40-year marriage to Ali Hewson: ‘A grand madness’

Bono is revealing the secret behind his 40-year marriage to Ali Hewson.

On Friday, the singer was participating in an interview for the New Yorker Festival about his upcoming book, “Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story,” at The Society For Ethical Culture in New York. It was there when a newlywed audience member asked how he’s managed to maintain such a lasting union with the businesswoman.

The 62-year-old replied that it’s “quite mad getting married.”

“It is a grand madness about us,” the U2 frontman shared, as quoted by People magazine. “And there’s something about knowing that you’re going against the odds. But I would say if you ask me seriously, friendship can outpace romantic love, sometimes. And friendship is what myself and Ali have. When you have romantic love and friendship, that’s really something special.

Bono met the 61-year-old when he was just 12 years old at Mount Temple Comprehensive School. They said “I do” in 1982. They share four children: Jordan, 33, Eve, 31, Elijah, 23, and John, 21.

Bono shared that like in any marriage, they’ve had their share of ups and downs. But the love — and friendship — has endured.

“Any time either of us got lost, the other would … be there to get the other one home,” he said. “And I’m so grateful. And 40 years is a powerful number for me. That’s a powerful number for Ali. And it was brilliant when we got to 40, and we went, ‘Let’s not f— this up now.’”

According to the outlet, Bono’s upcoming book explores his childhood in Dublin, losing his mother at age 14, his rise to stardom with U2, as well as his activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty. He will be doing a series of solo shows beginning Nov. 2 at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. He will wrap up on Nov. 28 in Madrid.

“I miss being on stage and the closeness of U2’s audience,” Bono said in a statement. “In these shows, I’ve got some stories to sing, and some songs to tell. … Plus I want to have some fun presenting my ME-moir. ‘Surrender’ is really more of a WE-moir if I think of all the people who helped me get from there to here.”

U2 has sold 170 million albums and has been honored with 22 Grammys. The band’s epic singles include “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced in July that the Irish rock band — along with actor George Clooney, singers Gladys Knight and Amy Grant and composer Tania León — are being honored this year.

In a statement thanking the Kennedy Center, the band noted they played their first show in America in New York in 1980. The band’s second show was in Washington.

“We had big dreams then, fueled in part by the commonly held belief at home that America smiles on Ireland. And it turned out to be true, yet again. But even in the wilder thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years on, we would be invited back to receive one of the nation’s greatest honors,” the band said in a statement, calling the United States “a home away from home.”

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