Why Was Bono at the State of the Union? There’s One Good Reason

Melissa Willets - Author

Feb. 8 2023, Published 10:05 a.m. ET

Bono with Jill Biden
Source: Getty Images

It was a very “Beautiful Day,” er, evening, when Bono appeared at the State of the Union address, the second of President Joe Biden’s term. Of course, viewers couldn’t help but wonder why the beloved U2 frontman was front and center not at a concert arena but in the U.S. Capitol.

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No, Bono wasn't on hand to wow esteemed guests with his incredible vocals. Instead, the POTUS invited the musician to be honored in front of joint sessions of Congress for an important reason. Here’s what we know about Bono's appearance in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.

So, why was Bono at the State of the Union? It’s the “Sweetest Thing.”

Bono at the State of the Union
Source: Getty Images

First Lady Jill Biden and President Biden chose very special guests to sit in her viewing box for the 2023 State of the Union address. Among the VIPs the commander-in-chief called out before the country was none other than Bono, per The Washington Post. The “City of Blinding Lights” crooner may be famous for his vocal prowess, but Bono has also long been a humanitarian activist in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as poverty.

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His work with PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), which former president George W. Bush founded two decades ago, may be lesser known by the public at large. But most of us are familiar with Bono’s ONE organization and his fundraising RED partnerships, namely with the Gap.

President Biden specifically praised the Irishman at the Tuesday night address, saying, "Twenty years ago, under the leadership of President Bush and countless advocates and champions, we undertook a bipartisan effort through PEPFAR to transform the global fight against HIV/AIDS. It’s been a huge success.”

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The world leader then hopefully proclaimed, "I believe we can do the same with cancer. Let’s end cancer as we know it and cure some cancers once and for all."

Paul Pelosi sat next to Bono at the State of the Union.

Other honorees who sat with the global superstar included a healthy-looking Paul Pelosi, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband. He was attacked in their home last year in a shocking, headline-making act of violence.

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More attendees the White House invited to the high-profile event also included Monterey Park shooting hero Brandon Tsay, and Tyre Nichols’s family members.

Of course, not everyone was a fan of Bono being on the guest list, and they weren’t afraid to take their opinions to Twitter.

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That said, fans of the Dubliner were also on hand online to counter any negative feedback about the celebrity's appearance at the prestigious political address.

Ultimately, despite any criticism the U2 singer’s appearance at the State of the Union may have generated, according to The White House, his efforts have saved 25 million lives worldwide and raised $700 million in the fight against HIV/AIDs in Africa, which is simply “Magnificent" by anyone's standards.

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