Bono Gets the "Red" Out

U2 frontman announces business-minded charity initiative in Switzerland

January 30, 2006 12:00 AM ET

Bono has announced a partnership with several companies to sell products under the brand "Red" in a new push to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa. "This is really sexy to me," the U2 frontman said at a Thursday press conference at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "It is sexy to want to change the world."

The singer said that one percent of the proceeds from the products — which include red-themed items from American Express, Converse, Gap and Giorgio Armani — would go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which supports half a million individuals receiving treatment for AIDS and children orphaned by the disease.

The partnership is designed as a long-term fundraiser for the organization and will include the Amex Red Card, shoes, T-shirts and sunglasses. "'Red' will bring a rising income stream . . . [and] increased awareness of HIV in Africa and the role of the Global Fund to finance programs to treat it," said fund executive director Richard Feachem.

Meanwhile, U2, who have won seventeen Grammys — more than any other rock band in history — are up for five more this year, including Album of the Year for the multiplatinum How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. "We're all just going to show up to the ceremony," guitarist the Edge told Rolling Stone. "And if we don't win, we'll try to look gracious."

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