It is going to be a busy 2009 for U2 frontman Bono. Not only is it likely the rock greats will mount a world...

It is going to be a busy 2009 for U2 frontman Bono. Not only is it likely the rock greats will mount a world tour in early 2009, but in addition to his other roles as an activist, philanthropist, businessman, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and spokesman for Africa, Bono can now add New York Times columnist to his résumé.

On a pro bono (no pun intended) basis, the rock singer will pen six to 10 opinion pieces during 2009.

“We have asked Bono to write an occasional column for the paper next year covering a range of subjects, but are still finalizing the details,” said New York Times spokesperson Catherine Mathis in a statement.

When U2 heads out on tour, speculated to begin in the United States, it will be the band’s first under their new 12-year deal with Live Nation Artists that was signed in March and formalized in October. The deal includes touring, merchandising and the band’s website, U2.com. Their recording deal, however, remains with Universal Records.

U2’s last world outing, the 2005-2006 Vertigo tour, grossed $389 million with 133 concerts. The next tour will be significant: it will be the first stadium-level superstar tour to go on sale in the current financial climate. As a result, the touring industry waits to see whether the group will significantly drop its ticket prices. Of course, if ticket prices drop, then it is expected to affect the production, which has been a major asset in most U2 tours.