Traditional pop, rock, alternative, electronica, rap, comedy – a small list of the categories contained within the Grammy Awards, each of which is intended to isolate a specific contribution to music. As far as I can remember Steve Jobs didn’t release a rap song and I certainly can’t picture him writing traditional pop. So the news that he has posthumously been awarded a Grammy Award, as reported by Mercury News, has come as a bit of a shock.
As with most award accolades, a huge list of categories exist in the Grammies, ranging from the mainstream and extending to the far reaches of obscurity to cater for the most alternative of tastes. One of the categories is the trustee award which is a special merit Award presented to individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions outside of being an actual performer (although some performance recognition was given up until 1983).
This niche category has been awarded as part of the ceremony since 1967 and is often confused with the Lifetime Achievement Award which is actually intended to honor musical performers rather than individuals who have made external contributions to the industry. The recording academy has announced that Steve Jobs will be posthumously honored due to his significant impact on the music industry through his work with Apple.
Steve Jobs is perhaps not the first name to spring to mind when thinking of individuals who should be given this award, but when casting your mind over his history the choice starts to make a little more sense. The release of the Apple iPod and the iTunes Music Store completely changed the face of the music industry in a relatively short space of time. By taking the onus away from physical media, Jobs and Apple significantly reduced the footprint of peoples music collections and made digital downloads the accepted standard going forward.
Steve Jobs was a music lover, he had made reference to this on numerous occasions during presentations and speeches. The musical revolution brought forward by his company in the last ten years extended from his love of the art and this has been evident in the quality of the products and services which has been released.
Jobs has been given the accolade in the Trustees Award category along with Dave Bartholomew and Rudy Van Gelder. Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy had this to say:
This years honourees offer a variety of brilliance, contributions and lasting impressions on our culture. It is an honour to recognise such a diverse group of individuals whose talents and achievements have had an indelible impact on our industry.
Steve Jobs may have passed away at an early age, but his impact on the music industry and the world will never be forgotten. The posthumous recognition he has received ensures that he will be deservedly be remember for the excellence he so often achieved.