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Bono, Facebook IPO: U2 Singer To Become The World's Richest Musician (UPDATED)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: Updated: 05/18/2012 9:34 pm

U2 Bono

It's a "Beautiful Day" to be Bono. As Facebook goes public, the U2 frontman could stand to make up to $1.5 billion off the widely anticipated IPO.

UPDATE: Bono addressed rumors of his big payout with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. Though he did not say how much he made off the IPO, he took issue with the billion-dollar figure:

"Contrary to reports, this boy is not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle - and not just in the sense of money, by the way. The Beatles are untouchable. That's just a joke. In Elevation, we invest other people's money , endowments, pension funds. We do get paid and that is a good thing, I'm blessed, but I felt rich when I was 20 years old and my wife was paying my bills. Just being in a band, I've always felt like this, I've been so blessed. I got interested in technology because I'm an artist, I'm interested in the forces that shape the world, politics, religion, the stuff we've been talking about today. Technology is huge. I wanted to learn about it. People say it's odd, 'you're a musician, why are you doing all this.' But I think it's odd if artists aren't more interested in the world around them."

CNN Money has more details on the singer's potential earnings:

Bono was one of just six founding partners of Elevation Partners. So, at best he'd get $216 million (once the original investment is subtracted). But then you have to realize that Elevation only receives 20% of the profits on its deal, with the rest going to its limited partners. So, suddenly, Bono's take is down to $43 million.

The original article continues below.

The business-savvy, Irish rocker owns 2.3 percent of the shares of Facebook through his investment group, Elevation Partners, reports NME. Elevation paid $90 million for the shares in 2009, before Facebook decided to go public earlier this year. Facebook's $100 billion IPO is expected to be the second-biggest IPO in history.

It's unknown exactly what portion of Elevation's earnings would flow to Bono, but as a co-founder of the investment firm, the handsome return may make him the richest musician on the planet, surpassing Sir Paul McCartney and his vast fortune of an estimated $1.05 billion.

In other news, U2 are reportedly working with the songwriters behind British boy band One Direction, including Swedish pop writer Carl Falk, who wrote the group's breakthrough hit, "What Makes You Beautiful."

An unnamed source told NME: "The band are back in the studio getting a feel for new material after the last album 'No Line On The Horizon'. had a credit on that and they are looking to explore that direction further. They have been working with Danger Mouse and RedOne. They are excited about getting to work with Carl Falk."

PHOTOS: Celebrities trying to score big in the tech world.

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  • Ashton Kutcher: Foursquare, Ooma Inc., Hipmunk, etc.

    The tech-savvy actor Ashton Kutcher is perhaps the king of all celebritechies, with financial and/or creative involvement in more than a dozen different sites and start-ups. The extensive list includes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Foursquare</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Ooma Inc.</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Hipmunk</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Flipboard</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Path</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Gidsy</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Zaarly</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Skype</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Fashism</a>, and many more. Kutcher even <a href="" target="_hplink">plugged some of his many ventures</a> (to CBS's dismay) in an episode of <em>Two And A Half Men</em>.

  • Justin Timberlake: Myspace, Dekko, Miso, & Stipple

    Sure, Justin Timberlake played the tech-savvy entrepreneur Sean Parker in the 2010 film <em>The Social Network</em>, but he also possess some real-world business skills of his own. In 2010, the singer-turned-actor-turned-investor <a href="" target="_hplink">put some money</a> into photo-sharing service <a href="" target="_hplink">Stipple</a> and <a href="" target="_hplink">music education start-up</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Miso Media</a>. Last summer, Timberlake <a href="" target="_hplink">staked a claim in Myspace </a>and in start-up <a href="" target="_hplink">Dekko</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to Business Insider</a>.

  • Lady Gaga: & Backplane

    Mega pop star Lady Gaga poured some of her wealth into music-sharing service <a href="" target="_hplink"></a> <a href="" target="_hplink">last August</a>. More recently, she made a splash with her financial support of <a href="" target="_hplink">Backplane</a>, a social startup geared toward celebrities. With Gaga's help, the company <a href="" target="_hplink">garnered more than $4 million</a> from a range of investors in February. Backplane currently powers Gaga's social-networking site <a href="" target="_hplink"></a>.

  • Will Ferrell:

    Remember that hilarious viral video starring Will Ferrell and an angry baby landlord named Pearl? That short skit -- aptly titled "<a href="" target="_hplink">The Landlord</a>" -- just happened to be <a href="" target="_hplink"></a>'s very first upload after its <a href="" target="_hplink">launch back in 2007</a>. Its more than 78 million views go to show how successful the comedy site, founded by Ferrell's production company <a href="" target="_hplink">Gary Sanchez Productions</a>, has become in just a handful of years.

  • Justin Bieber: PhoneGuard, Inc.

    Though he just <a href="" target="_hplink">turned 18 on March 1</a>, Justin Bieber has already invested money in <a href="" target="_hplink">PhoneGuard, Inc.</a> Last June the mobile application company <a href="" target="_hplink">launched a campaign led by Bieber</a>, who spoke out against texting while driving.

  • Kim Kardashian: Shoedazzle

    Television personality Kim Kardashian turned her passion for fashion into an online empire with <a href="" target="_hplink">Shoedazzle</a>, which she <a href="http://" target="_hplink">co-founded back in 2009</a>. As of last May, the shoe-sharing style site had <a href="" target="_hplink">gained $60 million in funding</a> since its March 2009 launch.

  • Stephen Fry: Pushnote

    In January of last year, UK actor Stephen Fry <a href="" target="_hplink">announced the launch</a> of <a href="" target="_hplink">Pushnote</a>, a social networking site that allows web users to share and comment on any web page they want, without having to deal with separate accounts or log-ins.

