The band dedicated the award to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell
The band, who played a special show in London’s Trafalgar Square yesterday (November 11), were honoured at the ceremony with the award recognising their decades-long career.
Collecting the award, The Edge said: “We’ve been making music together for a long time. People always ask, ‘How have you kept your band together?’ There has to be one boss, one leader, who calls the shots. It’s not an easy gig, let me tell you, and I could not have done this without these guys’ support. Truly, they are the wind beneath my wings.”
Bassist Adam Clayton dedicated the award to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who signed the band 40 years ago. Bono, in lieu of his own acceptance speech, sang a burst of ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2’. Watch footage of the moment below.
Stormzy reacted to the moment on Twitter, writing: “Bruvvvvvvv OMGGGG I’m hearing @U2 sang Blinded By Your Grace PT.2 ?!?!”
Jared Leto presented the band with the award, saying they “changed” his life. He said: “U2 changed my life. I discovered their seminal album ‘The Joshua Tree‘ and it became the soundtrack of my youth.”
He continued: “U2 isn’t just a band, it’s a way of life. Their songs are prayers, their concerts a church. They challenge us, they inspire us and they remind us that every moment in our lives is an opportunity to rise above and be part of the possibilities of life, rather than its problems.
“They teach us it’s okay to mix art and politics, and sometimes – even better – to start a revolution and say fuck you. 157 million records sold, 22 Grammys and the highest-grossing concert tour in the history of the world. One love, one blood, one life.”
Leto then made everybody in the audience give the band a standing ovation as they made their way to the stage.
Elsewhere, Eminem kicked off the ceremony with a performance of ‘Walk On Water’, while Stormzy played ‘Big For Your Boots’ from a police car. The Killers, Shawn Mendes, Kesha and more also performed, but Taylor Swift’s rumoured appearance did not come to fruition.