Bob Geldof (born 5.10.1951)
Bob Geldof is an Irish musician and, latterly, a political activist. Geldof rose to fame as the singer of the Boomtown Rats and is known for organizing the international Live Aid and Live 8 events.
Bob Geldof: Childhood
Bob Geldof was born and raised in Dún Laoghaire in Ireland. His mother, Evelyn died suddenly at the age of 41. He has two older sisters, named Cleo and Lynn.
Raised as a Catholic, Bob Geldof attended Blackrock College. After school, he began work as a music journalist in Vancouver for Georgia Straight. In 1975, however, he returned to Ireland and became the singer in The Boomtown Rats.
Bob Geldof: The Boomtown Rats
The Boomtown Rats song 'Rat Trap' was the first New Wave song to go to number one in the UK. This was followed by the huge international hit 'I Don't Like Mondays', which Geldof wrote in reference to an attempted massacre at a school in San Diego, California.
Bob Geldof: Charity Work
In 1984, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure (of Ultravox) wrote the song 'Do They Know It's Christmas' in order to raise funds to ease the famine in Ethiopia. A number of high profile artists were involved in the recording, under the name of Band Aid (these included Adam Clayton and Bono of U2, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Heaven 17, Bananarama, Paul Weller and Status Quo). The track entered the UK charts at number one and was the country's fastest seller of all time at that point, shifting over three million units. It eventually raised over £8 million for its designated cause.
The next year, Ure and Geldof undertook the organisation of Live Aid: a massive, two-part event, performed simultaneously in Philadelphia and London. The event was televised in full in the UK on BBC radio and television. The concert raised over £150 million. At the age of 34, Geldof was knighted, as a mark of respect for his efforts.
20 years later, when Geldof visited Africa again, he still found many social problems there and just as much poverty and famine as he saw in 1984. As a result, he decided to organize to Live 8 concerts in an attempt to put pressure on the G8 and force the international community to increase aid and cancel the debt in the developing world.
The Live 8 concerts took place in London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Moscow, Cornwall, Berlin, Philadelphia, Edinburgh and Barrie in Canada. Among the many artists playing, were Elton John, Madonna, a reformed Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z.
Bob Geldof: Business
Bob Geldof founded Planet 24 in 1992. Planet 24 is a television production company that made programmes such as The Word and the Big Breakfast. Geldof also helped to found Ten Alps Communications, a company specializing in media, entertainment and marketing.
Bob Geldof: Solo Career
Following the Live 8 concerts, Geldof relaunched his solo career but with mixed results. At a concert in a 12,000 capacity arena in Milan, Geldof arrived to find that the tickets had not been released on general sale. Only 45 people were in attendance and Geldof refused to play.
Bob Geldof infamously played the central character, Pink, in Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Bob Geldof: Personal Life
In 1976, Bob Geldof began dating Paula Yates (a journalist and television presenter). They had three daughters together, Fifi Trixibelle Geldof (b.1983), Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof (b.1989) and Little Pixie Geldof (b.1990). Geldof and Yates married in 1986 in Las Vegas, with Simon Le Bon acting as best man.
Paula Yates left Geldof for the INXS singer Michael Hutchence in 1996 and Geldof obtained full custody of his children. Following the deaths of both Hutchence and Yates, Geldof also became the legal guardian of their child, Tiger Lily, arguing that she should be raised with her half-sisters.
Bob Geldof now lives in Kent with his partner Jeanne Marine, a French actress.