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U2's Bono becomes honorary British knight

Bono (L) is presented with his honorary knighthood by British Ambassador David Reddaway at the ambassador's official residence in Sandyford, Dublin March 29, 2007. The U2 singer accepted the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music and remarkable humanitarian work. REUTERS/Julien Behal/PA/WPA Pool

DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) - Irish rock star and rights campaigner Bono received an honorary British knighthood on Thursday in recognition of his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” the U2 singer said at a ceremony at the British ambassador’s residence in Dublin.

“I would like to thank Her Majesty’s ambassador for pinning this award on me in my hometown, and the band for not bursting my balloon,” he said in remarks carried on U2’s website (

Bono is now a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or KBE, but as he is an Irish citizen he will not be able to use the title ‘Sir’.

Fellow Irish rocker Bob Geldof, also a high-profile rights campaigner, received a KBE in 1986. Honorary knighthoods are awarded to non-British nationals.

The knighthood is the latest award for 46-year-old Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson.

In 2003, he was given the Legion D’Honneur by the French government, and in 2005 he was Time magazine’s Person of the Year along with Bill and Melinda Gates.