  • Bono: Elevation Partners

    U2 frontman Bono took a broader and more involved approach to investing by co-founding private equity firm <a href="" target="_hplink">Elevation Partners</a>. Some of its <a href="" target="_hplink">current portfolio companies</a> include <a href="" target="_hplink">Facebook</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Yelp</a>, and <a href="" target="_hplink">Forbes Media</a>.

  • Selena Gomez: Postcard On The Run

    Selena Gomez -- actress, singer and Justin Bieber's girlfriend -- has also tried her hand at investing. Last November, she contributed to a $750,000 funding round for mobile app, <a href="" target="_hplink">Postcard on the Run</a>, reported <a href="" target="_hplink">AllThingsD</a>.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: Mobli

    Real-time visual media platform <a href="" target="_hplink">Mobli</a> picked up Leonardo DiCaprio as an investor last October, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to Mashable</a>. The actor contributed to a $4 million seed round with other "<a href="" target="_hplink">high profile investors</a>."

  • Ellen DeGeneres: SoJo Studios

    Ellen DeGeneres <a href="" target="_hplink">currently backs</a> social gaming start-up <a href="" target="_hplink">Sojo Studios</a>. Last November, the company <a href="" target="_hplink">launched Facebook game WeTopia</a>, which allows participants to play for a good cause by offering contributions during gameplay.

  • Lance Armstrong: Mobli

    Lance Armstrong followed in DiCaprio's footsteps this past January -- <a href="" target="_hplink">according to The New York Post</a>, the celebrity cyclist also invested an undisclosed amount of money in the start-up <a href="" target="_hplink">Mobli</a>.

  • Dr. Dre: Beats By Dre

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Way back in 2008</a>, veteran rapper Dr. Dre launched an extremely successful foray into the tech world with the introduction of his very own <a href="" target="_hplink">audio device brand</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Beats by Dr. Dre</a>.

  • Zooey Deschanel: Hello Giggles

    Launched <a href="" target="_hplink">last May</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">Hello Giggles</a> is a website full of cute and informative content and dedicated to "<a href="" target="_hplink">smart, independent, and creative females</a>." Actress and singer Zooey Deschanel founded the site with producer Sophia Rossi and writer Molly McAleer.

  • Kanye West:

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Last August</a>, rapper Kanye West contributed to a $7.5 million round of investing for the popular social music-sharing network <a href="" target="_hplink"></a>.

  • M.C. Hammer: Square Inc., WireDoo, & Bump Technologies

    When it comes to investing, M.C. Hammer is too legit to quit. While <a href="" target="_hplink">DanceJam</a>, the social media dance site he co-founded, was a flop, the rapper has invested in a number of other successful ventures. So far, <a href="" target="_hplink">he's contributed to</a> mobile payments startup <a href="" target="_hplink">Square Inc.</a> and app developer <a href="" target="_hplink">Bump Technologies</a>. <a href="" target="_hplink">Last October</a>, Hammer introduced the soon-to-come search engine <a href="" target="_hplink">WireDoo</a>.

  • LL Cool J: Boomdizzle

    At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January, rapper LL Cool J <a href="" target="_hplink">announced the launch</a> of virtual music recording platform <a href="" target="_hplink">Boomdizzle</a>. LL Cool J co-founded the community-based site <a href="" target="_hplink">back in 2008</a>.

  • Demi Moore: Fashism

    <a href="" target="_hplink">In November 2010</a>, Demi Moore joined fashion journalist Nina Garcia, former hubby Ashton Kutcher, and others in a $1 million investment round in social shopping site, <a href="" target="_hplink">Fashism</a>.

  • Seth Green: Shodogg

    Actor Seth Green's very first tech investment in TV, computer and smartphone video-syncer <a href="" target="_hplink">Shodogg</a> seems to have been a good one. While the site first shared its services at January's <a href="" target="_hplink">Consumer Electronics Show</a>, it had already <a href="" target="_hplink">won a Mobile Excellence Award</a> for best delivery platform in December 2011.

  • Magic Johnson: Detroit Venture Partners

    Former NBA player Magic Johnson jumped on board with Detroit Venture Partners <a href="" target="_hplink">in July of last year</a>; the firm has so far invested in sites such as <a href="" target="_hplink">Sociocast</a>, <a href="" target="_hplink">FLUD News</a>, and <a href="" target="_hplink">Stylecaster</a>.

  • Intel

    Last January, <a href="" target="_hplink">Intel announced</a> it would be adding Black Eyed Peas member to its team as director of creative innovation in order to develop "new technologies, music and tech advocacy."

  • Jason Mraz: Intel, Trippy

    Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is another celeb who has teamed up with Intel. The tech company <a href="" target="_hplink">announced in September 2011</a> that the performer would join in judging a competition that would help celebrate the launch of the ASUS N Series notebook. More recently, on March 8, <a href="" target="_hplink">TechCrunch reported</a> that Mraz, who had invested in Pinterest-like social travel website <a href="" target="_hplink">Trippy</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">back in November 2011</a>, had been named an advisory board member for the site.

  • Rachel Zoe: Trippy

    <a href="" target="_hplink">TechCrunch reported in March</a> that, in addition to singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, well-known celebrity stylist and <a href="" target="_hplink">Trippy</a> investor Rachel Zoe would also be joining the website's advisory board. But this isn't Zoe's first encounter with the tech world; she starred in <a href="" target="_hplink">a few Microsoft Bing commercials</a> back in 2009.


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