SEATTLE (Reuters) - When U2's lead singer came to Seattle over the weekend for a concert, there was only one logical place to stay -- the home of Bill Gates, who shares Bono's passion for Third World development and relief efforts.

"I was one of 20,000 screaming fans," Microsoft's co-founder Gates told Reuters. Gates, the world's richest man, said he got to know Bono through his work with his philanthropy.

Gates said that Irish rocker Bono was staying with him and that the two hung out together after the concert in Seattle.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of $28 billion (14.6 billion pounds), is the world's biggest charitable organization and aims to improve the health of people in the developing world.

"We're big believers that more needs to be done in developing countries," Gates said. "Let me tell you, Bono has had a huge impact."

Bono is a vocal advocate of Third World debt relief and Gates' foundation has given out more than $4 billion for global health since its inception to fight diseases such as AIDS and malaria.

Asked if their friendship would entice him to buy one of Microsoft rival Apple Computer's black-and-red U2 edition iPods, Gates said: "Absolutely not."


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