Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesBono‘s one of those rare rock stars who’s known nearly as much for his humanitarian work as he is for his music. Now the U2 frontman’s been honored again for the former, this time by the George W. Bush Institute.

Bono on Thursday received the George W. Bush Medal for Distinguished Leadership from the former president himself, at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. In fact, Bono’s the first recipient of the award, which recognizes him for raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa, as well as helping raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fight the former.

Bush and Bono first met face-to-face at the White House in 2002 and immediately began working together to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. Bono lent his celebrity and support to secure funding for PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, on which then-President Bush was already working.

“I’m here to honor your leadership on the greatest health intervention in the history of medicine,” Bono told Bush Thursday during a meeting that was streamed online, saying some 21 million lives had been saved “by this work that you began and led on, and I’m here to honor that.”

For his part, Bush told Bono PEPFAR “never would have made it out of Congress had you not been engaged,” calling Bono “the real deal. This is a guy who’s got a huge heart.”

Bono also praised Bush’s mother, Barbara Bush, who died last Tuesday, noting the powerful photograph from March, 1989 of the then-first lady embracing an infant with AIDS, “when the stigma of AIDS was at its highest.” Bono credited Mrs. Bush for instilling compassion for HIV/AIDS sufferers in her son.

The seven-minute exchange between Bono and Bush is posted online now.

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