Paul McGuinness received Billboard's Industry Icon Award on Sunday during a breakfast at the Midem music conference in Cannes, France.
A short video preceded the ceremony with tributes from Trevor Bowen (McGuinness' partner at Principle Management), Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone founder) and Lucian Grainge (UMG head). Bono and Edge also paid tribute to their friend and former U2 manager:
"Bonjour Midem Monseur.We're so proud of Paul McGuinness. For other artists, bands and solo performers 35 years after they started out for fame and fortune or whatever, it's often really embarrassing for us, because so many of these great artists have had their hearts broken and there really aren't too many of them. There are exceptions, but I don't think we've ever met another artist who have had the same manager for 35 years from day one and for that whole time who had been unfaltering in his integrity, in his excellent business acumen." (Bono)
"We own our own master tapes, we own our own copyrights. We are in effect a cooperative who shares those equally with the band and we are designed to survive and we are designed for something much harder: We are designed to survive success. And Paul it was your design. You are not only the music industry's Icon, you are our Icon, so thank you so much and congratulations on this award I can't think of anyone else more deserving." (The Edge)
You can read McGuinness' full acceptance speech at Billboard.