Time magazine has selected its annual "Person of the Year," this year splitting the title among Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and the Irish rock musician Bono.

The three were recognized for their efforts in fighting poverty and improving global health. The magazine said they won "for being shrewd about doing good and for rewiring politics."

Mr. and Mrs. Gates created a $29 billion charity with their Microsoft wealth. This year alone it has given out hundreds of millions of dollars to try to solve the world's most devastating health problems.

Bono became famous as lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, but in recent years has championed forgiving debts of poor countries and fighting AIDS.

Time said this year Bono "charmed and bullied" the leaders of the world's richest countries into forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by the poorest.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.