The Recording Academy announced back in December that it would be honoring Apple's co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs with a Special Merit Grammy Award in recognition of his contribution to the music industry through products like the iPod and the iTunes Music Store.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software Eddie Cue picked up the award on Steve's behalf yesterday, following a heartfelt acceptance speech that you can watch in the video above. Cue pays tribute to "a visionary, a mentor, and a very close friend," who was "focused on bringing music to everyone in innovative ways."

On behalf of Steve's wife, Laurene, his children, and everyone at Apple, I'd like to thank you for honoring Steve with the Trustees Grammy Award. Steve was a visionary, a mentor, and a very close friend. I had the incredible honor of working with him for the last fifteen years.

Accepting this award means so much to me because music meant so much to him. He told us that music shaped his life…it made him who he was. Everyone that knows Steve knows the profound impact that artists like Bob Dylan and The Beatles had on him.

Steve was focused on bringing music to everyone in innovative ways. We talked about it every single day. When he introduced the iPod in 2001, people asked "Why is Apple making a music player?" His answer was simple: "We love music, and it's always good to do something you love."

His family and I know that this Grammy would have been very special to him, so I thank you for honoring him today.

YoYo Ma, 16-time Grammy award winner and cellist who was a close friend to Steve, also paid tribute to him with a message on the Grammy website.

[via MacRumors]