In the United States, he is mainly known for playing Lieutenant Werner in the critically acclaimed film Das Boot, not as a recording artist. That may change with the February 2012 release of his new album I Walk that features his international hit duet with Bono, "Mensch."
Watching this week's episode of "Glee" and seeing its rendition of the classic '80s charity song, "Do They Know It's Christmas," brought to mind the debacle that was Bob Geldof's last attempt at re-creating his Band Aid group.
It's more than a bit disconcerting to look at the low level of the African famine relief response -- especially when you've been around long enough to remember the 1984 Ethiopian famine and its massive tug on the hearts of the world.
As the riots in Mozambique demonstrate, growth, as a proxy for rising economic opportunity, is all very well. But economic development, especially if it is relatively job-poor, as in Mozambique, is not enough on its own.
With the steady stream of elaborately produced, consciousness-raising concerts, The Secret Policeman's Ball is a symbol that anything is possible when you're trying to do the right thing for the planet.