U2 star Bono has praised Memphis, Tennessee, after being given one of the city's highest honours.

The rocker was presented with the FREEDOM AWARD from the city's NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM on Monday (18OCT04), and told those gathered at the low-key ceremony that he was keen to boost tourism there by telling everyone what a wonderful place it is.

Bono told city officials, "Memphis, to me, is the cradle city of three kings: ELVIS, Bb King and DR MARTIN LUTHER KING. It is like a living history book to grow up here and you can write the next chapter."

Bono also used his speech to urge locals to help him fight AIDS around the world, adding, "It is not a cause, it is an emergency. I wonder what Dr King would think of us? We have the money and technology today, but the only thing lacking is the will.

"We've got a whole lot of marching to do. This is the generation. This is the time. Memphis, I believe in you."

Meanwhile, Bono will again be celebrated for all his humanitarian work in February (04), when he'll be among the recipients of the TED PRIZE, which is given annually to people trying to make the world a better place, in California.

21/10/2004 21:07