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Despite numerous reports that the Facebook IPO would make him the world's richest musician, U2 lead singer Bono said on Friday that wasn't true.
"Contrary to reports, I am not at this point a billionaire, or going to be richer than any Beatle," Bono told Andrea Mitchell on msnbc TV. (Read the transcript of his interview.)
A report in British music magazine NME on Thursday made the claim that Facebook's IPO would push Bono's wealth past that of former Beatle Paul McCartney, who reportedly is the richest rock star in the world, with a fortune of more than a billion dollars.
Bono is part of a private equity firm, Elevation Partners, which reportedly owns 2.3 percent of Facebook.
The firm’s stake in Facebook is worth about $1.4 billion, but a spokesman for Elevation said “the vast majority” of the money controlled by the firm is invested on behalf of pension funds, endowments and institutions, not individuals.
Rolling Stone reported that Bono has said his returns would go towards his charity work in Africa.
Facebook stock opened at $38 on Friday, jumped as high as $43, then fell back to close just pennies above its opening price.
Speaking with Mitchell, Bono went on to praise Facebook, saying "it's a technology that brings people together," and pointing out that the social network played a role in North Africa's so-called Arab Spring. But he agreed with Mitchell that he wasn't sure if Facebook readers were taking note of the site's ads, and said he'd leave the business model to Facebook's employees.
All things considered, it didn't seem to bother the musician, who told Mitchell that his chosen career has always made him feel rich. "I felt rich when I was 20 years old and my wife was paying my bills," he said. "You know, just being in a band."
Editor’s note: Earlier on Friday, TODAY.com published a story, provided by The Hollywood Reporter, reporting that Facebook’s IPO would make U2 singer Bono the richest musician in the world.