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"It's like taking the rock jerk that the Fly is and . . . take him to his logical conclusion, which is when he's fat and playing Las Vegas."

-- Bono, on his MacPhisto persona

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Bono Teams Up With Gospel Crooner Pat Boone for Graham's Last Hurrah

AFP, June 24, 2005


Irish rock megastar Bono has teamed up with veteran U.S. crooner and gospel king Pat Boone in an unlikely musical tribute to evangelist Billy Graham, Boone's publicist said.

The U2 singer and humanitarian will sing the praises of 86-year-old Graham in a track and video entitled "Thank You Billy Graham" which is due out this week and will also feature on Boone's new gospel album, Glory Train.

The devoutly Christian Boone, who has straddled religion and rock during a career that has lasted more than 50 years, said he was thrilled Bono had jumped at his offer to perform on his new album.

"Bono said yes right away," said Boone of what he termed a musical tribute to "American hero" Graham, who this weekend holds his final U.S. "crusade" in New York after half-a-century of gospel-led globetrotting.

"When we met at the Grammys (in February), he reminded me that we met years ago when I was touring England and U2 was a start up band," the 71-year-old Boone said of his meeting with Bono.

"Thank You Billy Graham" also features contributions from such luminaries as LeAnn Rimes, Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, Andre Crouch, Jeffrey Osbourne, David Pack, Billy Dean and CNN talk show host Larry King.

Boone, who says he is preparing to retire, also announced he was embarking on a 10-day tour of Bono's native Ireland starting July 5 ahead of the August 9 release of Glory Train.

Boone told music magazine Rolling Stone recently he was coming to the end of his long career after promising his wife, Shirley, he would quit in 2006, when the last of five new albums is released.

"I'm going to tip my hat and call it a day," he said.

© AFP, 2005.

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