Irish singer/songwriter Damien Rice spent close to half a million bucks to get his hands on one of Bono’s guitars, and though he probably could have nabbed one for free if he wanted – he and Bono are pals, and busked together in Dublin on Christmas Eve – Rice clearly is a man with a kind heart, as the money went to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
Rice attended a star-studded event in Los Angeles on Friday night hosted by Sean Penn, and not only did he buy Bono’s guitar, but he also got a picture with Mexican starlet Salma Hayek, as you can see. Not a bad night’s work!
Rice, a native of Kildare whose fame doesn’t come near to approaching Bono’s, is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. He’s also hot these days because one of his songs, “Cannonball,” is topping the U.K. charts thanks to a remake by a group called Little Mix, which won the hugely popular reality program The X Factor in Britain last year – the mother show that spawned Simon Cowell’s U.S. X Factor.
“It is believed Rice will earn hundreds of thousands of pounds in royalties from the cover version as the writer of the original tune,” reports the Daily Mail – which would allow for expensive charity purchases like a rock star’s guitar.
Rice also performed at the LA benefit in front of stars such as Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson and Hilary Swank. It certainly wasn’t his first brush with Hollywood fame. A few years back the 38-year-old dated Renee Zellweger for a while.
"Renee and Damien have been seeing each other for a while and they're both really happy. They share a mutual love of music and both are very deep thinkers,” a February 2005 story in the U.K. Daily Mirror claimed.
Here's a video for his most popular song "The Blower's Daughter":
Here's the video for the song "Canonball" which was used by a band on the British "X Factor":