Over the last two decades, Bono has become known almost in equal measure as the frontman of U2, one of the most successful rock bands of all time, and for his humanitarian efforts. It’s for the latter that he’s set to receive the George W. Bush Medal For Distinguished Leadership.

Ahead of his trip to Dallas to receive the award, he talked with The Dallas Morning News. ...

I was hoping you could talk to me about your approach to activism and humanitarianism and how it's evolved over the years. I'm curious about the differences in strategy between the (Red) campaign and the One campaign.

I always saw (Red) as the sort of gateway drug to the kind of activism that the One campaign does. You know, I think it was [former Senator from Tennessee] Bill Frist ... he's a physician, and he was saying to me, if you want to make this stuff relevant to politicians, then you're going to have to bring it back to the pig roast, bring it back to the people where they live — not just the Capitol. Not just to the media. That was really where (Red) began. ...

With proposed cuts to PEPFAR funding, there's this sense now — and getting back to what you were saying about Bill Frist — how do you bring this back to American taxpayers? 

We're really grateful for the United States for the role that you play in the world, in terms of defense. But if you ask the military men and women, they will tell you that [foreign aid, like PEPFAR] is defense. I went into the Oval office to visit President Bush and I had three pills in my hand and I said, 'Paint them red, white and blue, Mr. President, because these [life-saving medications] are the best advertisements for the United States.' 

Read the full interview in The Dallas Morning News.