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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 April, 2005, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
Bono cheers 'best frontman' Pope
Bono in Ghana
Bono travelled widely as part of his anti-poverty campaigning
U2 lead singer Bono has paid tribute to Pope John Paul II, calling him the "best frontman the Roman Catholic Church ever had".

They met when they campaigned to end world debt and both were nominees for the Nobel peace prize.

Bono described the late pontiff - who died on Saturday - as "a great showman, a great communicator of ideas".

"Without John Paul II it's hard to imagine the Drop the Debt campaign succeeding as it did," Bono added.

The Drop the Debt movement campaigns to convince wealthy nations to cancel the debts of the world's poorest countries.

The Pope met Bono, along with other pop stars, aid workers and economists, in 1999 as the movement pushed for rich nations to write off debt owed by developing countries by the year 2000.

"How could you turn this man down?", Bono said about the Pope at the time.

The Pope also strove to understand popular culture and reach out to the world's young people.

In this vein, he once invited Bob Dylan to perform for him at a church congress in Bologna and joined the Eurythmics, Alanis Morissette and Lou Reed at a concert in Rome in aid of debt reduction.


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