Bono on Oprah Show Again


Bono appears on today’s Oprah Winfrey Show, titled “Trip of a Lifetime,” which was filmed in South Africa over the past week. Some content from the show is available at

For a transcript of the segment of the show featuring Bono, read on.

OPRAH WINFREY: I don’t have to tell you who gave me these glasses. Only the coolest rock star in the world, Mr. Bono. But Bono is not your ordinary superstar. Getting to know him has been such an enriching experience for me. The last several years he has devoted his life to the voiceless millions dying of AIDS. And he invited me to New York recently for a private recording session where he was practicing a special song he wrote especially for this day, World AIDS Day. OK, so you see this building right here? It’s called The Hit Factory. And it’s where all of the biggest have gone to do their recordings. Stevie Wonder has recorded here. Whitney Houston has recorded here. And today waiting inside for me right now is one of the biggest ever, Mr. Bono. U2’s lead singer is on a mission to save millions. Bono is on a crusade to end the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

BONO: The divide between the haves and the have-nots is not acceptable, and writing off 90 percent off the planet, we will be judged by God for this.

OPRAH: For more than two decades, he’s traveled across the continent to give people with HIV a human face.

BONO: These lives are lives that were about to shape this millennium. We don’t know what we’ve lost. And I think history is going to be incredibly hard on us.

OPRAH: From politicians to prime ministers, he’s earned the respect of world leaders for his passion and devotion to this crisis.

BONO: Realize that for small change, you can make very big change.

OPRAH: And now Bono hopes that every country in the world will rise to the challenge in ending the AIDS emergency in Africa. Tell us from what–where you are right now in your life and the state of AIDS, what do you think the world needs to do?

BONO: You have 7,000 people dying every day for a preventable, treatable disease. And that’s what this whole thing is about. Getting these drugs that we take for granted in the United States and Europe, and getting them to Africa, to people who need them the most.

OPRAH: You’re going to have an entire generation of children trying to raise themselves, orphaned, and what that does to a culture — having no nurturing, no schooling, no advancement in socialization whatsoever — is very dangerous to the rest of the world.

BONO: I think America’s safety somehow is bound up in this. The devastation of not rising to this challenge is not just theirs. It’s ours. We have these drugs over here. Will we share them with the people who need them the most? It will transform the way they see us to fight this, which is the greatest health crisis in 600 years, most extraordinary thing, AIDS in Africa.

OPRAH: You know what it is? I don’t think people get that yet. You know, we say that; I don’t think people get that.

BONO: It’s hard to take in. It is really hard to take in. One day, people are going to look back at this moment and go ‘How did it take them so long to figure this out?’ This is an extraordinary moment and it’s not really been written about because it’s not the war or it’s not the economy, but actually this is the defining moral issue of our time.

OPRAH: That struck a chord with me, and I could not agree more. AIDS is the defining moral issue of our time. One way Bono is making a difference is with his music. He let our cameras in on an early recording session for his powerful new single, “American Prayer.”

BONO: This is just a demo now.

OPRAH: Okay. A song with a plea to the U.S. to truly understand the rest of the world’s needs.

BEYONCE and BONO: (Singing) American prayer…

OPRAH: Pop sensation Beyonce is one of many lending her voice to his song.

BEYONCE and BONO: (Singing) American prayer…

BONO: America’s more than just a country. It’s an idea, Okay? An idea that’s supposed to be contagious. But I think Americans really, really care about what’s going on in the rest of the world.

OPRAH: Okay.

BEYONCE and BONO: (Singing) If you get to the top of the mountain…

OPRAH: I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, let’s go. Thanks, Bono. And thanks, Beyonce.