U2 singer Bono was already an obscenely wealthy man before Friday’s (May 18) Facebook IPO . But thanks to the 2.3 percent stake in the social networking site held by his Elevation Partners investment group (it is unknown how much of the Facebook take is directly held by Bono) it was reported that his nest egg could grow exponentially when Friday’s first day of trading on the company’s stock is over.
The total haul? More than $1.5 billion , which is not bad for a day’s work.
If those figures are true, he may become the richest rock star on Earth, sitting on a massive pile of green that could allow a man who already had the world at his fingertips to push into a rarified stratosphere that’s the envy of the many one-percenters he already counts as friends. According to Rolling Stone the singer, who cannot sell all his shares at once, has pledged to use much of the money raised from his investments to aid charity work in Africa.
Bono addressed the rumors of his (alleged) impending money bomb while speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday morning. “Contrary to reports, I’m 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 — those billionaire reports are a joke,” he said. “In Elevation, we invest other people’s money — endowments, pension funds. We do get paid, of course. But, you know, 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 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 might say that’s odd, but I think it’s odd if artists aren’t interested in the world around them. I’m always chasing that. Facebook are an amazing team, a brilliant team. It’s a technology that brings people together.”
But if one person were to obtain that windfall, what could $1.5 billion buy you? We broke it down, by-the-numbers:
6.9 million Famous for his signature Bulgari shades, if Bono were to get his hands on the full stash, he could hit the Amazon.com marketplace and get nearly seven million pair for cheap at $215.77 a piece.
12.5 The giant claw stage that U2 schlepped around the world for their record-setting 360 Tour was insanely expensive. With each of the three structures they built coming in at $40 million a piece, Bono could build nine more with the Facebook loot.
300,000 Speaking U2 tours, on their famous 1992 Zoo TV outing, one of the highlights were the blinged-out Trabant cars that were hung from the lighting rigs. The famously low-budget East German cars were never expensive, but if Bono were ever thinking of expanding his car collection, he could snatch up more than 300,000 1989 models for the money.
39.4 million: In the recent documentary, “From the Sky Down,” U2 basically admitted that they’d gotten a bit full of themselves by the time their 1988 ode to Americana, Rattle and Hum, was released. If Bono is feeling especially embarrassed about all the cowboy hats and blues discovery of that era, he could try to wipe out some trace of it by buying nearly 40 million Blu-Ray copies of the DVD from Amazon.