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Bono downplays Facebook earnings

May 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, May 18 (UPI) -- Irish rocker Bono says he's not "richer than any Beatle" even though his share of Facebook was valued at $1.5 billion after the company went public Friday.

NME.com said Bono became the world's richest musician after his 2.3 percent share of Facebook spiked in value to $1.5 billion when the company went public. Bono bought the shares through his investment group, Elevation Partners, for $90 million in 2009.

Friday's development meant Bono surpassed former Beatles band member Paul McCartney as the world's richest rock star since McCartney's fortune is estimated to be worth around $1.05 billion, NME.com said.

But Bono played down the report in an interview with MSNBC, explaining the shares belong to his investment group, not just him.

"Contrary to reports, I am not a -- this boy is not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle. … That's just a joke," Bono said.

"We invest in other people's money, in pension funds," Bono said. "We do get paid, and that is a good thing. … I'm blessed, but you know, I felt rich when I was 20 years old and my wife was paying my bills. Just being in a band, I've always felt like this. I got interested in technology because I'm an artist, I'm interested in the forces that shape the world -- politics, religion, the stuff we've been talking about today. Technology is huge. I wanted to learn about it."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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