising of all, the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, will choose her Ten Best pieces of music.
Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief of The Independent, said: "Bono was very excited about doing this, right from the start. He had hundreds of ideas and has brought many of them to fruition already. He has already been working hard, and is taking it very seriously."
Bono will stay in the office until the front page has gone to press. But after that the 44-year-old's life as a global superstar and campaigner will return to normal - with a car to the airport, and an evening flight to Africa.
Speaking Out: The thoughts of Bono, rock star radical
"As a rock star, I have two instincts: I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both"
NRJ Music Awards, January 2000
"What a city, what a night, what a crowd, what a bomb, what a mistake, what a wanker you have for a President"
Acceptance speech at the MTV Europe Music Awards, referring to French nuclear testing in the Pacific, 1996
"Nine thousand people dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease like Aids... We can help them"
Live 8, July 2005
"Africa makes a fool of our justice system; it makes a farce of our idea of equality"
Labour conference, September 2004
"I was jumping up and down. The President... really stuck his neck out"
On George Bush's announcement of increased Aids funding for Africa, 2003
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