Billboard Music Awards: U2 Accepts Touring Award

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The Edge during a stop on U2's "360 World Tour"

The band took a break from the just-started second North American leg of its 360 World Tour to receive the honor Sunday night.

U2 took a break from the just-started second North American leg of its 360 World Tour to accept the Touring Award -- for both the biggest tour of the year and of all-time -- at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.

After the Black Eyed Peas' introduced U2 as "the most important group in music, my friends and inspiration," frontman Bono said, "Some of the greatest music is made so quietly, and you can make classic albums in your bedroom and you can play the greatest show of your life on a one-string guitar -- but we don't do that."

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Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. cut him short to thank the tour crew, acknowledging that "I don't know all of them, don't know all their names."

Bassist Adam Clayton likened the 360 Tour stage to "a children's toy," while guitarist the Edge noted that the setting allows U2 "to feel like we've alone, surrounded by our audience completely."

Backstage, Bono expounded on what the honor means to him: "That's where we live: live."

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U2 surpassed the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour earlier this year as the most successful tour ever. By the time the trek ends on July 30 in New Brunswick, it's expected to top $700 million in ticket sales and play to nearly eight million people. The tour was extended when the current North American leg, originally scheduled for 2010, was postponed after Bono injured his back during rehearsals.

Of the tour, the Edge said backstage: "I'm thrilled that more people came to this show than any other. Seven million people I still can't get my head around that figure."

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Meanwhie, Bono addressed the intimacy of the tour.

"It's a magic trick," he said. "It's the strange thing about scale and spectacle that disappear."

As for the band's longevity, the Edge attributes it to the group members' ability to get along.

"Because it's a band -- and a real band -- and we're used to working in a cooperative way. We never let anything go that's not great."