Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009


With Bill and Melinda Gates, the rocker became public service's new front man

"For a not normally humble agitator (read: irritator) on behalf of development issues, I was genuinely humbled by being one of TIME's Persons of the Year. My public braggadocio comes from the deeply held conviction that activists should not go before Congress, Prime Ministers and Presidents doffing their cap and rattling the tin to beg for a compassionate response, which should be a given. (And yes, I've done this before and I'll do it again, but still.) Though the ONE campaign against poverty and preventable disease has 2.5 million members, as a nonelected representative my position can sometimes appear shaky. The TIME cover opened doors that were previously closed. The photo shoot with Bill and Melinda was a laugh. The two of them are doing more than anyone else on earth in this field. To be awarded alongside them made this great honor very hard to live up to."