Sir George Martin, the classically trained producer who helmed the Beatles recordings from their mop-top phase through their late musical masterworks, was honoured Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Martin, 82, received a career award from The Recording Academy's Grammy Foundation, which provides education programmes for future music professionals and works to preserve musical history.
Martin is the most successful record producer of all time, according to the academy, with more than 50 chart-topping hits and one-billion units sold. He also holds the record for the longest run of No 1 pop-chart hits in history, spanning 36 years.
Martin, who has said he is hard of hearing, sprinted by reporters on the event's arrivals line. But son Giles Martin spoke on behalf of his father, with whom he remixed original recordings to create the soundtrack for "Love," the popular Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas production inspired by The Beatles' music.
Receiving the Recording Academy tribute "is a huge honour for him," Giles Martin told AP Television. But he always said, "They give me an honour for still being alive." You know, because he's English, and we're very self-deprecating. But it's a huge honour for him. And his life has been the music industry."
Event attendees included John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who recalled her first time meeting Martin.
"I was very surprised," Ono said. "He was obviously from a classical background. And he had that sort of demeanour, of a person who was a very sophisticated gentleman.