Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof, is an Irish singer-songwriter, author, political activist and occasional actor. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement. The band had Number One hits with his compositions “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays”. He co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, one of the best-selling singles of all time, and starred in Pink Floyd’s 1982 film Pink Floyd – The Wall as “Pink”.

Geldof is widely recognised for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.They went on to organise the charity super-concert Live Aid the following year and the Live 8 concerts in 2005. Geldof currently serves as an adviser to the ONE Campaign, founded by fellow Irishman Bono, and is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. A single father, Geldof has also been outspoken for the fathers’ rights movement.

Geldof was appointed an honorary knight K.B.E (Hon.) by Elizabeth II, and is a recipient of the Man of Peace title which recognises individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace”, among numerous other awards and nominations. In 2005 he received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Returning to Ireland in 1975, he became lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, a rock group closely linked with the punk movement.

In 1978, The Boomtown Rats had their first No. 1 single in the UK with “Rat Trap”, the first new wave chart-topper in Britain. In 1979, they gained international attention with their second UK No. 1, “I Don’t Like Mondays”. This was both successful and controversial. Geldof had written it in the aftermath of Brenda Ann Spencer’s attempted massacre at an elementary school in San Diego, California in 1979.

In 1980, The Boomtown Rats released the album Mondo Bongo. Its single “Up All Night” was a hit in the U.S. and its video was played frequently on MTV.

Geldof became known as a colourful interview subject. The Boomtown Rats’ first appearance on Ireland’s The Late Late Show saw Geldof as deliberately brusque to host Gay Byrne and during his interview he attacked Irish politicians and the Catholic Church, which he blamed for many of the country’s problems. He responded to nuns in the audience who tried to shout him down by saying they had “an easy life with no material worries in return for which they gave themselves body and soul to the church”. He also criticised Blackrock College. The interview caused uproar, making it impossible for The Boomtown Rats to play in Ireland again.

In January 2013, Geldof announced The Boomtown Rats would be reforming to play together for the first time since 1986 at that year’s Isle of Wight Festival in June. They have subsequently announced further tour dates and released a new CD Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits.

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