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British knighthood for U2's Bono

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 20:34 IST
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Irish rock star and anti-poverty campaigner Bono is to be made an honorary British knight by Queen Elizabeth II, the British embassy in Dublin said in a statement today.

Bono, 46, is to become an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) "in recognition of his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work".

The award is conferred by the queen on the advice of the British government.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said the honorary KBE is a deserved reward for Bono for his "remarkable" humanitarian work.

In a statement from his Downing Street office, Blair said the singer has played a leading part in the fight against poverty and an "outstanding contribution" to music with U2.

Blair - who under pressure from Bono and fellow musician Bob Geldof pushed the fight against African poverty up the agenda at last year's G8 summit in Scotland - said he was "absolutely delighted" the star had accepted the award.

"I'll leave it to others far more knowledgeable than me to talk about U2's music," he said in a letter to the Irish rock legend.

"All I'll say is that, along with millions of others right across the world, I am a huge fan. But I feel a little more qualified to talk about your personal commitment to tackling global poverty and, in particular, to Africa.

"I know from talking to you how much these causes matter to you. I know as well how knowledgeable you are about the problems we face and how determined you are to do all you can to help overcome them.