Bob Geldof is a successful musician and a more successful businessman. After finding fame with the Boomtown Rats, he turned his hand to creating the biggest charity concert the world has ever seen.
Rock musician, songwriter, and political activist, Sir Bob Geldof is the rare combination of musical talent and successful businessman.
His infectious messages of social and economic justice, spread through music concerts and global gatherings, have touched tens of millions around the world.
As a founding member of the seminal punk band Boomtown Rats, he turned out a string of hits including Rat Trap and I Don't Like Mondays. He played Pink in Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd: The Wall.
In the mid-Eighties a story on Ethiopian famine moved him to co-write Do They Know It's Christmas?. He convinced the top UK musicians of the day including Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Bono, George Michael and Culture Club to contribute their talents to record the song as a fund-raiser. The resulting 1984 Christmas song and accompanying music video became global best-sellers and the main anti-poverty rock anthem.
Geldof again turned to his fellow musicians in 1985, enlisting their help for the inaugural Live Aid concert. Playing simultaneously to audiences in London and Philadelphia, the concerts were seen by 1.5 billion people and raised over $100 million for famine relief.
In June 1986, Geldof married Paula Yates in Las Vegas after ten years together. They had had daughter Fifi Trixibelle in 1983. Paula gave birth to Peaches on 13 March 1989 and Pixie on September 1990. Yates left Geldof for the lead singer of INXS Michael Hutchence in 1995, leading to the couple divorcing in 1996. After Hutchence's suicide in 1997, Geldof applied for and won full custody of his three daughters. Yates died from a heroin overdose in 2000 at which point Geldof adopted her daughter with Hutchence – Tiger-Lily.
He has continued with his fund-raising ever since Live Aid, even being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Geldof was also awarded a honourary knighthood for his charity work by the Queen in 1986. Although he is not officially a Sir due to his Irish nationality, the nickname 'Sir Bob' has stuck.
In January 2004, Geldof travelled to Ethiopia and found that more people were at risk of starvation than in 1985, with the result being the Commission For Africa. British Prime Minister at the time Tony Blair was prompted by Geldof to discuss the problems in Africa with 16 commissioners, many of whom were from Africa and in positions of power.
Geldof still felt that not enough had been done to combat the problems and announced the Live 8 project on 31 March 2005. Along with Midge Ure, Geldof organised six concerts on 2 June 2005 featuring an all-star lineup of musicians to raise awareness of Africa's plight.
He is currently a member of the Africa Progress Panel, launched in April 2007 with the aim of focusing world leader's attentions on the continent, and of the ONE campaign, which was founded by Bono. Geldof is very active for this charity, which promotes debt-relief, third-world trade and AIDS relief.
Geldof is also a successful TV producer, his company Planet 24 creating both The Big Breakfast and Survivor.